As food and beverage companies look to widen horizon by entering new markets, Indian wing of Australian premium cookies and biscuits maker Unibic looks towards India’s north-east side for expansion. Managing Director of Unibic Foods India Pvt. Ltd, Nikhil Sen said while setting up distribution networks in north Indian markets, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and eastern markets, including Bengal, Unibic found better traction among north-eastern consumers.
The MD said, “We have got a good response from some of the markets in the East, and in north-east in particular, where consumers are highly astute and are willing to pay. Their disposable incomes are probably higher than Bihar and the East. Unibic now has 150 distributors in the north-east that includes markets like Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
About 55-60 per cent of Unibic’s sales volumes come from south India where Kerala is the highest contributor. “When it comes to the north, we have received good feedback from the metro markets – Delhi NCR in particular. UP and Jaipur are still a setback and we have to put the distribution in place,” Sen said.
North and east India are two of India’s largest markets by population. However, they are difficult to sell in, especially for new brands, because distribution here is dominated by wholesalers and so is more unorganized and driven by cash. For Unibic, which sells mostly premium-priced goods, these markets will be a challenge because consumers in northern and eastern India are known to be more price-sensitive.