“Our Frying Pan Foil is one of its kind, the best replacement for people who are on a specific diet”

16 July 2021 | Opinion

Asahi Kasei, a Japanese premium wrap and foil brand, first entered India in 2014 and steadily made its way to most of the country’s kitchens. The company manufactures three main food-related products that are available in the Indian market – Premium Wrap, Frying Pan Foil, and Cooking Sheet - bringing the Japanese way to store, cook and bake to Indian kitchens.

After the outbreak of pandemic, especially when the demand of food packaging material has increased, the company is aiming to expand its reach in India. In conversation with NuFFooDS Spectrum, Luve Oberoi, Senior Marketing Manager - Asahi Kasei India reveals the company’s strategies and plans about expanding its footprints in the country.

Edited excerpts-

 

How do you see business opportunities in the Indian market especially after the outbreak of the Pandemic?

Asahi Kasei is Japan’s No. 1 wrap brand and we fall under the category of essential products during the pandemic, our products are used for daily needs in every household. During pandemic, we see that lot of consumers are buying food in bulk quantities and stocking up food so they do not have to venture outside their homes often, this is when our Premium Wrap product helps them in storing food, fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time, at times even leftover food can be stored in the refrigerator using the Premium Wrap.

There is one challenge that we face is with regards to the delivery of products to each and every household becomes challenging due to the lockdown restrictions and manpower shortage in the supply chain, however the products are also available in retail stores like Big Bazaar, Le Marche, Foodhall in Delhi NCR, Reliance stores and many general trade stores in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kerala, Punjab and also online at Amazon, Flipkart and Big Basket.


After the outbreak of COVID-19, there is a sudden spike in the online food ordering domain. Do you think it is a positive sign for the food packaging industry?

We are currently selling online through E-Commerce which is a golden opportunity for us to reach the masses. We are also working towards educating the customers to stay  fit & healthy during this lockdown through social media channels & influencer strategy. By using products that we offer, people can try out cooking dishes that could be tasty and healthy at the same time. We are also educating them to stay at home and how they can use frying pan foil to make meals healthier without using oil. So, they can remain fit by not going to the gym or being able to exercise  in such crises.

 

What are the key segments you are focusing on currently?

India has a huge youth population with more working ladies going outside for work. We want to make their life easy and convenient through our products. Asahi Kasei products save time and energy in cooking so that you can give your time to your family members. India has a great market potential for new concepts and innovative products. It is a revolutionary product in Indian kitchen which will bring convenience and good health to Indian consumers and our products are very helpful to admire the requirement. Indian youth are accepting innovative products and want to try new products.

 

Asahi Kasei is a Japanese company which is on the verge of spreading its wings in India but there are other Indian companies that are offering the same products. How do you stand different from them?

All the three products (Premium wrap, Cooking sheet & Frying pan foil) are a boon for the health-conscious homemakers, working women and anyone else on the go. They are extremely convenient to use and save on time that can be used to pursue other interests. Our main focus is promoting a healthy lifestyle.

All the products come with a built- in cutter so it's easy to tear and easy to use! They render convenience and ease of use with a smart blade and carton box.

  1. Premium Wrap - comes with PVDC Cling film which is far superior to PVC or PE cling film that is available in the market. It keeps food fresh for a longer time and prevents moisture and smells from seeping through.
  2. Frying Pan Foil - is coated with silicone on one side which prevents food from sticking to the foil. There is no need to use oil which limits any additional calorie intake. Zero oil usage removes the hassle of cleaning the pan afterwards which saves time.
  3. Cooking Sheet - can be used for baking in the microwave oven and traditional ovens as well. There is no need to grease the baking pan or tray as it is coated with silicone on both the sides and hence no need to wash them after use.

 

One product of Asahi Kasei which is gaining popularity in India is Frying Pan Foil. Can you elaborate on that?

The Frying Pan Foil is Japan’s No.1 Silicone coated aluminium foil, one can simply place this on a pan and cook over the foil,  using oil can be skipped since it  has a Silicone coated on one side, this prevents food from sticking to the foil. Thus, keeping the calories in check and allowing you to enjoy your favorite dish but in a healthier way. The Frying Pan Foil is one of its kind, the best replacement for people who are on a specific diet or follow eating healthy food and prefer having similar lifestyles. The Frying Pan Foil has a Silicone coated on one side, this Prevents food from sticking to the foil. Using the product eliminates the need for oil, making meals healthier. One can make any pan-fried food like dosa, Uthappa, paneer tikka without using oil.

 

The concept of cloud kitchen is catching up in India which also means that there will be a huge demand for food packaging material. Do you feel that this could be the real game-changer for the industry?

Yes, the hospitality industry is drastically hit by the global pandemic and cloud kitchens were a new format of food deliveries that have evolved in India in many cities. Innovative packaging to keep food fresh for a long time is always something that people prefer to offer when they deliver food. With people having busy schedules and cloud kitchens growing there will be a visible demand in the food packaging delivery industry in the coming years. It would be a game changer since there will be a demand for innovative packaging products within the food industry.

 

What are your future plans and how you are aiming to expand your reach especially in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India?

We were going to launch our products in new cities (Tier - II & Tier-III) through super markets, which is postponed to next quarter due to the pandemic situation, but we are already supplying through big basket in these cities so we have a good golden opportunity to reach to masses through e-commerce as online is now the next place to be in and is more convenient as well.  We already have a brand ambassador placed who is promoting our products for this year as well. The idea is to be a product that every household should have to have a hassle-free cooking experience.

 

Nitin Konde

nitinmmactiv2019@gmail.com

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