Sep 10, 2018
Hindustan Lever is all set to achieve topmost position in the ever-growing ice creams and frozen desserts category in the coming years and simultaneously planning to widespread its wings in infrastructure and unit expansion, stated a top company official.
HUL is hopeful for the volume growth with a planned strategy to go deeper with the frozen treat category in the following years piloted by several factors such as creating more cold chain facilities, developing a better way for the availability and supply of electricity in rural areas enforcing safer food habits and rising generous incomes in tier I & II cities.
HUL, has recently acquired Karnataka-based ice cream brand Adityaa, will also continue to pursue growth opportunities to expand its reach deep further in the state, the official said.
“We are very bullish on this product category in India. We are targeting market leadership here in the next few years,” HUL Executive Director, Foods & Refreshment Sudhir Sitapati declared.
“For this, we are willing to invest for growth; to see it continue to grow at high double-digit volumes for us in the coming years.”
According to him, the competition is very high in this segment and needs a considerable amount of investment in building production and cold chain facilities before actual realization of profit and sustain the position in long run.
“Unilever, being the global leader in the ice creams and frozen desserts business understands the subtleties well. We will continue to invest for growth behind building infrastructure and physical expansion and building stronger brands,” Sitapati added.
“In our estimates, the Indian market is growing at 10-15 per cent annually, and with the right inputs, it will continue growing at this pace,” he added.
“HUL’s brand includes — Kwality Wall’s, Magnum and Cornetto to cater at different price points. Adding to the known brands, regional brands like Adityaa would enhance in both distribution and portfolio in its fold”, Sitapati added.
“Each brand fulfils the needs of a specific consumer segment. India is a large, developing market that we see an opportunity for growth across all segments,” he said adding “we are seeing growth across various segments and brands.
Magnum shall progress to cater the premium ice cream segment, Cornetto and Feast from Kwality Wall’s range would continue to play in the high growth mid-segment.
“Interestingly, wherever we introduce Magnum across the country, we see demand for it, which shows the strength of the brand and the increasing willingness of Indian consumers to pay for premium products,” said Sitapati.
When asked about the acquisition opportunities, he said it “will look at all forms of expansion opportunities. We are always evaluating viable options. HUL evaluates proposals for Mergers and Acquisitions from time to time as part of its strategy to grow its businesses. Any such proposal that has a strategic fit in our portfolio is considered for evaluation,” Sitapati added.