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INTERVIEW

"We shall cover India in next 4-6 months"
Monday, 11 February, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Gulabs is into handcrafted snacks and beverage manufacturing using age-old recipes. It is a tradition, being passed on from generation to generation with the aim and vision of making these snacks a household name, both nationally and internationally.

In an e-mail interaction with Khyati Das, Naveen Bhandari, the company’s managing director, highlighted its competitive strategy and more to stay in the race. Excerpts:

What are the products you currently offer, and what are the new products you plan to launch?
We currently offer khakhras with a six-inch diameter in four flavours (methi, ajwain, plain and moongadi) and a 2.5-inch diameter in three flavours (methi, ajwain and plain); syrups in nine flavours (rose, pudina, lemon ginger, lemon, thandai, saunf, cinnamon elaichi, paan and jeera), lemon pickle and masalas in six flavours (Rice Podi, Malgapodi, Sambar Masala, Garam Masala, Tea Masala and Rasam Masala).

What are the new flavours you have introduced in your products?
We had recently launched syrups in four flavours (namely cinnamon elaichi, paan, jeera and saunf). Over the next three months, you can find more flavours being launched in both syrups and khakhras.

Have you tried fusion flavours in products?
We haven’t done so in the past, but we may experiment with it in the near future.

Do you have any expansion plans down the line?
Yes, we have plans, and, in fact, are already on the go, working towards expanding both product category-wise as well as geographically.

From a product perspective, we will launch more flavours in the existing line of items in the next three months and new product categories can be seen in the next six months.

Geographically, we shall cover the entire of India in the next 4-6 months.

What is the USP of your products?
The strengths/USPs (unique selling propositions) of our products are the age-old recipes, the finesse in the taste, the high quality, and the ethnic-looking packaging. Additionally, what is to be highlighted is the fact that chemicals are zilch in almost all items, except preservatives in some of the items. The taste is brought out by the actual ingredients and not by essence or artificial flavouring agents.

How has digital media been helpful to you to market your products?
As millennials majorly rely on digital media, it is important to have a strong presence on the same. Digital/modern media has helped the traditional products, in multiple ways.

Consumer reviews have helped spread a good word about the product.
There are a number of online portals which help target consumers across the globe.

Digital media also helps us showcase our presence/association with different leading brands.

What is your target group?
Everyone who likes to eat and snack constitutes our target group. Our range of items is such that it will cater to everyone's requirements in some or the other fashion.

What is your mantra to grab the attention of customers?
Our packing is very ethnic, yet unique and eye-catching. That is the simplest way to catch the eye of the consumers. Post that, once they taste the product, the product speaks for itself.

Throw some light on your tagline, Tasty and Delectable Hand-Crafted Indian Snacks.

Our tagline refers to our products made using age-old recipes. These are made in small batches and slowly cooked. It refers to the entire range of khakhras, masalas, syrups and pickles. The idea is to emphasise on the good taste as well as the making methodology.

Many or most items are made majorly using hand/manually or in combination with machine. Handmade and hand-crafted items will have a better taste than a completely automated/machine-made item).

Our products are completely Indian, and have been in existence since time immemorial.

In the competitive market, how do you manage to stay in the race?
I think more than trying to be in the race and comparing yourselves to others, it is about how are you different. What is unique about you?  

Firstly, our packaging makes us stand apart which helps grab the customer's attention easily (on the shelf). That is the first step.

Next, our products have a taste, which is quite similar to that of the product when made at home (because one, the raw materials used are the actual products itself instead of chemicals, and two - owing to their high quality).

Our raw materials are curated and picked from the location where they are actually famous/grown.

With this in place, there is no worry about staying in the race. It’s about bringing these facts to the consumers.
 
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