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ITC Launches Farmland, Starts with Potatoes To Tap 70K Crore Indian Potato Market
Farmland makes a debut in the Indian market with an exciting range of variants in potatoes such as Natural Low Sugar Potatoes, Potatoes with Natural Antioxidant, Baby Potatoes and French Fry Potatoes
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When you are a leading Indian exporter of organic fruit products, you are holding the second position in agri-commodities production with a deadly blend of rural India’s largest internet-based intervention. You will definitely explore the ways that others usually hesitate to walk on, moreover with a very strong backward integration for a backup.
ITC today unveiled ‘Farmland’ - its new brand for Fresh Fruits & Vegetables. Farmland makes a debut in the Indian market with an exciting range of variants in potatoes such as Natural Low Sugar Potatoes, Potatoes with Natural Antioxidant, Baby Potatoes and French Fry Potatoes. As per ITC, it will start with seven metro cities of India and will then expand to rest of the market with new product line on quarter to quarter basis.
Farmland Potatoes will be sold through organized retail, e-commerce platforms and the neighborhood vegetable vendors. Farmland Potatoes will be distinguished by their even grading, better quality, consistent good taste along with the promise of safety and nutrition value.
Speaking with BW Businessworld, the ITC agri-business head, S Sivakumar said, ‘We have been witnessing farm business in India from a century now, it is a practice in our DNA’. We will start with Metro cities to understand the pulse of this first of its kind trade and then we have the plan to slowly expand our market. India has so much potential in the field of perishable horticulture produces that it crosses trillion of rupees’.
Sachin Madan. the Chief Executive of agri-sciences division of ITC has informed that farmland potatoes come with the promise of low sugar, low fat and great taste. These potatoes are naturally low in fat and sugar with fat content below 0.2 per cent and sugar level below 2 per cent respectively. Farmland potatoes have been tested and endorsed by ICAR-CPRI, Shimla (Indian Council for Agricultural Research - Central Potato Research Institute), the premier institute for potato research and development in India. ITC along with ICAR-CPRI intend informing consumers of the nutritional benefits of potatoes and help dispel some of the myths around it.
With a consumer spend of approximately Rs. 500,000 crores, the Indian Fruits & Vegetables market is pegged at approximately Rs. 300,000 crores for the producers. ITC’s brand Farmland will play in the fresh fruits and vegetable segment catering to the emerging consumer demand for safe and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
With a consumer spend of approximately Rs. 500,000 crore, the Indian Fruits & Vegetables market is pegged at approximately Rs. 300,000 crore for the producers. ITC’s brand Farmland will play in the fresh fruits and vegetable segment catering to the emerging consumer demand for safe and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
The interesting part of the entire story is the selection of potato, to start with. In term of its share in of vegetable market both in volumes and value, the potato is believed to be holding 20 percent of it as a whole, which means a certain market of Rs 70,000 crore. Along with that, ITC has more than 250 variants of seeds of potatoes which gives them a full range to play in the segment where they actually have no competitions.
Confidence on A Risky Venture
With an all set backward integration network of ITC, it can try to go for a hunt in a market that is difficult for un-organized players to tap and difficult for niche experts to explore. In the words of India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), ‘ITC has a unique rural digital infrastructure network and a deep understanding of agricultural practices. Through intensive research, it has built a competitive and efficient supply chain that creates and delivers immense value across the agricultural value chain’.
ITC has also started the e-Choupal system, thereby web enabling the Indian farmers, empowering them and maintaining a strong network with the farming community. The e-Choupal initiative now comprises about 6,500 installations covering nearly 40,000 villages and serving over four million farmers. This means fork to farm, ‘a complete sync with governments doubling farmers’ income vision’.
ITC's agri-business division also focuses on the value-added segments which include frozen foods, IQF (individually quick frozen) fruits, niche products like baby-food quality purees and high Brix pulp and organic purees, which means that ITC has an in-depth idea of cold chains as well. With so much of things to back it up, ITC has not taken a miscalculated step. It is the trade which needed the presence on every stage of trade and ITC does have its proven strength in all the areas. It will only be a win-win situation for ITC.