BRAND EXTENSIONS: Spicing up the market

Emami Agrotech, the food arm of Emami Group, recently entered the spice category with the launch of Emami Healthy & Tasty Mantra Masala. With this launch, the company is targeting the 80,000 crore spice and masala market, which is a real battleground for players such as MDH, Everest Food Products and Badshah Masala.

Krishna Mohan Nyayapati, director of Emami Agrotech, describes the launch of the spice line as a natural extension of the company’s existing edible oils business. “We’ve been in the edible oils business for almost a decade and we wanted to get into categories with high growth potential and complement the existing business,” he explains.

Market organization

Despite the segment’s massive size and potential, branded spices currently hold a smaller share of the overall market at around 32,000 crore. Nyayapati says the large unorganized sector presents both a challenge and an opportunity due to changing consumer trends. “Over the past two years, we’ve seen consumers become more aware of what they’re eating and the quality of the ingredients they’re using. Hygiene and safety have never been more important than today. This will certainly help change consumer behavior over the next 3-5 years. The organized market, which today represents around 40% of the market, could reach 50% in the next five years,” he predicts. Businesses in the unorganized segment that consistently guarantee high-quality products will continue to thrive, but Nyayapati expects players offering products of questionable quality to bite the dust. The revenue ambition for the new Mantra range is to reach `1,000 crore within the next five tears.

To arrive at this mark, the brand plans to highlight certain attributes that Nyayapati hopes will set it apart from others in the market. The first is the use of cryo-grinding in the production process, which allows the spices to retain a higher level of natural oils compared to traditional techniques. The second is Mantra’s zip-lock packaging, which ensures better freshness for a longer period of time.

A new look

Consumers in the post-pandemic market are relying more on home-cooked meals and looking to simplify the cooking process, notes Anand Ramanathan, partner at Deloitte India. This drives them to choose packaged spices instead of bulk masalas. “The market for branded products is growing faster at 10-15%, while the overall market is growing at 7-10%,” he says. This trend bodes well for marquee masala players, although due to the diversity of regional palates, there are certain challenges for new entrants. “Competition is strong, with many regional brands dominating each local market. Additionally, expanding beyond Tier II cities could be a challenge as consumers choose local brands that cater to local palates,” Ramanathan points out.

Nyayapati says Emami Agrotech specifically targets Hindi belt markets such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, as well as Eastern states such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, in addition of Maharashtra. It will build on its existing distribution network and make the Mantra brand available in over 500,000 outlets over the next three years. It will also be present in modern commerce and e-commerce platforms.
To keep the buzz going, the brand chose Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as its ambassador. “Our research shows that Katrina Kaif crosses age groups and consumer segments. This is a competitive market, and with our campaign and brand ambassador, we will showcase differentiation even in our messaging,” says Nyayapati, adding that the campaign also brings a fresh take on a category of all. the day that isn’t necessarily glamorous. While he won’t disclose the brand’s advertising budget for this fiscal year, he says the company has earmarked 200 crore for the next five years to hit the 1,000 crore revenue mark, and can increase that budget if needed. .

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Freeda S. Scott