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‘We expect to grow our foods business by 25-30% on an annual basis’- Asheesh Sharma, Vice President – Marketing, Agro Tech Foods Ltd

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Sundrop has launched a new cereal, Choco Popz, a product that is positioned as ideal for snacking all during the day. Asheesh Sharma, Vice President – Marketing at Agro Tech Foods Ltd gives us the insight behind this product, the upcoming pipeline of products which will see the company have a broader presence in the Cereals portfolio and Sweet snacks segment and how Agro Tech expects to grow its foods business by 25-30% on an annual business.


 What was the insight behind entering the Breakfast Cereals and the Chocolates categories, a segment that is over-crowded?

While the breakfast cereal category is over-crowded, the centre-filled cereal is just starting to grow. Sundrop Choco popz is a multigrain product with a dark chocolatey centre, made with a focus on delighting consumers through its superior and much tastier offering. The product Sundrop Choco Popz is a snack cereal, which one can have either as a breakfast cereal or a snack. There are few inclinations, which are driving the growth of the snacks market in India. Increased health consciousness, especially in the metros and Tier I cities, has led to consumers having smaller portions through the day and more frequently. While breakfast, lunch and dinner are still prevalent, new occasions like a pre-breakfast, pre-lunch, pre-evening, pre-dinner and an after-dinner are becoming a trend. As per a study conducted, pre-lunch snack is said to be the preferred meal among youngsters, on-the-go professionals and kids. Capitalizing on the trends and prevailing consumption patterns, the idea was to launch a product that can satisfy the Indian sweet palette and is yet healthy for a guilt free bite.

Why did you choose to enter this space with a cereal, Choco Popz? How did you arrive at the price-point?

We already have our presence in the snacks market – sweet snacks market is still not a big category and has a huge potential to grow with the right proposition. Our entry in the sweet snacks market with Choco popz is with a healthy yet indulgent offering to tap the bigger consumer market and open new consumption occasions.

Sweet snacks as a category was operational in higher price points only while savoury snacks starts from Rs.5/Rs.10 price points. To cater to the mass pool of the snacks market we have launched at value offering of Rs.10 price point for low pricing barrier on trials. Our Rs.60 pack for 140g is for our regular consumers, it is a re-sealable pack for easy storing/multiple consumption pack.

What is the TG that you are looking at?

Teenagers and Young adults are our primary TG for the product. The dark chocolatey burst that one gets will be the biggest attraction of our product. The multigrain shell is a healthy add-on and hence a healthy yet indulgent offering that this TG will be happy to eat without the baggage of unhealthy indulgence.

What is the marketing strategy that you are looking? What is the media and which will be the lead medium?

We have a plan to advertise through mass media as well as digitally. We also have extensive plans to create awareness amongst consumers through in-shop activations and product trials.

What is the growth that Agro Tech Foods has seen over the last year, in terms of sales and revenues?

ATFL, over a period of last few years has seen a great growth in the foods business. We have grown our foods business by around 20% year on year. With the launch of Choco Popz and through our innovation pipeline starting with chocolate, we expect to grow our foods business by 25-30% on an annual basis.

Looking ahead, what can we expect from Agro Tech Foods (more product launches in the offing)?

Definitely, we have a huge innovation pipeline for the coming years. You will start to see our broader presence in the Cereals portfolio and Sweet snacks segment. We are also going to enter the chocolate category with our new launches.


About the author / 

Simran Sabherwal

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