Nearly half of India’s 18 million tonne edible oil market is dominated by the packaged segment. Both urban and rural consumers have increasingly adopted this format leading to higher margins for brands. Today, the South Indian market leads the packaged oil segment, accounting for nearly 70% of the total market. While the packaged edible oil segment has traditionally been in pouches, Manjushree sees a huge opportunity for PET packaging and hence decided to enter this segment.
Tamper-proof two-piece cap
“The edible oil market is a growing market and we see demand in the segment like this throughout the year,” says Vimal Kedia, managing director, Manjushree Technopak. The Bengaluru-based company is currently focussing on providing PET bottles with CTC neck (closure to closure). The cap in the PET bottle for edible oil is a two-piece cap; the bottom part of the cap is called a snap-on cap, which sits on the bottle while the top half of the cap is called a threaded cap that allows controlled flow of oil. The snap-on cap at the bottom is developed to make it tamper proof allowing the user to only serve or dispense the liquor. However, the cap cannot be refilled. In order to open the cap, one needs to break open the bottle thus avoiding any form of adulteration and tampering. The standard packing oil formats are 200 ml, 500 ml and 1 litre. The upcoming category is the 2 litre bottle with an external handle grip. Manjushree is the only company in India to offer this kind of solution.
All kinds of edible oils are being packaged in PET bottles – mustard oil, olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil. While mustard oil leads the pack, the real challenge lies in packaging sunflower oil in PET bottles. India is a large market forsunflower oil and that market is still dominated by flexible pouches. Well-known brands like Gemini Edibles, Fortune, Dhara, Sundrop, Saffola are already adopting PET packaging. Companies in North India such as BL Agro are also entering the PET container segment for their edible oil brands, Kedia points out.
Kedia feels there are numerous advantages when it comes to packing edible oils in PET bottles – ease of handling, storage and being 100% recyclable. “Today with most of the FMCG and staple segment moving to advanced and modern formats of packaging, PET bottles fit seamlessly into this trend. Consumers will understand the convenience of PET bottles once they begin using them despite having to pay a slightly higher price. With increased concerns over product safety, we strongly believe high standards of packaging demonstrate the quality of the product and will surely be well received,” Kedia argues.
Companies, especially in the North, are adopting PET packaging heavily due to the high consumption of mustard oil. These companies do not mind paying a premium cost for packaging their oils in PET bottles. Manjushree is currently working with Ruchi Soya, Safal by Mother Dairy (Karnataka Oil Federation), Anjali oil and Sunpure (the market leader in Karnataka).
Commenting on the growth rate in PET packaging for edible oil in the country, Kedia says it could be at least 20% in the coming years. “In order to attract mass adoption of such packaging and move beyond niche markets, we would like to start educating people with conferences and seminars on the advantages of PET packaging and also join hands with resin manufacturers to spread awareness about PET packaging,” he concludes.
Not only has Manjushree developed solutions for the edible oil industry, the company has also collaborated with the industry to create promotional goodies to attract consumers. For example, Manjushree did a spice container promotion for Ruchi Soya; ‘Back to school’ sipper bottles for Anjali oil; and Diwali promotions for Dhara oil. “We believe in providing end-to-end solutions and work with brands from conceptualization right up to execution,” Kedia states.