Home > industry > retail > McCormick to launch its branded spices in India by year-end

New Delhi: US food ingredients manufacturer McCormick and Co. Inc. which sells Kohinoor packaged rice in India, will introduce its McCormick branded spices, herbs and seasonings here by end of this year, a top company executive said.

The American company, which reported revenue at $4.4 billion in 2016, is present in India since 1994 through various joint ventures. It bought 85% in Kohinoor Speciality Foods India Pvt Ltd for about $115 million in June 2011 and the rest of the stake in April this year.

“We will launch some of the spices and condiments, suited for western food, from our global range of McCormick brand in India by December," said Amit Mehta, managing director of Kohinoor Speciality Foods.

This means McCormick will now sell products under two brands in India, Kohinoor and McCormick. Kohinoor, which so far stuck to packaged basmati rice, will also start commercial production of Indian spices, ready-to-cook recipe mixes (such as Biryani) and ready-to-eat products by end of this month, said Mehta.

“We will roll out these products in Delhi and the National Capital Region in July and go national by end of the year," he added.

Some McCormick branded products will be introduced mainly at modern retail stores in metros towards the end of the year, said Mehta. Kohinoor branded products will have Indian flavours and McCormick branded products will have western spices.

McCormick entered India in 1994 with a 50:50 joint venture with Chennai-based supplier of ready-to-use spice ingredients AV Thomas Group to form AVT McCormick Ingredients that cleans and processes spices for the global market. In 2010, McCormick picked up a 26% stake in Kerala-based Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd for an estimated $35 million.

McCormick, which claims to have invested more than $150 million in India, is attempting to crack a market dominated by regional players. Of India’s estimated Rs40,000 crore spices market, just about 15% is branded and dominated by dominated by brands such as Catch, Everest, MDH and Ramdev, among others, according to a study by Technopak Advisors. Large packaged goods companies like ITC Ltd and Tata Chemicals Ltd, the maker of branded salt and pulses, have stepped into the spices segment during the past couple of years.

Ready-to-mix as a category is projected to grow at 15.7% annually to reach $284.4 million by 2020, according to Future Market Insights, a market research firm. “We would only sell authentic Indian flavours under Kohinoor, and we would change the way spices and ready mixes are sold. We will be selling smaller packets, and may be single use pouches, so that consumers can buy as much they want," said Mehta. Besides modern retail and kirana shops, the company will sell through speciality stores like meat shops, and online marketplaces such as Amazon and Big Basket, he added.

In a statement to NYSE on 21 April 2017, McCormick’s International business president Malcolm Swift said, “As a key emerging market, India presents exciting growth opportunities for McCormick. We have invested in India continuously for over two decades and are deeply committed to the ‘Kohinoor’ brand in this market. Our goal is to leverage ‘Kohinoor’ brand from a Basmati rice brand to a ‘Rice and Spice’ leader in this market through our passion for flavor."

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