Mother’s Recipe to expand product portfolio in East

Tapping the ready-to-eat and instant mixes segment

Sanjay Desai, executive director of Desai Brothers

Mother’s Recipe, an integral part of Pune-based Desai Brothers recently acquired Elmac lmac Agro Manufacturing (EAMPL), one of Kolkata’s wellknown brands in a deal valued at Rs 30 crore. Desai Brothers, which diversified into the food business in 2002 under the brand name Mother’s Recipe has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 25% (FY 2014-15) and a strong presence across the globe especially in the Middle East, Australia, UK, Europe, US, Canada and Africa. The company’s portfolio in India comprises pickles, condiments, pastes, blended spices, ethnic chutneys, papad, ready-to-cook (RTC) spice mixes and instant mixes.

Speaking to Packaging South Asia about the company’s growth plans post the deal, Sanjay Desai, executive director of Desai Brothers, said, “The company is eyeing a growth of 30% in the current financial year against a turnover of over Rs 200 crore in 2014-15. We entered the food business with an aim to provide consumers with a holistic cooking and culinary experience while perfectly balancing health and taste. Apart from the pickle category where we command a robust market share of 25%, we intend to grow our other verticals like the ready-to-eat (RTE), RTC and instant mixes with a range of new product launches under each category.”

In the new set-up the existing management will continue to look after the manufacturing and operations facilities, while Mother’s Recipe will manage the overall marketing, sales and distribution for the brand Elmac. Expressing his views on the alliance Desai stated, “This deal will be a positive development for our company’s food division and is in line with our vision to be a valued brand in the Indian packaged food space. Elmac which has a strong brand equity in the Eastern region will help us strengthen our existing product portfolio and enable us expand our product categories. Plans of new product extensions under the Mother’s Recipe brand name which is already in process is expected to give us an additional growth of at least 25% in the Eastern region. Work has already started to refurbish and expand production capacities at EAMPL and realign product portfolios. In the next three years we are targeting a sales turnover of over Rs 70 crores under the Elmac brand from the region.”

Packaging material

At Desai Brothers the primary packaging and material for pouches, PET jars and glass bottles is decided according to the product profile and market requirements. Once the primary packaging material is finalized then plastic films, thickness, barrier properties, printing suitability are studied by an in-house R&D team along with the teams of external packaging companies. The in-house team prepares dummy samples and operational feasibility and stability trails are conducted for primary packs at the company’s factory. Both the quality control and R&D departments conduct various tests on the packaging samples.

For flexible packs, in-house leakage testing, sealing testing, product shelf-life analysis, and tests are conducted before approving the flexible packaging material. Simultaneously, the secondary packing material is designed in-house in collaboration with the suppliers and is subjected to various tests before approving the material. After completion of quality inspection, final drawings are provided to the marketing department for artwork and the development of graphics. The packaging designs and graphics are developed by the advertising agency or the company’s onboard specialized packaging design agencies. The vendor or supplier provides the packaging material according to the specifications and design supplied by the marketing department. The pilot lot is inspected by the quality and research team. After dispatch, feedback on the quality of packaging is taken from the market.

Strong distribution network

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Ready-to-eat chilli pickle in a flexible pouch

Today the Mother’s Recipe brand has a strong distribution network covered by 700 distributors across the country. The company meets the demands of diverse formats ranging from mom and pop stores, modern trade outlets, multi-functional outlets, eCommerce and Hotel Restaurants and Cafes (HoReCa) segment. When asked whether Mother’s Recipe intends to grow its verticals like the RTE, RTC and instant mixes categories, Desai commented, “Backed by a fast-paced urban lifestyle, increasing prevalence of the nuclear family structure, rising disposable income and rising number of globetrotting Indians who are willing to experiment with food – these are all favourable factors encouraging adoption of RTC, RTE foods in India. Moreover, the growth of modern retail has provided unmatched brand and category visibility and promotional opportunities to convenience foods. A recent report suggests that the heat-and-eat food industry in India which was valued at Rs 237 crore in 2014, has been growing at a CAGR of 18% for the last three years and it will be a Rs 640 crore industry by 2019. Mother’s Recipe will be aggressively looking at tapping the rapidly growing RTE, RTC and instant mixes segment with several new product launches in each category in the next 18 months.”

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