Mars, US-based chocolate maker company perceives India as a key ’accelerate’ market and is ramping up its distribution network in the country to tap the high growth potential.
The company, which has brands such as Snickers, Mars, Bounty, M&M, Double Mint, Boomer, Orbit, Galaxy and Twix in India, also plans to introduce one more brand in the next six to eight weeks to enhance its presence here.
“India is a key ’accelerate’ market in Mars Wrigley Confectionery Asia, Australia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA),” Mars Wrigley Confectionery General Manager, India, Andrew Leakey.
The company is investing to strengthen its distribution network and is building a sustainable supply chain here to expand its reach beyond metros and some key cities. The company has “stronger growth ambitions” and is taking “a long-term view” on the Indian market, he said.
Presently, Mars Wrigley products are distributed through around 3, 00,000 outlets and it is eyeing to take the number to over 5, 00,000.
“With our continued focus on growth in the India market through our expanding distribution network, flexibility to scale as per demand, ongoing efforts to build sustainable supply chain and strong market potential, we anticipate one-fourth of our growth contribution for AMEA region, coming from India, over the next few years,” he said.
Last year, Mars Inc integrated its Mars Chocolate and Wrigley segments in India, creating Mars Wrigley Confectionery (MWC) to tap high growth potential here.
“We are taking a long term view over the business in India and the company is less concerned about the immediate paybacks,” he said.
Leakey said the company looks to introduce “products which are more relevant to the Indian market”.
The company has an innovation centre in Bengaluru which is helping it to localise some of the flavours here.
To expand its reach in the mass market, Mars has introduced a small Rs 10 pack of Snickers as in India around 80 per cent chocolates are sold in the Rs 10 price segment, he added.
“Since we have launched it, we have doubled our distribution of Snickers,” he said.
Mars has manufacturing plants in Pune, Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Hyderabad and Bengaluru and has plans to expand capacity when the demand increases.