Safal, the organised retail chain of Mother Dairy, is venturing into the frozen snacks market with aloo tikki, a segment dominated by McCain so far. Safal’s aloo tikki will be available across the country in modern and traditional retail formats by the end of this month. Interestingly, Safal has timed its entry into the segment when prices of potato have crashed by more than half in the past one month. “The frozen vegetable snacks market in India is currently pegged at `1,200 crore and it has the potential to grow manifold. Since we are already into frozen fruits and vegetables category, we thought that making a foray into the frozen snacks category will help us leverage this growth. We will offer frozen snacks with ethnic Indian taste like aloo methi,“ Pradipta Sahoo, business head (horticulture), Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetables, told ET. The company will use its existing channel partners to market its frozen snacks. “They will be available at our 400 stores in Delhi and NCR. All the modern retail outlets, including Metro Cash ‘n’ Carry, Spencers and Reliance Fresh will sell our frozen snacks as well,“ Sahoo added. Safal plans to procure good volumes of potatoes in advance to avoid fluctuations in potato prices. “We have developed infrastructure for storing potatoes and have the advantage of directly procuring vegetables and fruits from 10,000 farmers across 14 states. We procure 400-500 tonnes of fruits and vegetables daily to meet consumer demand,“ he said. Safal is aiming for a turnover of `720 crore in FY15 against `640 crore in FY14. “We are growing at a CAGR of 15% and our entry into frozen snacks category will spur growth,“ Sahoo added. Safal will be able to procure potatoes this season at a much lesser rate and indications are that prices will be on the lower side in the coming year as well. RP Gupta, director, National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation, said, “The climate this year is favourable for tuber production, and the crop size will be good as well. Prices have started falling since arrivals have improved from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.“ (Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai, December 12, 2014)
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