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Mother Dairy chalks strategy to enhance retail visibility

Dharini Nagarajan

Ten thousand more outlets planned for the juice brand Safal this year.

New Delhi , March 10

Mother Dairy India, the marketing arm of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has chalked out a new growth strategy for the company this year.

It is planning to strengthen and expand its distribution network, especially for the Safal brand and introduce more varieties of processed food products.

"We are targeting to add another 8,000 to 10,000 outlets for the Safal brand this year," Mr Paul Thachil, CEO, Mother Dairy India, told Business Line. In particular, Mother Dairy is looking to increase availability of its Safal fruit juices in local outlets as well as emerging retail formats such as foodmarts. The Rs 180-crore fruit juices segment is witnessing a 25 per cent growth rate and Mother Dairy along with other players wants to cash in on the rising demand.

"We hope to garner a 10 to 15 per cent market share in the juices segment in the next two to three years," said Mr Thachil. Mother Dairy is aiming to expand the reach of its juices in the "top 50 towns in the country" this year.

Meanwhile in an attempt to "increase retail visibility", the company has decided to increase its ad and marketing spend. "We should be hiking our ad budgets by 20-25 per cent," said Mr Thachil, adding that the earmarked amount would be "significant and adequate at this point of time". Apart from introducing two new flavours in the juices category, the company is working on rolling out more varieties of its milk-based products.

"We are evaluating options to introduce more varieties and flavours in cheese, ice-creams and yoghurt-based items," Mr Thachil said.

Currently milk-based products by Mother Dairy include ice-creams, dahi (curd), lassi, flavoured milk, butter, cheese and dairy whitener. Mr Thachil said that a couple of new products were on the anvil, but declined to divulge further details.

With regard to Mother Dairy's decision to go national last year, Mr Thachil said that the company had extended its operations to sell its brand of milk-based products such as curd, ice-creams, lassi, butter and ghee across the country. The company has already entered the Mumbai and Hyderabad markets, and is now planning to launch its butter and cheese in Bangalore and Kolkata.

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