Happy birthday: Indian biscuit giant Britannia promises feast of new products

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Britannia is planning to up its product portfolio in its bid to become the largest food company in India. Pic: Britannia
Britannia is planning to up its product portfolio in its bid to become the largest food company in India. Pic: Britannia

Related tags Biscuits India

To celebrate its centenary, Britannia Industries is planning to launch 50 new products this year in a bid to extend beyond biscuits and become a total foods company.

India’s second-largest biscuits maker by volume has earmarked Rs 30 crore ($43m) to step up R&D to launch a rash of premium branded products under the Good Day and Nutri Choice brands, as well as cakes and baked goods like croissants under Greek food brand Chipita.

“A lot of investment will go towards modernizing manufacturing plants with technology. It will also help us optimize costs, which will, in turn, help us bring down price-points on some products,”​ said Britannia MD Varun Berry.

He added the company expects its non-biscuit business to eventually equal its biscuits business, which accounts for nearly 70%.

“We want to take this ratio to 50:50 without sacrificing the biscuits business by expansion of capacity.”

The Kolkata-based company is investing an additional Rs 50 crore ($72m) to market its new logo to commemorate its 100th​ year.

International expansion

Britannia – which has a presence in 79 countries – is in the process of opening a plant in Nepal. It is also eyeing expansion across West Asian and North African markets.

“Now that we are embarking on our next milestone, we will also create a manufacturing presence in more international markets. We will go for one country every year,”​ said Berry.

“Basically, the aim is to become a total global foods company, and become the largest food company in India in next few years.”

The Tiger biscuit maker also aims to give India’s largest biscuit maker, Parle, a run for its money.

“I don’t think we will ever be able to get to Parle size in terms of tonnages,”​ said Berry. “So, they will still be the largest brand by volume, while we are at a striking distance as far as revenue is concerned.”

He contended that some of the new products “have the makings of a blockbuster.”

Q1 2018 earnings

Earlier this week, Britannia posted a 19.4% jump in profit to Rs 258 crore ($3.75bn) for the April-June period this year.

Revenue increased 12.4% on a year-on-year basis to Rs 2,544 crore, ($37bn) while operating income rose 23.3% to Rs 389 crore ($5.66bn).

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