Mondelez International has indicated it wants to build its presence in snacks in India, with consumption rising as incomes grow.
Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez’s chairman and CEO, visited India last week and, speaking to local media, said the company would look at introducing more biscuit brands into the market.
“We are the world’s largest biscuit company and we will bring more biscuit offerings into India,” Rosenfeld was quoted as saying by the Business Standard newspaper.
Mondelez launched Oreo in India in 2011 and sells four lines, including orange- and strawberry-flavoured biscuits.
Asked to confirm Rosenfeld’s comments by just-food, a spokesperson for Mondelez in the US was coy about the group’s specific plans but did say the company was looking at expanding its Indian business across a number of categories.
“We have not identified other biscuit brands – or the timing of their introduction in India – for competitive reasons,” the spokesperson said. “However, our chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld recently confirmed that Mondelez International plans to continue our growth in India across multiple categories, including chocolate, biscuits and powdered beverages.
“With 1.2bn consumers and a rapidly growing middle class, India is a very important market for us, with about $800m in 2013 net revenues. We believe snacks offer attractive growth opportunities for us in India. As GDP rises, consumption of snacks also increases. And as households in India move into the middle class, they will step up snacks consumption. As a leader in chocolate and growing positions in other snacks categories, we’re well-positioned to take advantage of this growth.”
Rosenfeld also reportedly said Mondelez was focusing on building its distribution in rural parts of India, a strategy the company did confirm.
“Rural distribution is indeed a focus for our company, and we continue to make significant strides in expanding our distribution in rural areas. We are already in nine states in India and have added 1,800 villages and 42,600 direct stores in first 7 months of this year alone,” the spokesperson explained.
“We’re developing focused innovation for consumers to improve our sales network. As you may know, we pioneered development of low-cost refrigeration systems to deal with the warm temperatures in many parts of India, since many of our products require cold storage environments. We are also in the process of developing solar energy machines to address scarcity of power in rural areas. What’s more, we aim to innovate with the right package sizes and right price points to make our brands affordable and relevant to all consumers.”