Danone India makes Protinex as star brand for adult nutrition category

After acquisition of portfolio from Wockhardt, dairy and nutrition major Danone India has now chosen Protinex as its star brand in India. Danone maintains a balance between its dairy and nutrition portfolios in India and tilted its business in favour of the latter. In 2010, after splitting with Britannia, its contribution remains at less than 20 per cent of sales turnover, but nutrition dominates the rest. Managing Director of the company, Rodrigo Lima said “We have a balanced portfolio in most of the other markets. But in India, the dairy portfolio contributes less than 20 per cent of our turnover. In India, the cold chain is complicated and we have decided to do our own distribution servicing 6,000 outlets unlike the OTC-based distribution for our nutrition-based products which reaches two lakh outlets.

He added, “Almond milk is an interesting category and we could always look at it. It’s going to be our nutrition portfolio which is the star in the Indian market and we will focus on 50-year-old brands like Protinex is known to Indian consumers.’’

Competition is high in the dairy segment since Danone is pitted against both domestic and international players like Nestle. Investing heavily behind its nutrition portfolio, Danone’s portfolio currently comprises brands like Aptamil, Farex, Nusobee, Deolac and Neocate to address the needs of young infants, pregnant mothers and adults. Also they face competition from MNC giants like Abott Nutrition (PediaSure and Ensure) and even direct selling companies like Amway and Herbalife. Lima said “Since we acquired brands like Protinex and others from Wockdhart, we have changed the strategy from a medical product to an OTC model of distribution. Today, we have a 50 per cent share in the adult nutrition category and growing at a 20 per cent CAGR.”

“There are different tax slabs for Protinex alone where the malted drink variant of the brand attracts GST at 28 per cent, while the rest of the franchise is at 18 per cent,’’ said Lima.

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