iD Fresh Food to set up new plants, scale up supply network
Packaged foods company iD Fresh Food is planning to invest nearly ₹100 crore to open new plants in Delhi, Hyderabad and in the US, as the pandemic helped drive sales of its convenience foods such as idli-dosa batter, filter coffee concoctions and frozen parotas.
The plants will come up in the next 12 months, helping the Bengaluru-headquartered company reach more markets and scale distribution to 40,000 outlets up from the current 30,000, P.C. Musthafa, chief executive officer and co-founder of iD Fresh Food said at a press conference.
This includes increasing presence in markets such as Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata, apart from overseas markets Bahrain and Qatar.
“We are looking at more products in the fresh category of course — parota, batter, curd and paneer, or those with a short shelf life; we are looking at scaling our curd and other dairy business. We are able to do this because we have a good network of stores, strong brand and direct distribution network,” Musthafa said.
Demand for packaged and convenience foods grew at an impressive pace in 2020 as the lockdown prompted people to cook more at home. With restaurants working under restrictions, products such as oats, cooking oil, packaged noodles, ready-to-cook foods, pasta and condiments saw brisk sales as consumers sought variety and convenience in their daily meals. For iD, parotas became its top-selling item in the current year, overtaking idli-dosa batter.
iD started small by selling packaged idli and dosa batter in Bengaluru in 2005. It gradually expanded presence by packaging the mix comprising rice and lentils used across households in south India.
Its business has now scaled up to 45 cities across India, US and UAE, but its products reach few sto-res as items such as batter and parotas need proper storage.
The company, backed by Premji Invest and Helion Venture Partners, is also eyeing a fundraise as it plans expansion. “We will be doing a fundraising very soon and do the next round to expand business to other markets,” Musthafa said. Marketing spends are expected to go up significantly, he added.
Source – LiveMint