Dr Oetker to open new plant in India - Just Food
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Dr Oetker to open new plant in India

08 Feb 2016

Dr Oetker, the German food group, is setting up a new plant in India, where it has been looking to expand production for over five years.

In December 2010, Dr Oetker said it was planning to build its fourth – and biggest – factory in the country. At the time, the facility, to be located in the northern state of Rajasthan, was scheduled to open by December 2012.

However, Dr Oetker is now building a larger plant than initially planned after reviewing its priorities for the market. The factory, to be based in the same location, will have more capacity and have a bigger share of its production targeted at retail customers than the original plans for the site. At first, the plant was to have half its output for retail customers and the other 50% for foodservice outlets. Production at one of Dr Oetker’s three other facilities in India – a rented site further north in Uttaranchal – will be consolidated into the new plant.

“The initial plan – and also government approvals – was for a plant with 12,500 tons capacity,” Oliver Mirza, MD of Dr Oetker’s India arm, told just-food. “At the end of 2011 we took a decision to strengthen the retail brand when we launched Dr. Oetker’s Vitalis Muesli in India. In parallel we revised all plans and decided to build a bigger plant with 25,000 tons capacity with a higher retail share. This meant more machinery for retail products. This also meant new factory approvals, pollution approvals, a new water balance with borewell approvals and a new consent to establish, which took some time.”

Production trials are set to start at the plant in Rajasthan in April, with commercial output slated for June. Products to made at the site include the muesli line.

Dr Oetker attained the rented facility in Uttaranchal when the company acquired Indian business Fun Foods in 2008. The deal also gave Dr Oetker two sites it owns – another in Uttaranchal and another in Rajasthan.

Mirza said Dr Oetker has increased retail sales “sevenfold” in the seven years since the acquisition.