ITC to focus on expanding dairy business by targeting eastern India

Cigarette-to-soap maker ITC, which forayed into the pouch milk category two years ago, will focus on expanding its range and footprint of fresh dairy products in eastern India in the next few years, the Financial Express newspaper reported.

The conglomerate produces fresh dairy products like pouch milk, pouch curd, paneer and lassi, ghee and milkshakes.

“For the pouch milk and fresh dairy offerings, we will focus on east India for superior business in the next few years. We would like to expand our range and footprints in West Bengal and Bihar,” Sanjay Singal, chief operating officer, Dairy and Beverages, ITC, said while launching Aashirvaad Svasti Select, a new milk variant, in Kolkata, the newspaper reported.

ITC’s pouch milk is available only in Kolkata and 23 cities in Bihar, while ghee is available in six states. Although the company is currently selling its milkshakes only in the south, it will be making them available in many of the big markets.

“In terms of market share in pouch milk, we have reached a very comfortable figure of 8-10% in Kolkata, and it is growing,” he said.

Asked whether the company will be looking at acquisitions for expanding its pouch milk business beyond West Bengal and Kolkata, Singal said, “Right now we are focused on east India. I would not like to comment on that (acquisition), because we feel that there are a lot of opportunities given the penetration and consumption of milk across the country.”

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