ITC plans entry in fruit juices

Diversified consumer goods giant ITC plans to scale up its branded packaged foods business with a foray into the ready-to-drink (RTD) fruit juice business. The company is likely to introduce its first product within two months, said industry sources.

India's packaged fruit juice market, estimated at Rs 1,000 crore, is currently growing at 15-20% annually, according to estimates by ratings firm Nielsen. Dabur, with its brands Real and Real Activ, controls 54% of the market while PepsiCo is the second-player with a 28-30% share.

The company, however, refused to comment on the development and the timeline of the launch. "We do not comment on market speculation or future strategies," the spokesperson said in an email to HT.

At present, ITC, with business interests in tobacco, lifestyle retailing, hospitality and consumer goods, has two food factories in the country at Haridwar and Ranjangaon. The firm, which boasts of an annual revenue of Rs 36,072 crore, currently draws small numbers from its food and personal care business. However, the company sees the segment as a growth driver for the future. 

In the packaged foods business, the company already has a portfolio of brands in biscuits, wafers, wheat flour and noodles. In June 2011, the company entered the Rs 3,124-crore noodles market with its Sunfeast brand and has already managed to capture about 6% marketshare.

 

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