R. Mukundan, managing director, Tata Chemicals.
R. Mukundan, managing director, Tata Chemicals.

Tata to enter spices market under Tata Sampann brand

All its existing products, such as I-Shakti besan and pulses, will now come under the Tata Sampann brand, except the iconic Tata Salt

New Delhi: Tata Chemicals Ltd, maker of branded salt and pulses, on Thursday announced its entry into the spices business, as part of its aim to treble revenues from the consumer products business to 5,000 crore in the next four years.

The Tata group company is launching its spices under a newly created umbrella brand— Tata Sampann. All its existing products, such as I-Shakti besan (gram flour) and pulses, will now come under the Tata Sampann brand, except the iconic Tata Salt.

“All our future products in the consumer products and food segment will be launched under Tata Sampann, which will be addressing the need gaps in the Indian consumer market over a period. One of the key categories is the ready-to-assemble food segment," said R. Mukundan, managing director, Tata Chemicals.

Tata Chemicals plans to focus on quality assurance and play in the “above mass-market space with better value propositions", said Mukundan.

Besides 100-gram packs, Tata Sampann is launching single-use sachets of spices (five small sachets of 20gm each in a 100gm packet) that the company thinks will offer better value. Initially, it is launching chilli, turmeric and coriander powders and a few mixed spices.

“Tata Sampann will focus on offering everyday nourishing foods that form a part of the Indian thali, as they enable delivery of health and wellness to a wide cross-section of consumers," Richa Arora, chief operating officer (consumer products business), Tata Chemicals, said.

Tata Chemicals has been selling pulses since 2010 under the I-Shakti brand that is available at over 70,000 retail outlets.

The same network will be used for spices and products that the company will launch in the future.

Pulses, according to industry estimates, account for over 100 crore of the company’s business.

Tata Chemicals has a strong presence in fertilizers, chemicals, crop-protection chemicals, speciality fertilizers and branded food products and food additives. Its consolidated revenue for fiscal year ended 31 March was 17,202 crore, according to filings with the BSE.

The overall food market in India, according to Mukundan, is estimated at about 6 trillion crore. The packaged food market was estimated at $20 billion ( 1.29 trillion) in 2014, according to a study by retail consulting firm Technopak Advisors.

“This is a huge opportunity for us," added Mukundan.

The spices market in India is estimated at 40,000 crore. Of this, just about 15% is branded, dominated by brands such as Catch, Everest, MDH and Ramdev, among others, according to a study by Technopak Advisors.

Tata Chemicals engages with 150,000 farmers across four states for sourcing pulses, in an initiative led by Rallis India Ltd, a Tata enterprise. “We monitor the entire supply chain—from farm to consumers in order to ensure quality," said Mukundan.

Tata Chemicals is expanding its retail footprint to about 2.5 million outlets, from the current 1.43 million.

However, other fast moving consumer goods(FMCG) and packaged foods companies have wider retail presence.

ITC Ltd products are available at 4.3 million retail outlets, Hindustan Unilever Ltd reaches about 6.3 million outlets and Swiss packaged food company Nestle India Ltd’s total reach is 4.5 million stores.

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