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Emami adds spice to portfolio

The Indian spice market is estimated to be worth Rs 80,000 crore but only a fifth of it is packed and branded

  • Published 21.08.19, 2:22 AM
  • Updated 21.08.19, 2:22 AM
  • a min read
Aditya Vardhan Agarwal in Calcutta on Tuesday. Picture by Pabitra Das

Emami Agrotech, the second largest edible oil producer in India, has forayed into the spice market, hoping to capitalise on its existing brand pull and distribution network.

The company will enter the market with 11 varieties of popular Indian spices to start with and only sell in Bengal where it has a dominant market position in edible oil.

The Indian spice market is estimated to be worth Rs 80,000 crore but only a fifth of it is packed and branded. While Everest is the largest player nationally, the branded market is dotted with several strong regional brands.

While MTR is a mighty player in the South, Ashok and Goldiee are strong players in the North. Likewise, Sunrise and Cookme are some of the dominant player in the East where Emami is first stepping out with its “Healthy & Tasty Mantra” brand.

“We think spices is a natural diversification. Emami edible oils are already in the kitchen where the spices will find place. Moreover, the distribution network and point of sale for edible oil and spices are the same,” Aditya Vardhan Agarwal, director of Emami Group, said.

Healthy & Tasty and Best Choice are two umbrella brands of edible oil of Emami Agro, apart from vanaspati Rasoi which the company acquired in 2014.

The company has put up a plant in Haldia for packing and processing spices. It plans to step outside Bengal from the next fiscal. Bengal is a Rs 1,200-crore market for packed masala and growing 25 per cent compared with 15 per cent nationally.

Agarwal said spice will become a Rs 1,500-crore business in five years, by when the company hopes to have a national footprint.

Edible oil

Emami said it is going ahead with the expansion of its edible oil refinery capacity with additional investment in Haldia and Kandla, despite the general slowdown in consumption.

Agarwal said the company has not felt any downturn in the edible oil business yet and hence it is going ahead with its 4,000-tonne-per-day expansion with an estimated investment of Rs 700 crore.

The new 2,500 unit at Kandla will be operational in the next 12 months while the expansion at the existing unit at Haldia for Rs 200 crore would be complete by December. Emami Agrotech is going to have 10,000 TPD capacity across Haldia, Krishnapatnam and Kandla.