Say Cheese: Can Britannia Tap Into India's Underpenetrated Market?

The company is enthusiastic about targeting its Tier II and Tier III customers by bringing in sachet packs --from kirana stores, modern trades, institutions to e-commerce platforms, the FMCG heavyweight has plans to conquer all the segments

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By Shrabona Ghosh


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Though highly underpenetrated, Cheese is a fast-growing category in the Indian FMCG sector. Only five per cent of the Indian household consumes Cheese. "The cheese category has been growing more than 20 per cent and has huge growth potential. Britannia is planning to double down its investment to grow this category and we are bringing in leading innovations in cheese making," said Varun Berry, executive vice-chairman and managing director, Britannia Industries.

Britannia Industries has entered into a joint venture agreement with Bel SA of France and Britannia Dairy Private Limited (BDPL) to develop, manufacture and sell cheese products in India and some other markets. As a part of joint venture, Bel SA will acquire 49 per cent stake in Britannia's subsidiary Britannia Dairy Private Limited (BDPL) for INR 262 crore, and then infuse an additional INR 215 crore in the joint venture. The products will be co-branded under Britannia and Laughing Cow.

France is globally renowned for cheese and Bel Group is a market leader, with this partnership Britannia aims to bring world class cheese products to its customers. "We have a vast canvas of opportunity to give value-added milk products. Earlier, cheese was available only in the armed service canteen, later, it was made popular by the quick service restaurants and the delectable taste soon made it popular with consumers," Berry added.

In line with the clarion call of PM Narendra Modi, the company is manufacturing accessible products and creating new consumption occasions.

The products would be made available through Britannia's extensive distribution network--though the product pricing will be premium but the brand is equally enthusiastic about targeting its Tier II and Tier III customers by bringing in sachet packs --from kirana stores, modern trades, institutions to e-commerce platforms, the FMCG heavyweight has plans to conquer all the segments.

Britannia consumer insights will help the product penetrate the market and reach every nook and corner of the country. "Bel Group always has taken decisions on the positive impact it brings to the entire ecosystem. If you want to build a strong category you have to loop in iconic brands and bring in innovation and that's Britannia for us," said BEL Group CEO Cécile Béliot.

With over a 100-year legacy and a turnover of over INR 13,000 crore, Britannia Industries is India's largest bakery foods company, also present in many other food categories and with a growing presence across the globe.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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