On 12 November 2021, Tata Consumer Products (“TCPL”) announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire 100% equity shares of Tata SmartFoodz (“TSFL”) from Tata Industries for a cash consideration of Rs 395 crore. This move is consistent with TCPL’s strategic intent to expand into value-added categories.
TSFL commenced operations in 2019 and, within a short time, has established itself as the #2 player in the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) market in India. It has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. TSFL, under the brand name Tata Q, offers a range of innovative and differentiated products manufactured using MATS technology in India. This unique technology helps retain taste, texture and nutrients within an ambient supply chain. The product portfolio caters to consumers looking for tasty, convenient and wholesome on-the-go meals. Its product offerings currently include pasta, noodles, biryani and combo meals.
The acquisition will enable TCPL to expand its product portfolio and enter the RTE segment. In India, the category is expected to grow significantly, benefitting from demographic tailwinds such as urbanization and high disposable income nuclear families looking for convenience, nutrition, and hygienic food on the go. The category is already large and growing strongly in the international markets that TCPL already operates in. Tata Consumer Products will leverage its existing domestic and International distribution and focus on operational excellence to maximize value. The technology will also enable TCPL to create a strong pipeline of value-added products in other parts of the foods business.
Sunil D’Souza, managing director and chief executive officer, Tata Consumer Products, said “Tata SmartFoodz is a good strategic fit for us given the nature of its business, and it will also allow us to expand our portfolio into the Ready to Eat segment. RTE is a fast-growing segment in India and a sizeable opportunity in the International markets. The acquisition will give us access to unique technology and the product portfolio synergizes well with our existing distribution infrastructure in India and internationally. We believe Tata Consumer Products is well-positioned to help unlock the market potential of this technology and scale up this business to meet the growing consumer need for wholesome, trusted and convenient food offerings.”
Balark Banarjea, chief executive officer, Tata SmartFoodz, said, “Being part of Tata Consumer Products will enable us to strengthen our market presence and scale up the business. It will allow us to leverage Tata Consumer’s strength in modern trade and e-commerce channels in India and also its global presence to target key International markets for RTE exports. It will also help us augment our innovation pipeline and unlock synergies across our business.”