Representative image: Flickr/Tetra Pak
With growing acceptance of frozen foods during the pandemic, Keventer Agro on Sunday said it aims to establish frozen foods and tetra pack milk businesses nationwide in the next two-three years.
The Kolkata-based company is aiming for a 10 per cent increase in turnover to Rs 1,100 crore in the current 2021-22 fiscal from Rs 1,000 crore in the previous fiscal, with much of the revenue expected from frozen foods and tetra pack milk businesses, it said. Speaking to PTI, Keventer Agro CEO Sunil Kajaraia said the company plans to keep its pouch milk and branded banana businesses at regional level, while expanding frozen foods as well as tetra pack milk businesses nationwide.
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"Right now, the focus is on these two businesses — tetra pack milk and frozen foods — where we think that we can establish across India in the next 2-3 years," Kajaria said. The company, which started the frozen foods category four years back, was till last year present in east India, which has only 10 per cent of India's total frozen food market.
The company entered into the frozen foods segment five years ago with veggies and added non-vegetarian items in the next 4-5 years. Currently, the frozen foods portfolio has about 54 items. "Up to last year, we were concentrating in the east. We are in a significant part of north India now and plan to expand in the south and west soon," Kajaria said.
There is huge potential in north India which has 40 per cent of the country's frozen food market, followed by the west with 30 per cent, he said. Barring 6-7 states like Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh, the company's frozen foods are available in rest of the states, he added.
About investment for expansion plans, Kajaria said it does not have its own manufacturing plant for frozen foods but has in place the supply chain network having tie up with 7-8 major suppliers. "There won't be investment on setting up manufacturing units. We will have to invest in branding and distribution of freezers. In the current year, we plan to invest Rs 15 crore," he said.
Asked about launch of new products, the company's CEO said there is no such plan as of now as the company wants to shuffle the existing portfolio and get over with few laggards and tweak some as per the preference and taste of people in different geographies. The company has a network of 19 cold rooms across India, and plans to place freezers at retail outlets. Its products are also being sold on various online platforms.
On its tetra pack milk business, the CEO said it plans to grow the ultra high temperature treated tetra pack milk business at national level, for which Rs 100 crore investment was made on a plant two and half years back. "Now, no investment is required. We are working on the distribution plan," he said, adding that the company collects 2 lakh litres of milk a day from dairy farmers.
From both these businesses, the company aims to double the revenue from the existing Rs 50-odd crore by the end of this fiscal, he added. Currently, the size of the frozen foods business in India is about Rs 7,000 crore. Out of which 70 per cent is institutional and the rest 30 per cent is retail, the company said and added its key competitors in this segment are Godrej's Yummy and McCain Foods.