Lactis launches fortified milk brand in India to respond to nutrition focus by consumers during Covid-19

INDIA – Leading multinational dairy products corporation Groupe Lactalis has launched its popular milk brand Lactel in Indian market in an effort to tap into corona virus induced demand for milk products.

The fortified milk brand is targeted at consumers in the country who are seeking more nutritious food and beverage products as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Groupe Lactis first entered the Indian market in 2014, and has grown its footprint in the country through an aggressive acquisition strategy, beginning with its acquisition of local dairy company Tirumala.

Two years later, the French dairy giant acquired the dairy business of Indore-based Anik Industries for $70 million (Rs 470 crore) and further, in 2018, the Group invested an additional US$ $239 million (Rs 1,700 crore) in its third takeover deal that resulted in the acquisition of Prabhat Dairy Ltd.

From the three acquisitions, the French dairy company expects a combined revenue of about US$327.4 million in the 2020/2021 financial year.

The launch of Lactis is however a great leap for the French dairy company as it will give it direct presence in the second most populous country in the world.

The launch is particularly opportune for the milk processor given the market potential of the milk industry in India.

Data from India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the demand for milk is likely to reach 180 million tonnes by 2022 driven by growing population, higher incomes and more health consciousness.

Lactel will also not lack raw materials for its UHT milk as milk production in India is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 14% in the period between 2021 and 2022 according to data from research and markets.

In India, the Lactel brand will be distributed in the UHT format and will packaged in 1 litre box containers.

In the shelves, Lactel will have to compete with other UHT milk products, most notably Amul and Nestle A plus which are already household names in the Asian country.

Lactel India is however hopeful that the brand’s competitive pricing along with additional benefits such as fortification with Vitamin A & D will gave it an edge against rivals in the UHT milk segment.

The company even hopes to achieve a market share of 5% of India’s market share where almost 800,000 litres of milk are consumed every day.

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