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Domestic food market gets exciting
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 29-09-11
      Small domestic food companies continue to be bullish about India's consumption story, despite inflation and interest costs cutting into purchasing power in consumers' hands.

      A rate of penetration of packed foods of 5% only is potential enough for many and the key reason to expand the market and investments.

      Mumbai-based Capital Foods, maker of Smith & Jones and Ching's brand of noodles, for example, is reportedly looking to launch a range of products from ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat, snacks and beverages. A definite time frame for the launch is not yet given, but the MD of the company, Ajay Gupta, indicated that the products would be rolled out in the next few months.

      A similar strategy is followed by Gurgaon-based LT Foods, which markets the Daawat basmati rice. The firm is looking to roll out a range of products in the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat space, Vijay Kumar Arora, managing director of the company said.

      ADF in Mumbai will mark it re-entry into the Indian market with he launch of its pickles, chutneys, sauces and pastas range by November. The firm marketed the popular Mother's Recipe brand of pickles a few years ago, which it subsequently offloaded to focus on its international business. "The time was now ripe for its entry back into the domestic market", says Bimal Thakkar, managing director of ADF.

      Rival Kohinoor Foods, known in several markets for its basmati rice, has already taken a lead with a range of ready-to-eat, spices & seasonings, frozen foods, sauces and cooking pastes.

      "The domestic food space is getting exciting as Indians open up to new food habits", Arora says.

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