With consumers increasingly cooking and eating at home, FMCG major D S Group is looking to strengthen its foothold in Indian kitchens. The company is looking to ramp up direct distribution in both urban and rural regions to garner a bigger share of the spices segments, while strengthening its value-added offerings.

The company recently extended its spices brands Catch to the packaged ginger and garlic pastes segment, and is looking to refresh its spices portfolio with premium offerings. It may also foray into the ready-to-eat product segment this year.

Talking about the growth of the spices business during the pandemic, Business Head, DS Spiceco Pvt Ltd, Rajneesh Goel, said, “The pandemic outbreak led to a massive shift to in-home consumption. But it also meant that the out-of-home consumption, both in the organised and unorganised segments, was adversely impacted. But we definitely made up a significant portion of what we lost in the Horeca segment (Hotels, Restaurants, Catering) through the in-home consumption segment.”

“Despite the challenges, we have grown decently and will end the fiscal year with double digit growth of 25-30 per cent . Our focus is to grow our spices business at double the pace at which the category is growing,” he added.

This year, the company is looking at measures to grow its share in the organised spices market by strengthening direct distribution, ramping up its e-commerce presence and adding new products in the value-added segment.“We currently have a presence in around 5.5 lakh outlets and hope to grow the number by 15-20 per cent year-on-year. The focus will be to strengthen our presence, especially in the North, East and West regions,” Goel said.

The company has also launched a year-long consumer connect campaign called “ Umeedon Ka Saal ”. Under this initiative, it has launched a wide range of consumer promotion offers across 37 products in the spices segment in general trade, which is backed by an advertising campaign across media platforms. “We are also looking at launching differentiated product offerings. We recently ventured into the ginger-garlic pastes segment and we think this will enable us to grow the category. We have also doubled down on our regional spices strategy. For instance, we have launched a Shahi Garam Masala variant tailor-made for the Eastern region. We are also looking at introducing premium offerings in basic spices,” Goel added.