“Collaboration between industry stakeholders and regulatory bodies can lead to beneficial outcomes for the Indian Bakery sector”

Aditi Handa, Co-Founder & Head Chef, The Baker’s Dozen

With a projected market value likely to exceed $12 billion by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 9.3 per cent from 2019 to 2024, the Indian bakery industry is the key player in the bakery sector internationally after the USA. Mumbai-based bakery brand, The Baker’s Dozen, is one of the emerging players in this industry. Sharing her thoughts with nuFFOODS Spectrum, Aditi Handa, Co-founder & Head Chef, The Baker’s Dozen highlights the recent developments in the company along with the trends in the Indian bakery industry. Edited excerpts;

What according to you is the market size of the Indian bakery market and where does The Baker’s Dozen stand in this market?

Artisan Bakery in the food and beverage segment is growing and the pandemic has accentuated its growth manyfold. Now people are becoming more health conscious and are adopting mindful eating habits which led to the increase in the demand for artisan breads. It’s a renaissance period for Sourdough since people are going back to the roots and exploring this authentic bread-making technique.

In 2012, the bakery market in India was Rs 3295 crore and by 2021, it has become Rs 75,000 crore growing at a CAGR of 24.5 per cent. Around 46 per cent of consumers consider bakery items produced using enhanced hygiene/food safety measures as important. 43 per cent of Indians are interested in learning how to bake driving premixes and DIY kits.  Bakery consumption is on the rise due to changing food habits, more on-the-go consumption and increasing awareness of bakery products. The Baker’s Dozen is strategically poised to leverage this burgeoning market expansion, courtesy of its distinctive product range and extensive nationwide reach. The confluence of these factors positions The Baker’s Dozen as a frontrunner in this thriving landscape.

What was the annual revenue of The Baker’s Dozen in FY 2022 and what do you expect in FY 2023?

We closed last financial year at Rs 45 crore Net Revenue and are aiming to grow to Rs 60-80 crore for this fiscal year. We are also aiming to do this while achieving EBITDA profitability by the end of the year. This dual strategy underscores our dedication to both expansion and financial sustainability. It reflects our confidence in our business model and our ability to manage growth efficiently, ultimately delivering value to our stakeholders while maintaining a strong financial footing. Our team is fully aligned with these objectives, and we are excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year.

What are the challenges in the Indian bakery industry and how did you overcome them?

In the food industry, the most significant challenge lies in producing an authentic product while competing against brands that resort to aggressive discounting and false advertising to gain market share. Customers are discerning, but they may not always be fully informed about certain practices and nuances within the industry. Assuming the responsibility of educating customers is an arduous task, particularly for emerging brands.

One of the primary reasons behind the growth of our brand is the continuous market-building activities that we do to build awareness for our audience for Sourdough and the other artisan bread served at The Baker’s Dozen.

Additionally, it’s an industry where some players prioritise short-term gains over genuine quality and transparency. In contrast, our commitment to providing an honest product means we not only compete in the market but also strive to educate our customers about what goes into their food choices. This educational role is especially daunting for a younger brand like ours. Nonetheless, we believe it’s essential to empower our customers with knowledge and uphold our dedication to integrity and authenticity in the food we offer.

What are your future plans?

As a brand, our historical focus has primarily been on offline channels, be it through our proprietary brand stores or strategic partnerships with modern trade outlets. However, in the current year, we are taking a significant step forward in strengthening our offline presence. We are set to introduce an exciting new line of rusks, toasts, and cookies, thereby elevating our engagement and offerings within the offline retail sector. We further plan to double our marketing spending focussing on a combination of ATL avenues such as hoardings with new-age media like influencer marketing and digital marketing. We will also be focusing on point-of-sale marketing through retail merchandise and banners/offers on e-commerce partners.

Could you shed light on your R&D efforts?

Our R&D efforts are a testament to our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. We continually strive to elevate the quality and appeal of our current offerings by refining recipes, adopting cutting-edge techniques, and staying at the forefront of packaging technology. This dedication to excellence ensures that our customers consistently receive top-notch products.

Simultaneously, our R&D team is actively engaged in identifying and capitalising on market opportunities that align with our company’s long-term goals. By developing new products that fill gaps in the market, we aim to expand our reach and provide solutions that cater to evolving consumer needs and preferences. This dual-pronged approach not only fuels our growth but also reinforces our position as a dynamic and customer-centric organisation committed to delivering high-quality products and staying ahead of market trends.

What are your suggestions for boosting the Indian Bakery industry? 

Considering that they are experts in this field, I believe it would be inappropriate for me to provide input in this area. However, it’s worth mentioning that continuous dialogue and collaboration between industry stakeholders and regulatory bodies can lead to beneficial outcomes for the Indian Bakery sector. This collaborative approach can help address industry challenges, foster innovation, and ensure the highest standards of quality and safety in bakery products.

Which business practices have you adopted to be more eco-friendly? 

We have recognised the pressing need to proactively contribute to the well-being of our planet, and we sought to integrate this commitment into the very fabric of our identity. We initiated a comprehensive sustainability assessment. This assessment entailed a meticulous examination of the environmental and social implications stemming from our business operations. It encompassed an evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions across our entire supply chain, covering production, transportation, electricity consumption, water usage, gas consumption, and packaging materials.

Subsequently, we established ambitious targets for the current financial year. Our primary objectives include achieving plastic neutrality and implementing eco-friendly delivery practices.

It’s important to note that we are still in the nascent stages of our sustainability journey, and tangible results may take some time to materialise.

Mansi Jamsudkar


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