DS Group hopes to ‘Catch’ rural consumers with spice sachets

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on February 10, 2016

Also sets sights on branded asafoetida

To counter growing competition in the branded spices market, DS Group is ramping up its spices business under its brand Catch. The group aims to almost double its business in the next two years and also get aggressive in the sachet category.

OP Khanduja, Associate Business Head at D S SpiceCo, said he hopes the sachet strategy will help the company expand its spices business in the rural markets as well as deepen its presence in the urban markets.

“Sachets strategy is price-led and mainly for trial generation. We believe once consumers buy sachets they will move to bigger packs and therefore it will drive sales of our bigger packs too.”

Growing segment

The branded spices market has been witnessing a lot of action in recent times. While Tata Chemicals entered the spices segment in October last year under brand Tata Sampann, Hindustan Unilever is looking to extend brand Knorr to spices and seasonings. Also, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved is trying to grab market share in the spices segment. While industry estimates peg the total spices market to about ₹40,000 crore, only about 15-20 per cent of this is branded spices segment.

DS SpiceCo is setting up a separate distribution channel to reach out to about 1 lakh outlets by the end of this fiscal year to sell small packs of its spices. The company has started with North India where it’s already selling small packs at about 65,000 outlets.

The strategy is not only to sell blended spices in small packs, but also straight spices such as turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. As of now, the company is selling 10 varieties in sachets, most of which are priced at ₹5 for 8-15 gm packs.

“We expect our spices business to cross the ₹550-crore mark by March. We plan to launch several new blends in the next financial year to connect with the changing Indian food palate. We have set ourselves the ambitious target of making Catch, a ₹1,000-crore brand in the next two years,” Khanduja said.

This year the company has also set its eyes on growing its share in the branded asafoetida category, which is largely dominated by regional players. It has recently launched a marketing campaign for asafoetida featuring its brand ambassador Vidya Balan.

“We hope Catch Hing grabs a 10 per cent market share in the branded asafoetida market which is worth more than ₹500 crore and growing at 15 per cent on a yearly basis. We have carefully refined our strategy for this product, by launching an innovative packaging of ₹1 a satchet for deeper market penetration.”

Published on February 10, 2016

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