ITC expanding frozen foods offering, targeting busy millennials

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on December 11, 2019

FMCG major ITC, is aggressively ramping up its frozen snacks range targeting retail stores as well as the food services segment. The company, which has been test-marketing these products since mid-last year, aims to grab a 15-20 per cent share of the frozen snacks market in the country over the next three years.

Overall the frozen snacks range launched under the brand, ITC Master Chef, consists of nearly 50 products such as achari beetroot kebab, rajmah ki galauti, chicken galauti and mumbai vada pops among others. While the entire range is available through the food service channel in 60 cities, about 17 products have now been rolled-out in retail stores in metros and other tier-1 cities, as part of the fullscale commercial launch of the range.

Sachid Madan, Chief Executive -Frozen Snacks, Fruits & Vegetables, ITC Ltd said, “The penetration of frozen snacks in the Indian market is just about 5 per cent. Our endeavour is to grow the penetration of the category by making it widely available to consumers through the retail channels as well as in restaurants, cafes and pubs through the food services segment.”

Frozen food market is currently pegged at about ₹7,500 crore and grew at 17 per cent CAGR in 2018 with multiple organised and unorganised players.

Retail segment

While the size of the retail segment of frozen foods is estimated to be about ₹1,400 crore, over ₹2,400 crore comes from the food services segment. Exports contributed about ₹3,600 crore.

“Globally, frozen food is growing at a massive pace eating into the share of other categories but in India it is just about 2.5 per cent of the total packaged food industry. We believe with evolving consumption patterns of time-pressed consumers there is a huge untapped potential for growth of ready-to-eat frozen snacks for in-home and out-of-home consumption occassions,” he added.

The company is focussing aggressively on corporate sampling and in-store sampling to make consumers familiar with the product. It is also putting in significant resources behind deploying ITC Master Chef-branded freezers as well as upgrading horizontal freezers to vertical freezers at retail stores.

“ There are a lot of myths about frozen foods and we want to change the perception of Indian consumers about this category. Our product range has been carefully developed using advanced technology to preserve the goodness of ingredients and offer healthier and preservative-free options to home makers as well as professional chefs,” he added.

It said it will add one new product every month focussing on regional favourites as well as other innovative products leveraging on its agri-sourcing capabilities and cold chain.

Published on December 12, 2019

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