Zomato becomes first Indian unicorn to go public raising US$1.26B in successful IPO

INDIA – Indian food delivery start-up Zomato has become the first Indian unicorn to go public, successfully raising over US$1.26 billion in an IPO that was more than 38 times oversubscribed.  The food delivery startup which also lets users book tables and aggregates reviews for restaurants finally debuted in India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) in July at ₹116 (US$1.56), a 53% premium over the IPO price of ₹76 (US$1.02), and closed at ₹125.8 (US$1.69) per share on its first day.  Zomato has said it will utilise the net proceeds from the fresh issue for funding organic and inorganic growth initiatives…

Read More

India’s grain production to hit record 305.4MMT as govt doubles down on food relief program

INDIA – India’s grain production for the market year (MY) 2020/21 is forecast at a record 305.4 million metric tons (MMT) driven by record production of rice, wheat, corn, and pulses.  The recent figure released by India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is over 2 MMT higher than the earlier second advance estimate. It is also a  whopping 8 MMT higher than last year’s record harvest.  Rice, one of India’s staple grains is forecasted to reach a near-record high of 121 million metric tons from a growing area of 44 million hectares. Wheat is on the…

Read More

BigBasket to launch express online grocery delivery to enhance customer experience

INDIA –  BigBasket, India’s largest online grocery startup, is set to launch express deliveries, in latest attempt to improve customer experience amid rising competition from rivals such as Amazon, Grofers, Reliance, and Jiomart.   According to a report by ET retail, Big Basket will over the next two to three months introduce a quick-delivery service that will be made within an hour of purchase.  Big Basket previously experimented with express deliveries but pulled back due to a number of logistical problems that it had probably underestimated prior to the launch.  The category is however hotting up with well-capitalized companies like SoftBank Vision…

Read More

Parle Agro shakes up India’s dairy market with launch of flavoured milk items under ‘Smoodh’ brand

INDIA – Parle Agro, a homegrown beverages firm, has made a foray into India’s dairy segment with the launch of flavored milk products under the ‘Smoodh’ brand.  The flavored milk products are packaged in 85ml packs are available in two choices, chocolate milk, and toffee caramel. Retailing at a recommended price of Rs10, the new product aiming to target consumers across all age groups, the company said in a statement.  Parle Agro says the diversification is backed by in-depth research on the potential of flavored milk in India.  Research published by FNB news revealed that flavored milk products which accounted for 43 percent…

Read More

WayCool Foods to invest US$20m in expansion into Western India and Middle East

INDIA – Tech-powered food and supply chain enterprise WayCool Foods is investing close to US$20 million for its expansion plans this year which includes a foray into Western India (Maharashtra) and the Middle East.  The US$20 million is part of an ambitious expansion that includes plans to invest US$75-$100 million over the next four years to cement WayCool Food’s growth as an automation-powered supply chain entity.  Commenting on the company’s expansion plans, co-founder and CEO Karthik Jayaraman said: “Our capex plans [for the next 2-3 years] include building five large warehouses, setting up repacking facilities, and ramping up…

Read More

Lavazza to open 100 coffee shops in India under Suprabha brand

INDIA – Italian coffee brand Lavazza will in the next two years open 100 coffee shops in India to expand its presence in one of the fastest growing coffee markets in the world.   According to a report by ET Retail, the coffee shops will be set up by Lavazza’s fully owned subsidiary Fresh and Honest and will operate under the ‘Suprabha’ brand.  The shops to be set up in various formats would be inspired by the South Indian traditional art form – Kolam (rangoli) allowing family members to bond over a cup of coffee in…

Read More

Lactalis India hopeful of sales recovery post-pandemic, targets revenues of US$602m in FY21-22

INDIA – Lactalis India, a subsidiary of French firm Groupe Lactalis, is eyeing a turnover of Rs 4,500 crore (about US$602.7 million) in the 2021/22 financial year, betting heightened sales of the recently launched Lactel brand. Speaking to the press, Lactalis India managing director Rahul Kumar noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the dairy business in India leading to depressed sales.  As a result, the Lactalis India MD noted that for the FY2020/21, the dairy company expected revenues to be close to Rs 3,500 crore (US$468.78 million).  “For 2021-22, we…

Read More

Indian animal protein startup Licious raises US$192m to fund future growth plans

INDIA – Licious, a direct-to-consumer fresh meat and seafood brand, has raised US$192 million in a Series F funding round led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and PE firm Multiples.   Brunei Investment Agency also invested in the round, which saw participation from existing investors including 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India.  Founded in 2015, Lucious operates five processing centers more than 90 delivery centers across all 14 Indian cities where it currently has a presence.  The company owns and operates the entire back-end supply chain, and controls a stringent cold chain to maintain the quality and freshness of its…

Read More

India’s advertising watchdog partners food safety authority to fight misleading claims in foods & beverages ads

INDIA –  The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have partnered to bolster the fight against misleading claims in food and beverage (F&B) ads.   Advertising is seen as misleading if it involves false, misleading, or deceptive information that is likely to cause the average consumer to act in a way they might otherwise not.    Ads may also be considered misleading if important information that the average consumer needs to make an informed decision is left out.    Misleading advertising covers claims made directly to consumers by manufacturers, distributors, and…

Read More

Indian milk brand Amul beats pandemic odds to record 2% growth in revenue for FY21

INDIA – The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), which markets dairy products under the Amul brand has beaten all odds to record a 2% rise in revenue for the 2021 Financial Year (FY21).   According to a statement released by R S Sodhi, Managing Director at GCMMF, the cooperative’s total turnover rose to Rs 39,200 crore (about US$5.2 billion) from Rs 38,550 crore (about US$5.189 billion) recorded in the same period last fiscal year.  During FY21, Sodhi said the company benefitted from a rise in demand for its branded consumer products like fresh…

Read More