Modi Naturals eyes to strengthen its presence in snacks segment with at-home popcorn brand PIPO

The company is now set to expand the RTC and RTE segment and plans to invest up to 100 crore in the food business over the next few years
Modi Naturals eyes to strengthen its presence in snacks segment with at-home popcorn brand PIPO

Photo - Modi Naturals

Modi Naturals started its operation in 1974 by setting up an edible oil factory in Punjab to become one of India's largest edible oil processors. Over the years, the company has come a long way. In 2012, the company launched its brand 'Oleev' to mark the healthy cooking oil market. The brand comprises multisource edible oil and a pure range of olive oil products like Oleev Pomace olive oil, Oleev Extra light olive oil, Oleev Extra virgin olive oil, and its flagship product Oleev Active. In 2015, the company launched Olivana Wellness, versatile oil used for cooking, hair, skincare and baby care. In 2018, the company further forayed into the ready-to-cook food segment with PIPO Popcorn and unique Taste Bomb sachets with exciting flavors like Peri Peri, Tomato Salsa, Cheese Burst, Desi Cocktail to suit the Indian palate.

Recently, the company has launched Oleev Kitchen to establish "healthier-for-you" products, including Pasta and Peanut Butter. These products reaffirm the legacy brand's belief in 'good health and proactive living' by offering healthier products with no compromise on taste.

Expansion in the RTE and RTC categories

The pandemic-induced lockdown saw Indian households experiment and reinvent their culinary habits and lifestyle. Taking this opportune time, Modi Naturals conducted a study with Kantar Worldpanel that shared insights on the growing positive mindset about healthy eating and conscious cooking but with lesser time consumption. This gave birth to the idea of expansion in the RTE and RTC categories and paved the way for the company to enter the segment with no maida pasta and vegan pasta.

Entry into Rs 400 crore at home popcorn segment

Managing Director of Modi Naturals, Akshay Modi, told FoodTechBiz about the company's entry into Rs 400 crore at home popcorn segment under the brand PIPO. He informed, "India is known worldwide for its exotic spices and PIPO has tried to blend the compatible spices and flavors in one pack. PIPO, with its unique and interesting Mix'in range with Taste Bomb seasoning sachets, is different from other leading brands, which offer only the standard salted and butter flavors. Taste Bomb seasonings include Peri Peri, Cheese Burst, Tomato Salsa and Desi Cocktail, all of which appeal to the Indian palate. And what's more, at just Rs 10-30, you get a tub full of theater-style flavored popcorn."

He further added, "It is always helpful to expand into related categories. To sustain and grow further in the ever-evolving food and beverages segment, it's essential to focus more on RTC and RTE products. We are geared to move towards the future by launching various related products like Peanut butter, Popcorn, Pasta, and others. We are looking to build a connection with a newer set of consumers with a higher affinity towards both health and convenience."

For Modi Naturals, eCommerce as a channel for the FMCG industry has picked up pace in the last few years. The company has decided to adopt an eCommerce strategy of adding new and relevant players and has even identified opportunities to customize its portfolio to make it more suitable for eCommerce and future expansion.

"With the ever-evolving marketing scenario, we have always kept the brand aligned with the ongoing market practices to serve our customers better. That includes looking at other horizons in traditional marketing and new-age digital media vehicles that focus on social media integrations such as influencer marketing and OTT platforms. It has helped us segment our consumers via regional and psychographic segmentation," explained Modi.

Investment of Rs 250 crore in Ethanol Blended Petrol scheme

"Our marketing strategy is fairly simple - follow the consumer. Since the consumer is moving digital, our spending will follow. In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and roadmap for the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program with a target of 20% blending by 2025, Modi Naturals established an Ethanol Plant in the state of Chhattisgarh. For this project, we have incorporated a 100% subsidiary called 'Modi Biotech Private Limited' (MBPL) with 210 KLD capacity. The investment over the next two years is expected to be approximately Rs 250 crore, with the first phase of 110 KLD being completed within a year with an investment of Rs 160 crore," he added.

Modi Naturals believes in being responsible and environmentally conscious and demonstrates it with a three-dimensional approach, Environmental Dimension, Economic Dimension, and Social Dimension, with every product that the company creates.

The company is looking forward to expanding its consumer base, whether from pure olive oils or its multisource oil range. The olive oil blend market share is close to 30% in the "goodness of olive" segment. With a host of new products and distribution channels starting, the company sees this growing even faster in the next few quarters.

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