Dairy maker Parag Milk Foods ventures into 100% vegetarian whey protein

Rs 110 crore invested in Maharashtra state manufacturing facility

By Salil Panchal Forbes India Staff
Published: Feb 15, 2017

Life is not a template and neither is mine. Like several who have worked as journalists, I am a generalist in my over two decade experience across print, global news wires and dotcom firms. But there has been one underlying theme in each phase; life gave me the chance to observe and tell a story -- from early days tracking a securities scam to terror attacks and some of India's most significant court trials. Besides writing, I have jumped fences to become an entrepreneur, as an investment advisor -- and also taught the finer aspects of business journalism to young minds. At Forbes India, I also keep an eye on some of its proprietary specials like the Rich list, GenNext and Celebrity lists. An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and H.R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, I have worked for organisations such as Agence France-Presse, Business Standard, The Financial Express and The Times of India prior to this.

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Protein-based foods are high in demand for Indians with a more active lifestyle (Image: Shutterstock - for illustrative purposes only)

Parag Milk Foods, India’s leading manufacturer of dairy-based branded foods, has announced its expansion into making whey protein. The brand, called “Avvataar Absolute whey protein” will be 100 percent vegetarian, gluten, sugar and lactose-free, and will seek to take on some of the global imported whey isolate protein brands.

Parag Milk Foods has invested Rs 110 crore in its manufacturing facility at Manchar in Maharashtra. Protein-based foods are high in demand for Indians with a more active lifestyle, who are keen to build muscle mass and also lose weight. Data from the National Sample Survey Organization’s (NSSO) household consumption expenditure survey indicates that the share of protein-rich items in overall food consumption has been on the rise in rural India.

“With changing life style there is growing interest of the younger generation towards sports and nutrition,” says Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods, in a press statement, explaining the rationale to manufacture whey protein.

Parag Food’s chief marketing officer, Mahesh Israni, said: “Being a cheese player we always had whey as a by-product which we wanted to convert into powder for sportsmen and athletes.” He said that the market size as per Euro Monitor of sports nutrition is projected to be at Rs.1,000 crore and is growing at a CAGR of 15 percent.

“Our go-to market strategy is in place and is customized with an emphasis to reach out to nutrition supplement stores, pharmacies, modern retail stores and e-commerce portals,” Israni said. The company will also educate gym trainers and owners, about the product and its advantages.

The protein will be offered in three flavours-Double chocolate, Vanilla snow crème and Café Mocha in two sizes 2 lbs and 5 lbs.

Parag Milk Foods Limited, established in 1992, has its own dairy farm, Bhagyalaxmi dairy farm Pvt Ltd where they host over 2000 holstein breed cows, which has mechanized milking process. Under brand “Gowardhan” the company offers products such as ghee, dahi (yogurt), paneer (cottage cheese) and under brand name “Go” they offer products like cheese, UHT milk and yoghurt.

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