Dabur packs hot & sweet basket
|The fourth largest FMCG company in the country is planning to source honey and chilli from the Northeast for its packaged food products|
Guwahati, Aug. 11: Dabur India Limited is expanding its sourcing basket from the Northeast and has plans to procure honey and chilli from the region.
“We are actively exploring expanding our sourcing basket from the Northeast. Some of the raw materials being assessed from the region include honey and chilli,” Dabur India head-sourcing Somit Mukherjee told The Telegraph.
Dabur’s FMCG portfolio today includes five flagship brands. While Dabur is the master brand for natural healthcare products, Vatika stands for personal care, Hajmola for digestives, Réal for fruit juices and beverages and Fem for fairness bleaches and skincare products.
The company is the largest player in the branded honey market, commanding over 75 per cent of the total share. The honey is currently sourced selectively from the Himalayas, the Nilgiris and the Sunderbans.
Mukherjee said the company sourced an assortment of herbs and spices directly and indirectly from the Northeast. In addition to some key herbs used in its Ayurvedic preparations, some key raw materials largely sourced from states of the region, including Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, include ginger, cinnamon, large cardamom and bay leaf.
The company’s executive director, sales, George Angelo, said the region was also a key market for some of Dabur’s beauty care and packaged fruit juice products.
“The key categories that are showing strong growth for Dabur in the region are personal care, beauty care, Réal packaged juices and Hajmola digestives. The consumers in the Northeast are highly evolved and their awareness levels on beauty care solutions in particular are high. Even when it comes to packaged juices under the brand Réal, the Northeast market has been driving demand for more exotic variants like plum and apricot juices as compared to the regular variants,” Angelo said.
He said while demand for exotic fruit juices and natural beauty care products had been growing at a steady pace in the region, distribution and last mile availability was always a challenge.
Dabur has addressed this distribution challenge through its Project Double that seeks to significantly enhance the company’s distribution footprint across India.
“Assam has been included as a focus state in this initiative, wherein we have doubled our direct distribution coverage in the key states to ensure higher penetration and last mile availability of products. Besides, trade promotions are being customised and focused servicing offered through a dedicated sales team in these markets,” Angelo said.
According to Spices Board, the Northeast has tremendous potential for largescale production of spices and it is anticipated that the region can create exportable surplus at competitive prices, ensuring that the country stays on top in the international spice market.
The board has proposed an outlay of Rs 66.75 crore in the Twelfth Plan focussing on development of large cardamom and other spices with respect to area expansion, irrigation and land development, mechanisation, organic farming and post-harvest processing.
In the Northeast, Nagaland honey is doing exceptionally well and has been certified organic. The state has already set a target to produce 2,000 metric tonnes of the product by 2020.
“Our production has been steadily increasing and we have set a target of producing 2,000 metric tonnes by 2020. The target looks stiff but we will try all our best to achieve it,” an official of the Nagaland Beekeeping and Honey Mission recently said.
The state is the first in the country to have a honey mission and has been taking a number of initiatives to promote the natural sweetener.
When it comes to the region’s chillies, Guinness World Records declared bhut jolokia as the world’s hottest chilli in 2007, bringing the Northeast produce into global focus.