Image: Mexy Xavier
Future Consumer, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) arm of the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group, will soon be manufacturing and retailing food products in the health and wellness space in India in partnership with New York-based Hain Celestial.
“Chips, baby food and non-dairy milk products are the first few categories in which we are entering,” says Kishore Biyani, founder and chief executive officer of Future Group. The chips would be manufactured at the company’s plant in Tumkur, Karnataka. The production capacity at the factory is 150 kg per hour of output and the chips would be retailed across company-owned supermarket chains like Big Bazaar and Foodhall.
While the chips brand, Terra, was retailed in India before the partnership was forged, Biyani says this partnership will help in significantly reducing the cost of the chips as they will be manufactured in India. “It currently sells at around Rs 400 per pack, and we hope to bring it down to a little less than Rs 100,” he says.
The baby food and non-dairy milk products will be imported for now, but Biyani adds that work is in progress to start manufacturing those in India as well. He, however, refused to share the total investment for this.
“We have the products, he [Biyani] has the distribution, and we are able to do this at affordable prices,” says Irwin Simon, CEO of The Hain Celestial Group, talking about the 50:50 joint venture. The company is known for its focus on organic, natural and healthy products and he hopes to bring the same strategy to India. “Spreads and herbal tea would be the other categories we would consider expanding into,” he shares.
Hain Celestial is present in over 65 countries globally and has a turnover of $3 billion annually. “We had sales worth $1 billion in the UK and about $2 billion in the US. The strategy is to take what we have been able to do there and bring it here,” says Simon, adding that he sees a huge growth potential in India. They are looking to work closely with farmers to source ingredients locally and also export from India to neighbouring countries.
Rajnish Ohri, MD, India Tilda Hain India Pvt Ltd, (part of the US's Hain Celestial Group) added that the company is looking at acquisitions of startups. “We have a budget of $1-$5 million for this,” says Ohri.