Vishal S S (email@example.com)
Consumer demand has changed rapidly in terms of food ingredient’s, food items and categories. People are more focused on purchasing and choosing the right varieties of food which is healthy. Apart from the brand Maamoul of R A Group, they owns the master franchisee rights for the ICE-CREAM LAB
Kolkatta based R A Group believes in the basic principles of providing quality in products and services. Following this motto the other firms and companies in the group have tasted great success. Even though the products and services are top quality, since most of these are not in the local market or not at a consumer level. The brand was basically into manufacturing products like b2b products, heavy vehicle parts like diesel tanks and types, these products were not directly marketed to the retailers and are very constantly present in the market for 70 years which now is the third generation. As a measure to create more awareness and to connect with the customers directly, the 75+ years old successful brand decided to enter into the FMCG trade.
Ice Cream segment
R A Bakers owns the master franchisee rights for the ICE-CREAM LAB at East and North East India. The team was looking into other food segment opportunities after shutting down their bakery segment. The brand took over a franchise option from UAE based company, they mix a liquid to make instant ice cream, which was completely different from that of factory making products by using preservatives and all. This ice-cream product will be made in front of the customer. During the time of the pandemic, ice cream was of the products which were having a constant demand.
“Things have normalized now, the response for our ice-creams are pretty good, the acceptance is very high and we have got outlets at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bombay. Still, because some night curfew restrictions persist, the sales target is not adequate”. says Mr Khalid Mahmood, Director, R. A. Bakery, Kolkata.
Connecting with Customer
The team wanted to have diversification in their segment of the business as they were not able to keep in touch with the direct customers priorly. That is how the brand came up with its bakery segment in 2011. The initial stage of making was only concentrated on cookies and they targeted only at Hyderabad and Chennai regions. The support in their Machinery part for manufacturing was majorly from Hyderabad, they were known for the largest cookie manufacturing in eastern India that time having around 13 varieties of cookies for 2 years, they were doing well and at some point of time, they were not able to cross a stage because of the demand fluctuation.
“We did some kind of market study and we found that people want only typical normal biscuits which products like cookie culture were losing their demand. Only for any special occasion, cookies were having demand, it was not having any movement in their sales daily”. Said Mr. Khalid.
Maamoul had set up the market to enter the biscuit segment. Consequently, the production capacity was increased to 20 times to cater to the large market. The biscuit line was launched in 2015 and had covered large parts of South Bengal. The target of the brand is to cover achieve the demand in the consumer’s mind. “This brand concentrates on healthy, low sugar and sugar-free add on, and the biscuits which are having almost in five flavours in different varieties and categories”. added Khalid.
The food industry is in the stage of its conversion to Hydroponic style where all the products are natural and rich nutrient oriented. The pandemic has taught the consumers to look into their health criteria in which they are mainly very conscious. This is because lot of cases of heart issues, diabetic and so on. Budgetary constraints are another part where it is made people to think twice to consume the product that is going to stay in the society and in the coming future.
“Since the people are accepting the natural oriented foods, we are also looking to go for organic farming and hydroponic methods which are there in the pipeline and are expected to launch by next year”. added Khalid.
The brand has completely put their investment, time and energy into this so their main priority is to communicate directly to the customers. People are more conscious during this period and they put their demand on healthy products. The brand is also ready to bring back their bakery segment if at all the demand is coming back. Presently they are focused on ICE-CREAM LAB and MAAMUL brands.
“It’s been a learning curve for us starting with the bakery segment which did not take up, and diverting into other food products. Our main priority is to give good food, natural food which will be completely adopted by the people in the coming days”. concluded Khalid