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Del Monte expands range with aim to become top 10 food and beverage company

NEW DELHI: FieldFresh Foods is expanding its Del Monte product offerings in India as part of a plan to become a top 10 company in the food and beverage (F&B) space in the next five years. 

"We are expanding our product range. We will enter the snacks category with our dried fruit offerings," 
FieldFresh Foods Pvt Chief Operating Officer Yogesh Bellani told PTI. 

The company, a 50:50 venture between 
Del Monte Pacific Ltd and Bharti Enterprises, will launch its dried fruit snacks range in the next quarter. 

"Indians are getting health conscious. We will launch our dried fruit snack range next quarter. Initially, it will be only prunes. But we will also add cranberries and apricots," Bellani said. 

Priced at Rs 40 per 40-gram pack, the snack range will initially be a small part of the company's offerings, but in the next five years or so, "we expect it to become a substantial product in our portfolio," he said. 

FieldFresh is considering increasing the prices of its products to offset the rupee's depreciation, which has led to pressure on its margins. 

"We may hike prices of our products. We are watching it very closely but some impact will start to trickle down in the near future." 

Over the next two quarters, two-three new products would be added to the company's Italian and culinary range, he said. It has added 8-10 new products to its range so far this year. 

"Our vision is to be among the top 10 companies in the food and beverage space in the next five years," Bellani said. 

The current slowdown in the economy has not affected the company's expansion plans. 

"Every quarter, we are adding capacity. We have a capex planned for this year and we have not cut back on that plan. We believe it is a long-term growth story in this country," he said. 

Bellani refused to elaborate on the investment, saying the company is privately held and does not disclose financial details. 

The Del Monte range offered in India includes fruit drinks, packaged fruits, ketchups and sauces and the Italian range of gourmet pasta, pasta sauces and olive oil.