(Last Updated On: August 29, 2016)

Britannia Industries has entered the packaged Indian bread category with the introduction of whole wheat ‘kulchas’, according to company sources.

Encouraged by its run in Delhi, BIL is now planning to take the product to other markets, including Bengaluru.

Admitting that it has been a late entrant to the packaged kulcha category, sources close to the development said that it “needed a strong hook” to enter a segment already well-penetrated by other key Delhi bread brands. The Kulcha is a leavened flat Indian bread, normally made using flour or maida even at home.

The company forayed into the segment “with an insight of introducing health to this traditionally perceived-indulgent category, launching whole-wheat of the Indian bread, at an attractive price.”

“Britannia definitely sees an opportunity to extend this healthy proposition and will be targeting cities like Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore post market consolidation efforts in Delhi NCR,” according to the sources.

 R&D edge

Analysts have hailed the product saying that they expect Britannia’s R&D unit to provide a competitive advantage. “If this product meets the value and product-efficacy expectations of consumers, it has good potential,” according to a note from Edelweiss Securities. “We expect that Britannia’s strong product pipeline and innovations will help sustain its growth-momentum ahead of industry,” the note added. BIL’s first quarter revenue growth at 8.5 per cent and net profit growth at 13.2 per cent were ahead of analyst estimates.

The sources said that a unique sampling drive is underway at Delhi NCR with ‘Britannia Kulcha Carts’ allowing a taste of its new product to consumers at select areas and key market clusters.

Britannia set up its first-ever factory in India in 1954 to manufacture packaged branded bread. Today it is a leading national packaged bread-brand, but faces local competition. It launched its branded whole wheat bread in 2011.

Consumer option

Eating out has become a preferred option in many Indian homes now and companies are trying to cash in on this by offering packaged foods, whose consumption is on the rise, according to the company.

“Consumer and market studies by Britannia indicate that this increase has three pivots: higher pleasure (for consumers), better-health and increased convenience,” the company sources said.

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