Photo: AFP  (AFP)
Photo: AFP (AFP)

Nestle India adds new products, other than Maggi noodles

The company launched a range of Greek yogurt and Nescafe Choco Mocha coffee this week, and KIT KAT Duo chocolate bar last month

New Delhi: Nestle India Ltd, the local arm of Swiss packaged food company Nestle S.A., has started adding new products in segments other than Maggi noodles, in a bid to reduce its dependence on the popular snack that accounted for 30% of its total sales in 2014.

On Thursday, it launched a new range of Greek Yoghurt called Nestle a+ Grekyo.

Nestle a+ Grekyo is a further brand extension of the Nestle a+ range which will be available in several variants like strawberry, mango, pineapple and orange, specifically tailored for the Indian consumer, the company said in a statement.

Arvind Bhandari, general manager (dairy), Nestlé India, said, “We have introduced this product for the first time in India. Globally, the Greek Yoghurt category came into prominence less than a decade back and in certain countries it has already captured a major share of the entire Yoghurt market. In India, this category is still at a nascent stage but we are confident that Nestlé will lead the global trend for the Indian consumers soon."

a+ Grekyo is the company’s second launch in the last one week, and the third in the past one month. Earlier this week, it launched Nescafe Choco Mocha, and in March it introduced its chocolate KIT KAT Duo to follow the two new chocolates it had launched in the quarter ended 31 December.

Nestle a+ Grekyo is priced at 30 for 100 grams, while Nescafe Choco Mocha is priced at 100 for 75-gram packets that contain five sachets (five servings). Nescafe Choco Mocha is a ready-to-make mixture that requires consumers to add only water to the powder to get the drink ready.

“Currently, competitors Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Tata do not have such offerings in the market. We believe this step up in innovation is a step in the right direction from Nestle as it recently lost value leadership (first time in a decade) to HUL (was always the volume leader) in the coffee segment," Abneesh Roy, analyst with Edelweiss Securities, said in a note on 20 April.

It has also been active in the noodles business, where it relaunched Maggi masala noodles in November, a chicken variant in February and two more variants, vegetable atta and oats, on 19 April.

Nestle’s diversification plan was spelt out by Suresh Narayanan immediately after he came to India as its chairman and managing director in July last year.

At that time, Nestle India was in the midst of a controversy after India’s food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned the sale and manufacturing of Maggi on 5 June, citing presence of flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate and excess lead. Nestle India could not sell the product for six months in 2015.

Over the next few quarters, Nestle has lined up product launches in dairy, chocolate and confectionery categories. “The focus will be on adding value to existing products and strategic new launches," Narayanan had said on 10 March.

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