INDIA – Britannia, a leading manufacturer of biscuits and snacks in India, has announced that it will be setting up a new dairy plant in the next few months and another three greenfield units to cater to the rising demand for the dairy products.

The company said it has manufacturing capabilities for yogurt, processed cheeses, and skimmed milk powder after scaling up milk collection up to a daily 65,000 liters and hopes to quadruple its turnover from the dairy business over the next five years.

Britannia’s annual report said the company plans to “incubate the ‘fresh business’ through the launch of multiple products such as Greek yogurt and smoothies under the Come Alive brand.”

The annual report also highlighted that Britannia Industries is evaluating partnerships with more restaurant chains for its dairy business in this financial year, which contributes about 5% to the company’s overall revenue.

The company’s dairy franchise includes cheese, and milk-based beverages such as shakes and flavored yogurts, and it is looking to strengthen its consumer franchise in cheese and milk-based drinks through front-end investments.

In May, Britannia said it aims to grow the Winkin’ Cow brand, part of its dairy portfolio by 50 to 60 percent every year with the infusion of consumer-led franchise-building as well as portfolio expansions.

Additionally, Britannia will also focus “disproportionately on e-commerce”, which grew doubled by 100%, it said in its annual report.

As part of Britannia’s strategy to bolster its presence in the dairy sector, it invested Rs 600 crore in its Ranjangoan factory in Maharashtra for a dedicated backward integrated dairy factory.

The company ascribed the moves it is taking in the dairy industry to the growing penetration of western food trends, along with the increasing demand for ready-to-drink beverages that represent some of the key factors driving the Indian dairy market.

Scramble for planet-friendly straw in India leads to more imports

Elsewhere, the RTD companies in India are scrambling for imported paper straws despite higher costs in an effort to beat the deadline set by the Indian government for the ban on plastic straws.

However, packaging major UFlex has said it is gearing up to locally produce U-shaped paper straws at its packaging plant at Sanand in Gujarat.

The U-shaped paper straws will be food grade, moisture-resistant, and made from environmentally sustainably sourced papers, which are 100 percent recyclable, the company added.

Leading dairy companies in India like Amul and Parle Agro have sought the ban to be postponed by some months due to lack of adequate availability of paper straws in the domestic as well as international markets.

Dabur India Ltd Executive Director-Operations Shahrukh Khan said the integrated plastic straws that come as part of juice and milk-based drink packs do not contribute much to plastic pollution as they are part of the recycling and processing chain already put in place by brand owners and companies.

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