Goodricke eyes larger market share in packet tea business

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 12:20 hrs

Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) Tea major Goodricke Group Friday said it is getting into the packet tea segment in a big way to enjoy a larger share in the rapidly growing business in the country.

"We are eyeing the packet tea segment as it will give us stability. In a big way... we are getting into the segment. Massive branding has been exercised," Goodricke Group Ltd managing director Arun N Singh told reporters here.

In 2012, the company had sold about 8 million kgs of packet tea, which contributed about one-third of its total revenue.

The firm, a group company of Britain-based Camellia PLC, is now planning to sell 10 million kgs of packet tea in 2014-15.

According to Singh, also chairman of Indian Tea Association (ITA), India's packet tea segment is now close to 400 million kgs.

"This segment is growing and is supposed to grow at the very fast rate. If we can curve in even five percent of market share it would be huge," he said.

"Last year, we had garnered about Rs.180 crore revenue from the packet tea segment. In this segment, we have been witnessing about 10 percent growth year-on-year for the last three years," he said.

This year also, the firm is aiming 10 percent growth in its branded tea business.

The tea major is also working on a new brand of Darjeeling tea for international market.

Singh said Goodricke was looking at buying out tea gardens in Assam as demands for good quality Assam tea were rising and price realisation was also higher than that of Dooars.

The group has only two gardens in Assam, while in Dooars, it has as many as 12 gardens.

According to Singh, the firm could spend about Rs.600 crore in acquiring new gardens in Assam. It is looking to acquire three to four gardens, each having a production of about at 1.2 million kgs annually.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata-based tea maker said it has put its plan to foray into dairy business on hold as of now.

The company "might have to review" the plan as the research and development (R&D) project that it has been carrying out in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district has not yet yield the desired results.

"Well, we had a plan (to foray into dairy business) but the weather around Jalpaiguri is not very conducive and adaptability of the hybrid cows is very, very slow. So we are still not getting the desirable yield (milk) from the cattle," Singh informed.

"We will monitor closely their adaptability and yields. As of now we have put the plan on hold. However, our R&D is till on," he added.

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