Amul is scaling up its portfolio on non-dairy products and is aiming to become a total foods and beverages company, its new Managing Director (MD) Jayen Mehta said. In an interview with The Economic Times (ET), Mehta said that it will help India’s largest dairy brand to compete with Nestle, Britannia, Coca-Cola and ITC.
“Dairy remains our core, but we have a robust pipeline of growth; we want to straddle every foods category consumers use in the kitchen, and we are going about it with speed, scale and larger investments,” he told ET.
Amul is a Rs 61,000 crore brand and is owned by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation. The company has identified categories to accelerate with speed and scale. These include non-dairy beverages, snacks, pulses, cookies, edible oil, organic foods and frozen foods. Amul is also setting up “Ice Lounge” parlours for premium ice creams.
Recently, other FMCG brands in India also announced plans to make more products and categories. Last November, Britannia announced a joint venture with French cheese maker Bel SA. Nestle and ITC have also announced plans to push growth in manufacturing and innovation.
“We are not worried about competition, since more players help in building products and categories. Having said that, we have to compete…we are competing with Coca-Cola with products like seltzers, with Britannia in cheese and cookies, with ITC in staples, and so on,” Mehta told ET.
Commenting on the record high inflation in the dairy sector and three price hikes in the last one year, Mehta said that it was “imperative” as the “cost of feed and fodder is a direct cost to the farmer”.
“Besides, unseasonal rains and crop failure are factors that are not even reflected in topline inflation numbers,” he said.
He added that the Amul model has the potential to go international.