Consumer goods firm ITC eyes wellness and food segments for growth

INDIA – ITC Limited, the Kolkata based fast moving consumer goods (fmcg) and hotels company is betting on wellness and food segments to drive its financial agenda.

According to Managing Director, Sanjiv Puri, the company will continue its focus on the organic route to grow its fmcg business and strengthen its existing mother brands in the portfolio to foray into new categories and roll out new products.

“ITC will look at the inorganic route only if it is a strategic fit to its plans and brings in value commensurate to the company’s financial commitment,” said Puri.

“While we will leverage opportunities for potential acquisitions that will enable us to scale up our businesses, we will continue to build new categories organically.”

ITC has reinforced this commitment by entering newer categories such as milk-based beverages and frozen food.

It has also commissioned a FMCG manufacturing plant in Trichy, and will begin selling millet-based flour under its Aashirvaad brand of atta, along with launching essential oils under the Fiama brand for cosmetics.

It recently launched hand sanitisers under the Savlon brand and pouched milk under the Aashirvaad Svasti brand, while developing a premium skincare brand called Dermafique and introducing a new brand Farmland for fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We are continuing to strengthen existing categories and are also foraying into new categories across FMCG segments,” Puri said.

“Last year, the company entered four new categories, including premium skin care, fruits and vegetables, frozen snacks, dairy, besides launching 30 new products. Going forward, we will see unique offerings in various categories including frozen foods, chocolates, milk-based beverages, fruit juices, rice, among many others.”

A purposeful approach into this segment is motivated by the laudable performance in its FMCG business, pegged at over US$2.19 billion in consumer spends.

“The financial results in this segment reflect higher investments in brand building and gestation costs of new categories.

Some brands in the new FMCG businesses have already become leaders and are gaining scale rapidly,” he added.

ITC was among the companies that were eying the US$4 billion deal for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) health drink Horlicks but has since backed out of the bid.

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