By Ritwik Sinha
Dev Bhumi Foods, a major cold chain player in northern India and a leading importer of fruits in the country, has joined hands with US fruits cooperative agency Tree Top to introduce apple compote products in the domestic market.
Delivered in a transparent pouch with year-long shelf life, apple compote is a popular product in developed markets such as the US and Europe and is largely used as part of breakfast or as a dessert.
“With no chemicals used in its preparation, apple compote is considered to be a very healthy item in the western markets and quite popular. We are launching it here in India in collaboration with Tree Top, which is among the top three cooperative agency of apple growers in the US,” Sanjay Agarwal, CMD, of Delhi-headquartered Dev Bhumi Foods told Indoasiancommodities.com in an interview.
Initially the product made by Tree Top would be imported from the US and Dev Bhumi will later set up up a domestic manufacturing unit.
“We have begun the exercise of setting up an additional manufacturing section at our large scale pack house in Matiana village (Shimla district), Himachal Pradesh. From the second year, we would be in a position to supply the product from our domestic manufacturing unit,” said Agarwal.
While the initial imports would be made of Washington Apples, the company will use Kinnaur apples for its domestic production. The over Rs 200 crore turnover company is setting up the manufacturing unit with an investment of Rs 20 crore.
The company has set a target of selling 40 lakh pouches of the imported apple compote in the first year which will be scaled up to around 4 crore pouches after its domestic manufacturing supply line goes live. The product is likely to be priced at between Rs 60-100 /per pouch.
Considering the long shelf life of the product, Dev Bhoomi Foods is looking to join hands with online players (especially hyper locals), which are increasingly leaning towards food products.
“This product is soon going to be available on Amazon India. We are also talking to established players in the grocery space. Online is a strong sales channel for this product in the west,” said Agarwal.