Tetrapack touch to Del Monte juices

Calcutta: US packaged food and beverage brand Del Monte is set to expand its product range in the country.

The company will test its presence in the Rs 3,500-crore tetra pack fruit juice market, where multinationals such as PepsiCo (Tropicana) and Coca-Cola (Minute Maid) fight it out with domestic players such as Dabur (Real Fruit Juice).

"The tetra pack juice market is growing and we want to be present in the segment. We have tested, on a pilot basis, 1 litre packs in some markets and, from December, we would look to scale up presence in the retail outlets. We are bullish on the growth prospects in the category," said Yogesh Bellani, CEO of FieldFresh Pvt Ltd.

Bellani said the company's expansion into various parts of the country will depend on its partnership with the local manufacturers of tetra packs.

FieldFresh has its manufacturing unit at Hosur in Tamil Nadu. Bellani said the company has invested around Rs 175 crore over the last four years.

The Del Monte brand entered India in 2007 through a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Del Monte Pacific Ltd. The joint venture is called FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd.

The Del Monte group owns around 95 per cent of the holding company, which in turn holds 50 per cent of FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd.

The company's retail offering includes pasta, olive oil, sauces, dips, spreads, fruit juices, packaged fruits and vegetables. It also exports corns, peas, chillies and herbs.

According to Bellani, demonetisation in November last year had affected the company in the subsequent quarters. This was followed by the introduction of the goods and service tax from the second quarter.

FieldFresh hopes demand to revive in the second half of this fiscal year.


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