Heritage Foods, the second largest private dairy company in India, is entering West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand at the same time with its four long-shelf life milk variants and value-added products as the company believes Eastern India is one of the fastest growing dairy markets in the country.

The company is launching long-shelf life milk, a host of beverages like milkshakes, Lassi, flavoured milk and cold coffee, Ghee and Laddus in the three states.

“Today, we announced the launching of these products in the three Eastern states simultaneously. So, we are now present in 14 states. I believe East India is one of the fastest growing dairy markets in the country because it is coming from a lower base,” Heritage Foods Chief Executive Officer Srideep N Kesavan told businessline.

Kesavan said per capita consumption of dairy products was one of the lowest in the Eastern region, but fast changing consumer attitude towards nutrition, rapid urbanisation and growth in disposable income are all driving rapid growth in the region compared to rest of India. “It makes it a very attractive market for us to play in. That is why we are looking at the East as a growth market,” he said on Wednesday.

The Hyderabad-based company entered Odisha around nine months ago with a slightly different product portfolio.

The country’s second largest listed dairy company is expanding its footprints in the East also because it is aiming to grow revenue contribution from products like lassi, ghee and laddus.

“Our objective is to grow our value-added product contribution to the company’s revenue by about 3 per cent every year. That is one of the reasons we are making expansion into the East, because we believe this region is a big market for the value-added products,” the Chief Executive Officer said.

Heritage Foods has a target to grow revenue contribution from value-added products to around 45 per cent in the next three years. In the last financial year, the value-added product contribution expanded by around 1.30 per cent.

In West Bengal, the company is planning to reach around 20,000 retail outlets across the state in the next six to twelve months. “We will have to maximise the retail outlet reach in the next three months because Durga Puja is the major festival that we are targeting. Before that we want to make our product available across the state so that we can have major consumer outreach,” Kesavan said.

Asked about possible launching of fresh milk in Bengal, he said, “That will probably be in the second phase of our operations. Fresh milk requires capital investment. So, we are at this stage trying to generate demand and momentum for the brand in the market. Once we have sufficient consumer base and the demand gets created, we will be moving into the phase-II of our operations, where we will be looking at the investment to integrate the raw milk procurement.”