In conversation with Vikram Agarwal, Director, Greendot Health Foods, who talks about how Cornitos is making its presence felt in the Indian market.
Cornitos branded Nacho was established in 2009 under Greendot Health Foods Pvt Ltd banner which is a part of 30 million US$ GC Group & manufactures of Capacitors & Electric Grade MPP Films. Cornitos is now the largest brand in the Nacho Crisps category in India and exports to thirteen nations. The man behind Cornitos is Vikram Agarwal. In a country where traditional namkeen still rules the taste bud, bringing in the quintessential Mexican snack was a leap of faith. Read on to know how Agarwal made Cornitos crack through the tough snack market in India and how this brand is able to hold 80% market share in Nacho Crisps Category in India.
Tell us about your extensive distribution model. How do you operate via this model efficiently?
Our complete range of products is available Pan India in Retail, E-Retail and Modern Trade stores. We have achieved institutional sales across Airlines, Horeca, Multiplexes and Cafes. Currently, we are available in 300 tier I and II cities through a network of over 30000 + retailers.
What are the challenges you see in the industry and how do you tackle them?
Unlike other markets such as the United States and Mexico, where Nachos / Tortilla chips are independent product categories in themselves, establishing these as strong product categories in India had their own share of challenges. We gain consumer confidence through extensive Marketing activities like conducting wet sampling in top Modern Retail Outlets, Media advertising, organizing healthy snacking awareness activity in Schools and sharing Nacho recipes through Food blogger events, across India.
How do you select your partners? Is there any requisite?
We have been selective in our approach in giving our product to the right distributors ensuring that it is put into the right places. For this we assessed the markets where premium and international gourmet products were already available. We did not go for mass distribution; instead we reached out to a smaller number of distributors who were already handling premium and niche products.
Who do you think is your competitor?
We view Full Snacks Category as our Competition.
What are your expansion plans this year?
We are planning to launch Veggie Nachos in the Market soon this year. Consumers are now adopting healthier and innovative snacks like veggie nachos which are made using vegetable extract blended with corn. The main benefit of Veggie Nachos is nutritional value of the product increases to a very high extent. Vegetable extract blended with corn gives natural colour, health and unique flavour to Nachos.
Do you plan to take up franchising as a business model for expanding globally?
Yes, we can take up this business model.
Tips for young entrepreneurs to be successful in a snack business in India
In the snacks segment, new launches and investments have followed a set pattern – there is a tendency to follow leader brands. This has led to the growth of me-too brands. I believe in following the blue ocean strategy, which involves putting a differentiator brand or idea in place and creating more value for the consumers. While launching Cornitos, the focus has been on entering an uncontested space where competitors were yet to step in, we reduced our entry costs and got better value.