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Business News/ Companies / Catch aims to double spice business, with eyes on southern markets
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Catch aims to double spice business, with eyes on southern markets

Catch that sells packaged salt and spices is owned by Noida-based DS Group. It generates around ₹1,000 crore in annual sales.

Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, DS GroupPremium
Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, DS Group

NEW DELHI:DS Group, the entity behind the popular Catch brand of spices, is looking to increase its market footprint, aiming to achieve sales of 2,000 crore in the next two to three years and further boosting it to 5,000 crore in five to six years. This growth is expected to come from a blend of expanding market reach and heightened marketing efforts.

Currently, Catch spices generate around 1,000 crore in annual sales.

According to Rajiv Kumar, the vice chairman of DS Group, the company's immediate strategy revolves around enhancing marketing initiatives and increasing distribution and penetration into tier 2 and tier 3 cities. “We have enough manufacturing facilities right now. Our main focus is marketing…Second is going to the tier 2, tier 3 cities, to get better distribution and penetration. We are also ramping and adding to our sales and marketing teams," Kumar explained.

In the 2023-24 fiscal year, DS Group allocated 100 crore to market its salt and spices, after engaging celebrities like Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar in 2022 to endorse the products. 

With its strong presence in northern India, where Catch holds a 9% market share, the company plans to break into southern markets and explore new product categories. In the premium salt, or table top salt, category, Catch enjoys a far bigger share of 80-90%.

Kumar noted that the brand is already broadening its portfolio, having recently entered the gourmet gravies market and eyeing future expansions into condiments.

Beyond spices, Catch also offers bottled water, fizzy beverages, and nuts. Its products are distributed through more than 700,000 outlets via over 1,500 distributors.

This expansion strategy aligns with the broader trends in India's spice market, which is poised to reach 50,000 crore by 2025, with branded spices expected to account for half of the market, according to a note by investment bank Avendus Capital. 

As such, spice companies are exploring new markets to encourage a shift from unbranded to branded spice mixes.

The DS Group's Catch brand competes with Dabur-owned Badshah, ITC's Sunrise, and MDH.

DS Group's Catch brand of salt and spices competes with Dabur-owned Badshah, ITC's Sunrise, and MDH in the spices market.

Amid a largely unorganized market populated with many regional and local brands, several major companies have been increasing their market presence. For instance, in 2021, the diverse conglomerate ITC Ltd, known for its range from cigarettes to cookies, acquired Kolkata-based Sunrise Foods for an estimated 2,100 crore. The following year, Dabur India, a leading Indian consumer goods company, purchased a majority stake in Badshah Masala, valuing the deal at 587.52 crore.

DS Group, meanwhile, is not only enhancing its existing portfolio under the Catch label but is also open to inorganic growth opportunities, if it spots a “good opportunity". Kumar said. 

Last year, the company extended its product range by acquiring The Good Stuff Pvt. Ltd, known for its LuvIt chocolates and confections.

DS Group, with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion, operates across a diverse range of industries including mouth fresheners, food and beverages, confectionery, as well as hospitality and luxury retail. The company's portfolio includes well-known brands like Rajnigandha, Catch, Pulse, and Pass Pass.

The group operates several food and grocery retail formats such as L’Opera, Le Marche, and Laderach chocolates, and manages six hotels across India, including the Manu Maharani hotel in Nainital and a Holiday Inn Express in Kolkata.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 17 Apr 2024, 04:41 PM IST
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