Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dabur forays hard surface cleaner mart

Consumer goods major Dabur India Limited Tuesday launched Dazzl, the company’s latest floor cleaner in South India, and signed actor Khusboo as its brand ambassador.
Two variants, Dazzl Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner and Dazzl Disinfectant Floor Cleaner,were launched, aiming to tap the high growth opportunity in this category, a top official of the company said.
Girish Kumar, senior general manager, Home Care, Dabur, said a new product was being launched by the company after a gap of 10 years.
“It is a well-researched product and the respective variants are made using unique formulae like SQL Activ and Dirt Trap Technology, respectively,” he said.
Dazzl will be initially introduced in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka by the Rs 2234 crore worth Dabur,which forayed into the home care market in 2004 with brands like Odonil, Sanifresh, Odomos and Odopic, before acquiring Balsara.
Dabur’s home care portfolio registered a growth of 35% in 2006-07, a company press release said.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Britannia cracks Chutkule to take on ITC, Pepsico

Britannia and ITC Foods are set for a battle cry in the snack food market now. Biscuit major Britannia is re-entering the snacks segment with a big nationwide push behind Chutkule brand. This will see the the Nusli Wadia-controlled company taking on the might of Pepsico’s Lay’s and Kurkure and ITC Bingo, launched early this year. Britannia, which made a rather tepid entry into snacks in the past, and ITC are already locked in a marketplace slugfest for dominance in biscuits. “The snacking space in India is huge and we will certainly focus on expanding our range here. But we will not replicate the products present here and are keen to enter the snacking market in our own distinctive way,” said Neeraj Chandra, VP (Marketing, Sales & Innovation), Britannia. Chutkule, launched into the market with one variant, is expanding the range in a bid to carve out a distinct space in the segment. “ This market it is all about variety, creating new sensations and being available at all locations. The market has both organised and unorganised players and finding the right flavours and differentiation is the current challenge,” he added. The company is likely to even look at bakery products that could be introduced in the snacks segment. Britannia had earlier ventured into the snacks market with its brand Snax, which was slowly phased out . The organised snacks market is around Rs 2,000 crore, growing at 15-20%. Frito Lay is the market leader with its Kurkure and Lay’s brand. But catching up is ITC’s Bingo, which aims at garnering 50% market share in the next two years. Britannia’s other focus in the market is the growing adult indulgence segment, which it has now entered with Pure Magic cookies and is going ahead with plans to expand this portfolio. “ We think its a segment that is showing very healthy growth and we expect to extend our portfolio in this segment. It also gives us a chance to upgrade our margins and improve realisations. We will look at rolling out Pure Magic cookies across other metros, we have so far restricted it to Delhi and Bangalore,” he added.

Amul in multinational arena with snack launch

Taking a cue from the success of ITC's Bingo, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), universally known for its dairy products brand Amul, has decided to enter the branded snacks market with Munch Time, a salty snack much like Frito Lay’s Kurkure in taste.

The product is being test-marketed in Gujarat and is expected to be rolled out nationally in two months. Priced at Rs 5 a packet, the snack is targeted at teenagers and children.

The branded snacks segment has recently seen a surge in activity with the high-decibel entry of ITC’s Bingo, which has quickly grabbed 15 to 16 per cent share of the Rs 2,000 crore market from leader Frito Lay.

GCMMF first made Munch Time, which comes in masala, tomato and mint flavours, for the government’s mid-day meal programme. However, the cooperative has been quick to spot its potential in the fast-growing branded snacks segment.

“We had been thinking about launching this product for quite some time. We manufacture it at our facility in Gujarat. Based on the response to the test-marketing, we will consider a nation-wide launch,” said R S Sodhi, general manager, marketing, GCMMF.

The new snack has, however, already found its way into many stalls in neighbouring Maharashtra.

The launch of Munch Time is a significant departure for Amul, whose core business is milk and dairy products.

But the company’s distribution muscle is expected to help the company reach out to a large number of outlets. ITC’s vast distribution is seen as the key to Bingo’s success. It enjoys an exclusive presence in some shops including big retail outlets.

The new edge of competition has led Frito Lay to undertake a massive brand-building exercise for its brands.

Sodhi said GCMMF’s main challenge will be brand building. The company has already begun working on a campaign for the new product through its advertising agency FCB. The company aims to highlight its “nutritional value”.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

M&A wave hits consumer goods space; Dabur, HLL, Marico on prowl

Merger and acquisitions is the toast of the season and a full platter of deals is expected to hit the table very soon in the consumer goods space involving leading players like HLL, Dabur, Marico and United Spirits.
A number of consumer goods firms have sounded out their advisors and investment bankers with takeover plans in both domestic and international markets, while the likes of Dabur, HLL and United Spirits are actively eyeing growth through inorganic route, merchant banking sources said.
FMCG and healthcare products maker Dabur is holding discussions on a number of potential acquisitions, including Singapore’s beauty products manufacturer Unza Holdings, although it has been deterred by the high valuations being demanded by its target companies, the sources said.
Dabur’s top management team told analysts at a conference organised by investment banking giant Citigroup earlier this month that the price asked by most targets was too high and the company would wait for the right opportunity.
However, Dabur conceded that it was actively looking for acquisitions in both domestic and overseas markets.
The analysts believe that Dabur’s successful experience with past acquisitions has further boosted its appetite and it could continue to adopt inorganic growth route for complementing its existing product portfolios and expansion into the new segments and markets.
The company had recently acquired Balsara Hygiene at an attractive valuation, which it turned around within six months, and also got access to fast growing home care segment besides expanding its oral care portfolio.