Sauces beat slump using price cuts

Top cos are reporting double-digit growth figures of 15-20%, with sales taking off during this festive season.

NEW DELHI: Growth of western pleasure foods such as sauces, dressings and condiments is surging ahead against the backdrop of a slowdown in the FMCG sector, thanks to aggressive price cuts by major players, increased penetration in smaller markets and boom of online delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato.

Top companies in the segment from Dr Oetker and Del Monte to Cremica Food Industries are reporting double-digit growth figures of 15-20%, with sales taking off during the ongoing festive season, which, the companies said, are further leading to more occasions for consumption.

German multinational company Dr Oetker, which claims to have more than 60% share of the vegetarian mayonnaise market in India, has slashed package size along with price of its products.


"We are not witnessing a slowdown, we are growing at around 20%. There has been a shift in consumption pattern," said Oliver Mirza, MD & CEO for Dr Oetker in India & Saarc countries.

While food delivery apps such as Swiggy and Zomato have driven up consumption of these products, according to Mirza, along with introduction of small packs and a range of flavours, product localisation has also helped companies maintain their growth trajectory.

For instance, while Dr Oetker has introduced local flavours, including tandoori and mint mayo, Cremica Food Industries recently launched 14 new flavours of mayonnaise for the domestic market. "Despite a dip in consumer sentiment, we are in line to meet our targets for the year," Cremica Food Industries CMD Akshay Bector told TOI.
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US food brand Del Monte, which has tied up with Bharti Enterprises for the Indian market, launched mayo spout packs at affordable price points. "Although, there are liquidity issues in trade, India's per capita usage is growing fast on a low base. We need to drive availability of these products in tier 2 & 3 towns," said Yogesh Bellani, CEO of Del Monte India.
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