Fieldfresh Foods, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and California-based Del Monte Pacific, says India is becoming a big bakery market. The company, which sells pastas, sauces, is in the process of increasing its brand penetration both in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) segments.In an interview with BusinessLine , Yogesh Bellani, CEO, Fieldfresh Foods, talks about the company’s growth in India, the relevance of its products and future plans. Edited excerpts:

Del Monte’s growth in India has been stupendous. What would you attribute it to?

We operate in four categories—pastas, sauces, beverages and packaged fruit. The evolution of all these categories has been a boon. We have a range of fruit and other products that appeal to both B2B and B2C segments. India is also becoming a big bakery market. Besides quick service restaurants (QSRs), a lot of home-baking is driving up demand.

Will your focus be, on B2B or B2C?

Both, as our products have relevance to both categories. Currently, our revenue is tantalisingly spread 50:50. But as we increase our distribution, the skew may be towards B2C.

What about revenues?

We don’t disclose our revenue. We have been clocking 40-50 per cent growth and we hope to continue in that range in the coming years.

So your growth has largely been driven by modern trade?

There is no denying that modern trade has been a huge contributor to our growth. It helps brands engage with consumers. We communicate with consumers through retail shelves.

What will be the focus areas for Del Monte?

We remain focused on existing categories. However, we have introduced a range of dessert sauces. India is largely a savoury sauce market, but we have now introduced fruit-based and chocolate-based sauces.

Italian food products must be a huge category for you…

Italian is one of the fastest growing categories in terms of volume. Consumers have adapted to this cuisine and are willing to try cooking it at home.

Are all the products imported?

Some pastas and olive oil are imported. About 80 per cent of our products are manufactured at our plant in Hosur, near Bengaluru. The plant was set up in 2010 and we have so far made a cumulative investment of ₹140 crore in it. We have been expanding capacities in the last six quarters to meet demand.

What is your biggest challenge?

We wouldn’t say challenge, but the opportunity lies in scaling up distribution in general trade. Del Monte already reaches 95 per cent of modern retail, but penetration in general trade is limited. In B2B, we are looking to reach the top 200 cities.

You were planning an international foray. Where is it headed?

We started operations in Nepal and Bangladesh in the last quarter. It is still in early stages. We have not ventured into Sri Lanka yet. We do a lot of B2B exports for the QSR industry globally.