Home / Industry / Retail /  iD Fresh Food to expand capacity, launch new products

Bengaluru: iD Fresh Food India Pvt. Ltd is ramping up its manufacturing capacity, launching new products, and planning to experiment with frozen versions of its popular idly and dosa batter to enter new geographies, a top executive said.

These strategies are expected to help iD achieve its goal of becoming a Rs1,000 crore company over the next 4-5 years, a plan that was temporarily affected by supply-chain disruptions after the goods and services tax (GST) was implemented. iD originally targeted a revenue of Rs230 crore in 2017-18 but now expects around Rs200 crore.

“We’re running a bit short this year. We had a lot of issues. (But) next year we have an ambitious target of Rs350 crore," said iD’s co-founder and chief executive P.C. Musthafa.

The change in GST rate on idly and dosa batter from 12% to 5%, led to traders ceasing to stock these products, and this impacted business badly for three months, he added. Indeed, fast-moving consumer goods businesses were temporarily hit after GST as the change in prices—due to tax rate changes—meant traders and distributors refused to stock many of their products as they would find it difficult to sell the stock at old rates.

Still, Musthafa is confident that the opportunities the company lost out on during those three months and the manufacturing capacity expansion should help.

iD has six manufacturing facilities across Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Dubai. It has started building three new plants, one each in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Dubai. It will close older plants in Mumbai and Dubai and consolidate all its south Indian plants into one large new plant in Bengaluru.

The company’s current capacity is around 1.5 million idlis per day. After its new plants come into play over the coming months, its capacity will go up to 10 million idlis a day.

“The ready-to-cook product market is on a steep rise in the top cities. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai etc have a large migrant population of professionals and are the largest market for these products. Once a good delivery model is set up, these products become household names and families become dependent on them for their daily meal," said Sreedhar Prasad, partner at KPMG in India.

iD also has a few product launches in store, including a vada batter that it counts as its biggest innovation so far. The vada batter—due to hit retail shelves shortly—will come in pouches that allow consumers to squeeze vadas directly into hot oil and eliminate the messy, time-consuming process of shaping them by hand.

It plans to expand its super-foods portfolio, which currently consists of ragi batter, into oats, wheat and other millets. In February, it will introduce filter coffee decoction and in March-April it will re-launch its tomato and coconut chutneys.

“We’re also contemplating launching our products in the frozen segment for markets outside our current coverage. Places like Ahmedabad, Surat where we are not planning to launch fresh batter immediately," Musthafa said.

The Bengaluru-based company, which estimates it has helped its consumers make 2.4 billion idlis over the past 12 years, will expand into Bahrain, Kuwait and Muscat after its new plant in Dubai comes on board. It is also looking at test-launching its products in the US.

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