You would be surprised to know that nearly 45% of the products sold by Cadbury chocolate maker Mondelez in India are born locally. These include the ubiquitous Gems candy and chocolates 5-star and Bournville. The company is now looking to add more local products and innovations to its portfolio, Mondelez India MD Deepak Iyer said on Monday.
The American confectionery, food and beverage maker has been present in India for over 70 years and this is one of its fastest-growing markets globally. Iyer said that sales in India have been growing in “double-digits”, and there has been no impact from concerns around slowdown or rural distress.
“We had a healthy double-digit growth in our India business last year, and the same momentum was recorded in the first quarter of 2019 as well,” he told TOI. It is believed that the Mondelez’s sales in India had topped Rs 6,000 crore in 2018, though the company – that also sells brands such as health drink Bournvita and Oreo biscuits – refused to confirm the same.
Iyer said that a large part of growth for the company is led by its Cadbury’s chocolate portfolio, which contributes over 50% to its revenues. The rest is led by brands that were developed out of India, but now also sell in other countries and regions. These include countries such as China, Brazil, and the South-East Asia region and Middle-East.
The company launched a low-sugar version of the Cadbury chocolate, and this has taken nearly two years to develop at the R&D centres at Mumbai and the UK. “We have been looking at innovations so that different types of customers have a product of their choice. The new Cadbury chocolate comes with 30% less sugar, and this is similar to what we did with the Tang powdered beverage where we now sell with 20% less sugar. In the women’s segment, Bournvita does not come with any added sugar.”
Mondelez can look at introducing less-sugar versions of other chocolate brands as well, “though there are no immediate plans” in this regard, Iyer added.
India sells the largest number of product units for Mondelez globally, though the revenue realisation from the sale may not be as high as in other developed countries. “In chocolates, we sold nearly 3 billion packets in the Rs 5 and above category last year.”
Iyer said market is expected to remain strong this year with momentum provided by both urban and rural markets. “Rural is growing faster for us, and its contribution has increased from 10-12% a few years back to 20% now.”
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