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Dr Oetker India

Dr Oetker India is a market leader in western sauces and spreads with its FunFoods sub-brand in retail and a key player in food service sector

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Nrusimha Panda

The Oetker Group has a legacy to be immensely proud of – the German conglomerate established in 1891 has six different business divisions namely food, beer, sparkling wine, shipping, banking and other interests. “With over 30,000 employees and gross revenues of over Euro 12 bn, it is one of Germany’s largest family owned diversified industrial groups. Dr Oetker entered India in 2007 through its food division and acquired a local brand FunFoods in December of 2008,” says Nrusimha Panda, VP – sales & logistics, Dr Oetker India, adding that the company has since worked to create its sub-brand FunFoods a market leader in the western sauces and spreads in retail and a strong player in food service, offering food solutions for HORECA, QSRs, caterers and bakeries.

Currently the revenue is driven 75 per cent by B2C and 25 per cent by B2B consumers, however, the aim is to balance the growth between both the categories and build markets over the next five years. Speaking about the USP of the products, Panda says, “We believe quality is the best recipe.” He states that the company has a strong focus on quality of its products to make sure that it serves only the best to its consumers. “With our international expertise and state-of-the-art manufacturing plants, we live by our promise each day. We also have a strong focus on innovation, which we follow through R&D. We have the largest range in mayonnaise and mayonnaise based products in the country, which have been developed through extensive in-house research,” he adds.

The company specialises in western sauces and spreads that include mayo and mayo based sauces like sandwich spreads and salad dressings. “Some of our products like veg mayonnaise can also be used to make more variants as it is a base sauce for many other western sauces. We are also present in other exciting categories like Italian sauces and sweet syrups. Broadly, we add taste and flavour to food with our range of products. Our offerings serve as solutions and can be used as ingredients, binding agents, sauces, spreads, dips and more,” he mentions, pointing out that the products play a pivotal role in fusion foods as well. “With the changing trends, rise in consumption and growth in HORECA sector, we will continue to provide a range of versatile products with multiple usage and applications,” asserts Panda.

Focus on HORECA

Along with retail market, the company has a strong presence in HORECA segment with a range of over 150 products that are currently used by many leading restaurants and local eateries across India. “We have a robust HORECA network especially in North and West India,” he affirms.

The HORECA business falls under the food service division, which also serves many leading brands like KFC, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, various five star hotels and airlines. “We are in the process of rebranding our food service range under ‘Dr Oetker FunFoods Professional’, which will be launched in March,” informs Panda, adding that it will strengthen the brand as an expert and solutions provider in western food ingredient category for hotels, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, fast food joints, and caterers. “The year 2017 looks very promising for us as we look forward to strengthening this business vertical further with added support to customers with product info and usage know-how,” he adds.

Export market

Currently the company is exporting its products to a few countries. “However, in coming years we have plans of making this segment a strong revenue contributor. With the launch of the new state-of-the-art facility in Kaharani, Rajasthan and the increased capacity we will be more aggressive in our export business,” shares Panda. The company aims to tap into uncharted territory such as export market for SAARC countries. “Our plan is to not only export to SAARC countries, but also build up the market for Dr Oetker in these countries. For countries like Malaysia, where Dr Oetker already has presence, we will export to Dr Oetker Malaysia,” says Panda.

Dr Oetker is looking at expanding its product portfolio to capture the growing demand in the Indian market. “In this respect, we aim to bring our international expertise here and will re-enter the breakfast cereal market with the launch of Vitalis Museli in 2017. We also plan to launch frozen pizzas in India in the coming years,” he shares. The company is also focusing on providing concepts and ideas to its clients, as part of the strategy. “We are in the process of building up our teams who will regularly visit business partners and educate them about product knowledge and application. We aim to be a solution provider to our customers,” mentions Panda.

Pointing out that today, food experimentation and out of home food consumption are both are on the rise, driven by factors like consumer aspiration, exposure to global cuisine and need for convenience, Panda affirmed, “We as a brand and company are equipped with both local and international expertise and are well poised to be the first choice of the growing customer demands.”

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