Eastern eyes breakfast, desserts segment as it aims to become a food company

Vishwanath Kulkarni | Updated on: Jun 24, 2022
Manoj Lalwani, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastern Condiments

Manoj Lalwani, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastern Condiments

To strengthen its footprint in South from where it earns major revenues

Spice maker Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd plans to transform itself into a food company and is eyeing segments such as breakfast and desserts to expand its product range. The company is also strengthening its presence in the southern market, where it has a major presence, with innovative products to cater to the local taste preferences, said Manoj Lalwani, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastern.

“We feel that it is the right time for Eastern to start the journey from a leading spice company to a leading food company. We have identified the breakfast space and desserts as an opportunity and are working to understand consumer needs and develop the right products to cater to those needs,” Lalwani said.

Launches vermicelli

As part of this diversification, the spice maker introduced vermicelli in the latter half of 2021 “We have received a positive response from both trade partners, as well as consumers,” he said.

Eastern, which clocked revenues of ₹900 crore during 2021-22, earns 65-70 per cent of its revenues from the domestic business and the rest from overseas, mainly from the Gulf markets. The company is witnessing a high double digit growth in both domestic and overseas markets, he said.

“We expect this momentum to continue because that’s how the market is presenting itself. Especially, the adoption of packaged products has gone up post-pandemic. Today consumers are very conscious of what they consume, especially when it comes to food, and this is helping the overall packaged food business and Eastern is also seeing the positive impact,” he said.

In India, Eastern has a major presence in the South, mainly Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, where it plans to strengthen its footprint by enhancing its distribution network and also through the e-commerce channel. The company derives 80 per cent of its Indian revenues from the Southern market.

The Norwegian conglomerate Orkla owns a majority stake in Eastern through MTR Foods Private Ltd. “The southern part of India becomes a more natural extension for us and, therefore, we are looking at strengthening these markets first and, of course, synergies with MTR Foods, these also become our natural extension markets.,” he said.

The overall Indian spices market is estimated to be around ₹65,000-70,000 crore and is growing between 12-15 per cent. “The market will continue to grow because post-pandemic people have become more conscious of packaged food products and so we expect it to continue to grow in double digits as we go forward,” he said.

Published on June 24, 2022
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