Godrej Tyson Foods observed that the persistent food inflationary trend in India was a serious concern. In order to access safe-affordable food, the company emphasised the cost-effectiveness of chicken in comparison to vegetables and highlighted the former’s optimum protein content to keep malnutrition at bay.
Food inflation was staggering at 9.50 per cent in May, vis-a-vis 8.64 per cent in April. The spiralling food prices have drastically altered Indian households’ consumption habits with a preference for inexpensive products devoid of protein and micro-nutrients, which would increase the healthcare costs for families.
This was where Godrej Tyson, with its expertise at offering hygienically-packed chicken, was seen to be cost-effective. Milk, eggs and poultry meat are economical protein sources beneficial for the 67 per cent of India’s non-vegetarian population. Milk costs Rs 1.50 paise per gram, eggs cost 95 paise per gram, and chicken costs only 65 paise per gram.
“In a country where 30 per cent of children are underweight and one-third of the adults are malnourished, protein needs to be a critical component of the diet. The reality is that Indian food consumption has witnessed a decline in protein consumption and increased intake of fatty foods, which is a serious health deterrent,” Arabind Das, chief operating officer, Godrej Tyson Foods, said.
Das was in Bengaluru in connection with the launch of Real Good Chicken Kheema priced at Rs. 68 for a 300g pack, which can be consumed by a family of four. It is frozen food, is easy to cook, is provides the required proteins and is more reasonably priced than vegetables.
Godrej Tyson, which initially marketed its Real Good fresh chicken at Rs 48 per 400g pack in five metros, would now target 60 cities with its Chicken Kheema. India’s food security initiative could be driven by tweaking imbalanced diets with protein, purchased within one’s means.
Along with mitigating protein insufficiency, are the challenges of cold chain infrastructure and logistics. Godrej Tyson has taken on the onus to install 2,000 freezers in the last 18 months in 60 cities in 4,000 stores, of which 1,800 are in the metros. It would augment its presence in another 40 cities, taking the total to 100 over the next 3-5 years.
It has already infused Rs 60 crore in 2013-14 to increase the plant capacity by 80 per cent. Its fresh chicken, at Rs 48 per pack, garnered an average growth rate of 12 per cent.
“There has been a significant increase in consumers, primarily from the Tier-II and III cities,” said Sushil Sawant, associate vice-president, India operations, Godrej Tyson Foods.
“Therefore, our effort is to offer Real Good Chicken Kheema in these regions to offset the impact of food inflation,” he added.
The Indian poultry market valued at Rs 28,000 crore ($4.5 billion) registers eight per cent growth. Almost 94 per cent comprises an unorganised sector with six per cent held by Godrej Tyson, Venkys and Suguna, among others.