J Samba Murthy, Chief Operating Officer at Heritage Foods
J Samba Murthy, Chief Operating Officer at Heritage Foods

Heritage Foods: A 32-Year Journey of Excellence and Innovation

Heritage Foods, established in 1992, embarked on its commercial journey in 1993, and today, it celebrates 32 years of unwavering excellence. The company's inception can be traced back to a village in the Chittoor district, where it initiated procurement with 1000 liters of milk. Over the years, Heritage Foods has evolved, achieving a capacity to procure a staggering 17 lakh liters daily. The journey, which began with bulk milk marketing in Bangalore, later shifted focus to concentrate on milk and value-added products.

In a recent interview with FoodTechBiz during the 50th Dairy Industry Conference in Hyderabad, J Samba Murthy, Chief Operating Officer at Heritage Foods, shared a detailed overview of the company's journey, strategies, and future plans. Mr Murthy highlighted the pivotal shift in focus toward value-added products in 2007. He shares, “Starting with 3% of value-added features, Heritage Foods has now achieved 32% of its total turnover through such products, including curd, buttermilk, paneer, flavored milk, ghee, butter, and ice creams. It has already crossed 3300 crores last financial year (FY 23), with projections for FY 24 even more promising.”

Expanding its footprint across 11 states, Heritage Foods has exceeded its South Indian stronghold, reaching states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and parts of UP, apart from Maharashtra.

Empowering farmers with utmost transparency

According to Mr Murthy, Heritage Foods’ vision revolves around delighting every home with fresh and healthy products while empowering farmers. The company actively engages in welfare activities, ensuring clean milk production and maintaining top-notch quality throughout its processes. Embracing digitization and technology, Heritage Foods has implemented ERP and SAP processes, along with innovative applications like Heritage Clapp for sales, fostering a paperless and digitally integrated environment.

He shares, “At the village level, the company supports farmers with Milko analyzers integrated into chilling centers, streamlining data-driven transactions. Payments are directly linked to the analyzed data, reflecting the company’s commitment to a well-integrated and transparent system.”

Serving approximately 1.5 million households, Heritage Foods’ milk and milk products are available in 1.24 lakh retail outlets. The company also operates franchise centers and distribution centers, offering direct sales and delivery to consumers.

Distinctiveness in quality and transparency

Mr Murthy emphasized that Heritage Foods' distinctiveness lies in the quality of its products and services. A publicly listed company since 1994, Heritage Foods is committed to transparency. Its commitment to good manufacturing, milking, and procurement practices ensures the production of high-quality products. He proudly states that the company's focus on transparency, innovation, and technology adoption has resulted in a diverse range of products.

Staying aligned with consumer trends

Mr Murthy shared that Heritage Foods has expanded its marketing team and conducted extensive consumer research and surveys in the last three years to stay attuned to consumer trends and preferences. He adds, “This approach allows them to understand consumer needs, preferences, and perceptions, leading to modifications and improvements in their product offerings. The dedicated Research and Development (R&D) team, consisting of 10 scientists, plays a pivotal role in pioneering innovation in the dairy industry. This team continuously works to improve existing products and develop new ones. We take consumer feedback seriously, focusing on providing quality products at reasonable prices.”

Strategic marketing and future endeavors

Mr Murthy admits that while the company boasts excellent products, the challenge lies in increasing consumer awareness of the brand. Therefore, Heritage Foods has shifted its focus from visibility to creating awareness over the past two years.

Speaking about the future plans, he shares, “Heritage Foods is set to commission its UHT drinkable plant, catering to shakes, buttermilk, flavored milk, and more. The company also plans to expand its capacities and focus on value-added products like ice creams. Furthermore, there are strategic plans to revamp and expand their market presence in regions like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Pune.”

Heritage Foods assures its commitment to being a quality-conscious organization. The company expresses gratitude for the ongoing support, emphasizing that its focus on quality products and transparent practices will remain unwavering. As Heritage Foods continues to thrive, it stands as a beacon of innovation, quality, and commitment in the dynamic landscape of India's dairy industry.

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