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ITC seeks to export more Kitchens of India products
The Hindu Business Line - 30 Aug 2006

Bangalore

ITC Ltd's Foods Division seeks to increase the export component of its Kitchens of India range of premium ready-to-eat Indian dishes.

Kitchens of India's vegetable curries, chutney and pastes are available in over 3,500 stores abroad (US, Canada, UK, Switzerland and Australia) and the company hopes to "more than double this by the end of 2007."

Currently, both domestic and overseas markets contribute equally to its sales.

"But we hope exports to become larger than the domestic business in the years to come because there is huge business potential in this segment and we wish to consolidate ourselves in this," said Mr Ravi Naware, Divisional Chief Executive, Foods Division, ITC Ltd.

In the overseas markets, Kitchens of India is not available in Indian shops and is targeted mainly at the "mainstream population".

The reason being "our product is premium and Indian stores abroad tend to work on a price basis," said Mr Naware. For example, in the US, this brand is priced at $4-$5 per pack (In India it is about $2).

The company wants to aggressively build Kitchens of India as a brand through marketing initiatives and promos abroad.

For instance, in the US it ran a promotion from April to June in which every Kitchens of India pack came with a CD of Indian classical music.

In the US, customers can also shop online for Kitchens of India products on mybrandsinc.com.

ITC Foods claims 35-40 per cent share in the ready-to-eat segment (this also includes its mass brand Aashirvaad). It is targeting a 50 per cent share in the next couple of years.