New Delhi: Cigarette-to-biscuit conglomerate ITC Ltd on Wednesday announced the launch of ragi flour and gluten-free flour under its Aashirvaad staples’ brand as it seeks to cater to the growing demand among urban consumers seeking healthier alternatives to regular flour.
The variants launched under the Aashirvaad “nature’s super foods range” include a gluten-free flour, ragi flour and multi-millet mix flour. This new range, priced at a premium to regular flour, will be available in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, the company said in a statement.
“The launch of Aashirvaad Nature’s Super Foods’ comes at a time when consumers are looking for products that are healthier options. Constant lifestyle changes among urban consumers is increasingly driving interest in back-to-roots, simple food. Easy-to-incorporate in daily meals, Nature’s Super Foods’ wholesome and healthy blends will help cater to consumers’ diverse nutri-wellness dietary requirements,” said Hemant Malik, divisional chief executive, foods, ITC Ltd. To be sure, Aashirvaad already sells a multi-grain flour.
The brand that was first launched in 2002, crossed a turnover of₹4,500 crore in FY19, and today sells flour, spices, dairy products, and instant mixes.
ITC’s push to diversify its fast moving consumer goods portfolio that comprises Vivel soap, Aashirvaad dairy products, Bingo chips, Sunfeast biscuits etc comes at a time when the company is increasingly looking to draw more sales from its FMCG business and reduce reliance on sales of tobacco products. The company has set a target to draw ₹100,000 crore revenue for FMCG by 2030.
Last year, ITC launched over 50 new FMCG products, across categories such as foods, personal care, education and stationery products, agarbatti etc, the company said in its annual report for FY19. It also forayed into dairy products under the Aashirwad brand to include packaged yogurt, paneer, and packaged rice to make it a staples brand.
Packaged food companies have been looking to add more nutrition and health benefits to their offerings. Biscuit-maker Britannia has been selling oats and ragi biscuits under its NutriChoice brand. Earlier this year, Bengaluru-based packaged foods company iD Fresh Food said it will sell organic ‘idli-dosa’ batter, as the company moves to serve consumers who seek more health benefits and transparency regarding the quality of food consumed.