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Ravi Jaipuria to foray into ready-to-eat, frozen foods

NEW DELHI: Industrialist Ravi Jaipuria plans to foray into packaged frozen and ready-to-eat foods through his firm Devyani Food Industries, maker of Creambell ice cream. 

"We plan to leverage the cold chain and backend infrastructure of our existing businesses for the foods venture," said Jaipuria, cola maker PespiCo's biggest bottler in South Asia and largest Indian franchisee of KFC and 
Pizza Hut restaurant chains. The new brand, Farmbell, is scheduled for launch within two years. 

Devyani is also doubling the capacity of the Kosi plant of Creambell, which is now among the top five ice-cream brands in the country. Creambell CEO 
Nitin Arora said the Kosi plant, its third manufacturing facility after Baddi and Goa, could be the single largest plant for ice cream in the country by next year. 

While Amul leads the estimated Rs 3,000-crore organised ice-cream industry with a market share of close to 30%, Creambell has a share 10-11% and is neck-to-neck with Mother Dairy, according to company estimates. Both trail Hindustan Unilever's Kwality Walls and Ahmedabad-based Vadilal. Creambell now hopes to increase its revenues by one-third this year ending December to Rs 400 crore, up from Rs 300 crore last year. 

"Though we too are seeing the impact of an economic slowdown and growth could have been faster, the semi-premium and premium segment is growing faster than the mass-priced products," Arora said. 

For future growth, Creambell officials said it plans to enter key markets such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala where it is not available over the next couple of years. 

Also, RJ Corp will take the brand to select African markets like Kenya and Zambia where Jaipuria has existing dairy businesses next month. Besides ice cream, it plans to sell milk, yogurt and butter under Creambell brand in Africa.