Indian food and tobacco major ITC is setting up a US$70m packaged foods and confectionery plant in the eastern state of Odisha.

The facility will be based in a food manufacturing-focused industrial estate in the Khurda Food Park.

“We are constantly evaluating opportunities to expand our manufacturing base across different states so that we can service markets and customers faster and better,” a company spokesperson told just-food.

According to the spokesperson, ITC is growing its confectionery sales by launching products under its Mint-o and Candyman brands. “Last year introduced Candyman Jellicious, a new jelly variant which has witnessed enhanced consumer franchise. And we have just launched a chewing gum Gum-On in some of the southern [Indian] markets.”

The spokesperson added ITC’s focus has been to look for growth opportunities in each segment of the branded packaged foods sector, also including biscuits, salt, wheat flour, snacks and instant noodles.

ITC did not explain why it had chosen Khurda as a location of the new unit. However, Ramesh Mohapatra, president of the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bhubaneswar in Odisha, said the move could have been made due to financial help from state government.

“Odisha government provides subsidy of up to US$320,000 to processed food plants in form of concessions on land registration, tax benefits and other benefits,” he told just-food.