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Processed spices manufacturer Eastern Group plans to enter ready-to-eat segment

Processed spices manufacturer Eastern Group plans to enter ready-to-eat segment

Processed spices manufacturer Eastern Group plans to launch a range of products by January, in the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat segments, as part of its efforts to become a global food company. 

The Kerala-headquartered company, with eight production units spread across the country and in Dubai, has aimed at a turnover of Rs 800 crore in the current fiscal, a 45 per cent rise over the previous year. The products to be launched by the company will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies along with several offerings that appeal to regional tastes in India, said the group managing director Firoz Meeran. 

“This segment in India is not as developed as in the US or Europe, where we plan to focus more. We also have a strong base in the Middle East, with a production unit in Dubai. We account for 50 per cent of the processed spices market in the Gulf region,” he said. In India, Meeran said the company has been focusing over the past few years on markets outside Kerala, where it has three units. It has clocked a growth rate of 36 per cent outside Kerala this year. Besides Kerala, Eastern Group has units in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and it plans to set up its ninth plant in Tumkur in Karnataka. 

“We believe in getting closer to the market we supply to. We supply directly to the retail market, avoiding middlemen,” Meeran said, adding that although this system incurs a higher cost it has worked well for the company. The retailers buy only what they need as the supply is on cash and-carry basis. This, in turn, benefits the consumers as they get fresh products. 

The company currently offers about 100 products including masalas and curry powders that appeal to varied local tastes across the country. There is a huge scope for branded processed spices in the country, Meeran said, pointing out that branded spices account for only 30 per cent of the processed spices market at present. 

Eastern is a well-diversified group with over 100 product offerings in its portfolio. The company has recently crossed the milestone of Rs 800 crore in turnover and is expected to grow in double digits in the fast growing processed food market.

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