Hershey India expands its market in biscuit segment
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Chocolate and confectionery firm Hershey India Monday forayed into the premium biscuit segment under its soymilk brand, Sofit.
India is one of the focus international markets for the Pennsylvania-based chocolate major and the company is looking at its key brands, Hershey's and Sofit, to expand its snacking portfolio, according to Hershey India managing director Herjit Bhalla.
He said the biscuit category in urban India is estimated to be USD 2.8 billion at present, growing at 10 per cent, with the premium segment accounting for USD 800 million, growing at 17 per cent.
"Over the years, Sofit has built a distinct protein proposition for itself. That is why we believed Sofit was the best brand to take us into this big leap of entering a very big and a very crowded biscuits category," Bhalla told reporters here.
Sofit has been growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent for the last 10 years and at nearly 50 per cent this year, according to him.
"So it (Sofit) is a clear market leader and it is a brand that is driving the soy category growth in the country. Going forward, our intent is to build Sofit in a snacking portfolio of different categories.
Till now it has been a single category beverage brand," he said. Last year, Hershey had said it will invest USD 50 million in the country in the next five years, especially to build manufacturing and supply chain capabilities.
Targeted at the metros and large cities, Sofit Protein Cookies, available in three variants, would be priced at Rs 45 for 100 gms and Rs 65 for 150 gms. Hershey entered India in 2007 through a joint venture with Godrej group and bought out the joint venture in 2012.
Sofit is a local brand that was launched by the joint venture firm. Bhalla said that the firm has evaluated opportunities to export in the past, and will continue to do so with this new launch. He added that entering the protein cookie category is a global first for the company. Last month, it had launched its iconic Kisses brand in the country.