Sunday, 24 September 2023 04:13 GMT

'Freezing Ensures The Freshness Of The Veggies Is Locked,' Says Godrej Tyson Foods CEO

(MENAFN- IANS) By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi, May 30 (IANSlife) Around 55 per cent of Indians binge on frozen foods as a mood uplifter on various occasions, as per the 'STTEM - Safety, Technology, Taste, Ease and Mood Uplifter' report by Godrej Yummiez. However, the myth that frozen foods contain preservatives is a concern amongst consumers.
The same report highlights about 51 per cent of Indians feel preservative-free frozen snacks would guilt-rid them off frequent snacking and 65 per cent of Indians confessed to indulging in any-time snacking, consumers want preservative-free frozen snacks which will enable them to snack guilt-free.
A common misconception is that frozen food is not nutritious; however, for the most part this is untrue. To learn more about frozen vegetables, ready-to-cook products, and the process involves IANSlife spoke with Abhay Parnerkar, Chief Executive Officer of Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd., which has just expanded into frozen products.
Read excerpt:
Why the focus on frozen veggies and veg products?
Abhay: The frozen foods category is estimated to be around INR 3,500 crore market. The reason behind the focus on frozen vegetables and veg ready-to-cook products is that it is more convenient than regular produce and is pre-washed, pre-cut, and ready to use. This makes it easier for people to incorporate more veggies into their diet, especially for those with busy lifestyles. It has a longer shelf life compared to non-frozen vegetables, which means they can be stored for a longer period of time. At the same time, Freezing ensures the freshness of the veggies is locked. Also, these products are available year-round, regardless of seasonality or geographical location, and can be a more sustainable choice. Green peas are one of our highest-selling veggies products of ours. We have also launched Godrej Farmiez, a frozen veggies brand aimed at B2B customers operating in the HORECA space.
Speaking of frozen ready-to-cook frozen snacks, we are consciously innovating more in vegetarian frozen snacks to mirror the consumption habits in India where two-thirds of frozen snacks consumption is vegetarian products, especially those that are potato-based. Indians love potatoes in snacking. Regionally, if I were to say, North and West are more skewed toward vegetarian (products) while in South and East, it is the non-vegetarian products category that's been attracting a fair bit of attention. In the last year alone, we have introduced three new veg products and have further plans to expand our veg frozen products portfolio.
How much distribution and penetration do you plan to achieve?
Abhay: We have two distinct consumer-facing verticals, Real Good Chicken and Godrej Yummiez. Yummiez with its portfolio of more than 50+ veg and non-veg ready-to-cook products and protein-rich Real Good Chicken forms a part of consumers dining at homes and the HORECA space.
For Yummiez, our aim is to be present across 10000+ general and modern trade outlets in the next one year. For Real Good Chicken, more than 30 per cent of our sales come from general trade and modern trade each, and 25-30 per cent from E-commerce platforms for Yummiez.
Real Good Chicken is primarily focused on the West and South regions. As the size of the market, Real Good Chicken is far bigger, because that's a raw process of chicken consumption including all the B2B side and B2C side of it. We currently dominate general trade and quick commerce channels in Mumbai and Pune. We aim to achieve a similar level of dominance in Bengaluru and Chennai in FY24. We have plans to venture into new cities like Hyderabad this year.
Our focus is to further build higher saliency of our branded business (Real Good Chicken and Yummiez) which operates in B2C and B2B segments.
The current portfolio of veggies and veg ready-to-cook products + Current contribution to the overall business of these segments.
Abhay: Godrej Yummiez is an Rs 200 crore + Yummiez brand and approx 45 percent of revenue comes from vegetarian products (ready-to-cook and frozen veggies). Our range of veg frozen food products includes Crispy Potato Starz, Millet Patty, Cheese Fingers, New Veg Party Pack, Cheese Corn Nuggets, Potato Cheese Bites, French Fries, Aloo Tikki, Masala Nuggets, Pizza Pockets, Veg Cutlets, Veg Burger Patty, and Crispy Veg Sticks, American Sweet Corn, Green Peas, Mixed Vegetables. In the raw veggies' portfolio, we have green peas, sweet corn, and mixed veg. Godrej Yummiez Green Peas category is a large part of the raw veggies category. The green peas business has grown close to about 40-50 per cent in the last one year.
Initiatives undertaken to boost footprint.
Abhay: We are working extensively to increase our outlet footprint. Our core focus is retail, followed by distributors. We work towards expanding coverage in existing and new geographical regions with the correct assortment to drive growth. We have also worked towards empowering general trade outlets with capabilities through which they can stock frozen ready-to-eat products. In the next year, we aim to be present across 10000+general and modern trade outlets.
Any targets planned for veggies as well as veg ready-to-cook
Abhay: Vegetarian products have allowed us to access price points that were not possible with our non-vegetarian range. Under Godrej Yummiez, we aim to focus on our frozen veggies business to grow the whole vision of being a 'Farm-to-Fork' consumer food company. Within the vegetarian category, our raw veggies portfolio has spiked greatly. The brand has grown to become a 200+ crore brand with vegetarian products contributing 45 per cent to the overall revenue. We are focused on expanding our distribution channels by increasing the existing store count by 50 per cent in cities where Godrej Tyson Foods is currently present. We also have goals to penetrate new cities. We are also focused on probable new launches in the current financial year. Overall, we are targeting over 20 per cent growth in the category in FY24.
E-comm contribution to veggies and veg products.
Abhay: The frozen foods category is witnessing rapid growth in the e-commerce channel. E-commerce platforms have outrun modern trade and general trade platforms in terms of growth in recent years. We are largely present in metros, Tier-I and Tier-II cities and towns. Frozen products have a footprint in largely metro and tier-I cities. Our focus is now to penetrate and further expand our distribution network. Our Godrej Yummiez products are available in modern trade outlets and on e-commerce platforms like Big Basket, Swiggy, Instamart, JioMart, Zepto, Blinkit, and Amazon. 28 per cent of our sales come from these platforms and we have witnessed a record increase of over 60 per cent in the last year for our e-commerce sales.
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