Acknowledging about the rich properties of the fruit, celebrity endorsement, retail presence and the future plans Tarun Arora, Director, IG International spoke to Restaurantindia.in.
Continuing with its stint of introducing exotic foreign fruits in India, IG International, in association with Belgium based fruit company BelOrta, recently introduced Belgian Conference Pears in India. The fruit is highly nutritional in its values while being perfect choice to fill up the appetite for all ages of the consumer and especially for diabetic consumers.
What made you introduce Belgian Conference Pears in the fruit snacking space?
Observing that Indian packaged food industry is so big the Belgian Conference Pears team came up with the idea that why we are not in the fruit snaking space in the package food side. Fruits uniquely packed in punnet or in clamshell and delivered in smaller quantity like in kilogram attracts consumers so that that they don’t have to spend so much on the price but on the exoticness of the fruit at much cheaper value.
What are the nutritional values of the fruit?
Belgian Conference Pears is a very low calorie fruit, a medium size Belgian Pears will have 55-60 calories and most of it is natural sugar which doesn’t impact the overall sugar level significantly in the body. However, the fruit is more ripened it has more sugar in it. It has a mechanism of changing sucrose side and that is why it is crunchy and sugar profile is lesser. It has a lot of fiber as well which is very good for stomach. So even for a diabetic person this fruit can be a good natural choice which will also fill up his appetite. It is suitable for all ages.
Initially what is the quantity of fruit that you are importing?
The fruit is of 5 percent of the total import volume. Initially we are importing 500 tones of Belgian Conference Pears for the first year and then significantly we want to improve the total import.
With Sonu Sood as a brand ambassador how you are conveying the message of healthy lifestyle?
Today the way lifestyle of the consumers is going they are having more and more junk food. And as we are promoting healthy lifestyle and Belgian Conference Pears is something more healthy we decided to have fitness legend Sonu Sood on board and discuss about healthy lifestyle living. With the endorsement he is going to acknowledge the consumers about the fruit and how more fruits can be consumed every day.
What will be the retail presence of the fruit?
Currently, we are looking at 8000 leading retail outlets across India. It will be present across all the retailers including HyperCity, Foodhall, Reliance Fresh, BigBasket among others. We have also tied up with a lot of convenience mom and pop stores.
We have not directly tied up with hotels or restaurant but we have caterers and distributors. We have 30 distribution centers across the country.
Are you also planning to bring another fruits in tie-up with BelOrta?
Yes certainly, Avocado could be the next one and that is round the corner. If you look at Belgian as a country their largest produced product is Conference Pears.
Presently how many fruits are you importing and which is the largest?
Apple is the largest fruit that we are importing from various countries. The import depends upon season to season and the availability of the Indian apple because we only import it when Indian apples are finished. And the import depends on which country on that particular year has the large produce available.
What is your strategy of tapping the seasonal fruits?
India has a great potential in fruits. With the scientific growth of overall agro science there are so many varieties of fruits available today. Not every country can grow every variety in every fruit. Now the world is coming to a stage where every country has a unique variety which they are growing. Likewise there are few fruits available outside the country which are unique with their features and characteristics and that is our focus. We are working on bringing more such exotic fruits and make it available to the Indian consumers at the affordable price point. We are not looking at niche market but the masses.
What is your current turnover?
Currently we have a turnover of Rs 450 cr annually.