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ITC set to launch its first dairy product ‘Aashirvaad ghee’

A man talks on his mobile phone as he walks past an ITC office building in Kolkata September 4, 2012. ITC Ltd sells 80 percent of the cigarettes in the world's second most populous country where 275 million people use tobacco products. But as India follows the rest of the world in adopting anti-smoking regulations, the company's core tobacco business is getting squeezed and it is venturing into dairy products, drinks and perhaps even healthy breakfast foods to try to expand its money-losing consumer products business. Picture taken September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS HEALTH) - RTR37J7R

New Delhi: Aashirvaad ghee will make its debut this Diwali as ITC plans to enter into the dairy segment. Extending the product range of its biggest non-cigarette brand, the company is looking to replicate the success it achieved in the unorganised segment with the Aashirvaad brand.

Being a household name, Aashirvaad has tremendous brand equity among households and housewives so the ITC has decided to launch ghee under the Aashirvaad umbrella, which also provides spices and other food products.

Aashirvaad is a Rs. 2,600-crore brand and controls 74 percent share of the country’s packaged atta market, which ITC entered in 2002, a year after getting into packaged food with ready-to- eat products.

VL Rajesh, ITC’s divisional chief executive, in an interview said that dairy related categories are in various stages of development as part of ITC’s plans to extend its portfolio. This includes ice-cream, butter, cheese, curd, milk-based drinks and ready-to-mix products.

India being the largest producer and consumer of dairy products is expected to see 15 to16 percent growth with its expansion in the value added products. (ANI)