‘Groundnut barfi fits Paper Boat’s DNA’

| Updated on: Jan 08, 2018

Paper Boat Kadalai Mittai.
Photo : Bijoy Ghosh
To go with R. Balaji's report

Company involved in every stage of preparation, from field to shelf: CEO

The ubiquitous and universal favourite groundnut chikki or barfi has hit the markets in a new wrapping from Paper Boat, a brand that has offered traditional beverages and fruit drinks.

It has been soft launched in a few cities including Chennai, where it is labelled Paper Boat ‘ kadalai mittai ’ (groundnut sweet).

There’s more to Paper Boat’s groundnut sweet than just a new wrapping and branding. The company hopes to take the traditional sweet a notch up on the quality scale by procuring the major raw materials itself to ensure quality.

Not just procurement, even the processing involved in making the sweet is upgraded to offer consumers a better quality product than is commonly available in the market. Paper Boat is involved in every stage from field to shop shelf, according to Neeraj Kakkar, CEO, Hector Beverages, the company behind the Paper Boat brand that specialises in regional drinks and fruit-based beverages.

Paper Boat procures groundnuts directly from farmers groups in Gujarat to ensure the right quality. It benefits over 10,000 farmers spread across two-three districts in the State, he said. It supplies the raw materials to a few chikki makers distributed across various locations to tap the regional markets.

In Chennai, it was launched a couple of months back, and the response “is positive”, he said. However, he declined to specify details about the quantity of sales. The supply chain is just stabilising in various cities it has been launched, he said.

Beats chocolates

Traders unanimously agree the volume of sales of groundnut sweets is the largest among the confectioneries, even bigger than chocolates. But it is essentially dominated by the unorganised sector and data is scarce.

In Chennai, for instance, over 500 families are involved in cooking up ‘ kadalai mittai’ for various local brands. It is a household kitchen operation that housewives use to augment family income. But there are also a few industry kitchen scale operations.

Kakkar said a product like groundnut sweet, a traditional Indian sweet, ideally fits Paper Boat’s DNA. Possibly the next product in line would be ‘ aam pappad’ .

There are hardly any national brands in groundnut sweets and the company hopes to occupy this niche.

Published on November 28, 2017
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