‘Hershey India will not invest in most brands inherited from Godrej’

Will stay invested in soya beverage brand Sofit

Mumbai, October 1:  

Apart from the soya beverage brand of Sofit, Hershey India is not planning to invest in the acquired Godrej portfolio of food brands like Jumpin and Nutrine.

In 2012 when Hershey split from the joint venture with Godrej, it had inherited its food portfolio with brands such as fruit drink of Jumpin, tomato puree brand of Smart Cook and the confectionery franchise under the mass brand Nutrine.

Praveen Jakate, Chairman & Managing Director, Hershey India, said: “While the mass brands like Nutrine and beverage brand like Jumpin are a part of our portfolio, we are no longer investing or advertising in any of these brands.’’

It has already discontinued some of the legacy brands like Cooklite oil and fruit pulp-based drink brand of Xs. In fact, it might be still looking at selling some of its legacy brands like Jumpin.

“We are considering all options for brands like Jumpin which is still in our portfolio. But except Sofit, we have decided not to invest behind most of these legacy products as we would like to high margin brands in our portfolio,’’ he added.

The $7.4-billion Hershey entered India through a JV in 2008, and subsequently, ended it in 2012 to float its own subsidiary.

Since 2014, it devised a new strategy for the Indian market which was to bring in some of its premium global products such as Hershey’s milkshake, spreads, cocoa, Jolly Rancher and of late Brookside chocolates, which is being test marketed.

“India is one of the four focus markets for Hershey outside North America and we are taking the learnings from this market to countries like China,’’ he added.

Mexico and Brazil are the other core markets for Hershey outside the US.

Sweet story

In a statement Patricia Little, CFO, The Hershey Company, said: “The constant current net sales in India grew by 2 per cent in the last quarter and we expanded our gross margins by 1,000 basis points in 2017.”

In India, Hershey has already captured 94 per cent share in the chocolate syrup category.

Besides, it has a 10.3 per cent share in chocolate spreads category where it competes with market leader Nutella and also a 3.6 per cent share in milk beverages.

“Getting market share is not easy in India where there are not just MNCs but domestic majors like Amul in the milk-based categories. We have got into most of new categories last year and have presence across 52 metro markets today,’’ Jakate added.

However, Hershey India is still taking its time in bringing in its iconic brands Reese’s and Hershey Kisses chocolates as these are highly competitive categories for the chocolates major.

“Pure indulgence categories are too cluttered in India, so we have got in products like milk shakes which we do not have in the United States and even spreads is a small category globally,’’ explained Jakate.

However it has brought in the iconic Jolly Rancher brand of premium lollipops and claims to have a second position in the category.

Claiming to grow 40 per cent in the Indian market, Hershey India will be bringing in more value added products to add to its premium portfolio which should include its iconic brands.

(This article was published on October 1, 2017)

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