Diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd is seeking to expand its product portfolio in the dairy segment and tap into West Bengal’s “low” milk consumption, a company official said on Thursday. Per capita milk availability in West Bengal is “low”, a third of the national average of 427 grams per day, he said.
“We want to expand the range of dairy products from milk, ghee, curd, lassi, paneer. We continue to study consumer needs and launch new products accordingly,” the manager told PTI. of ITC Dairy and Beverage Operations, Sanjay Singal, on the sidelines of a program at the Bengal Global Business Summit.
“We are now present in West Bengal and Bihar (for dairy business) and will continue to focus on these two states over the next few years.
“There are no fresh dairy players nationwide because you have to set up a supply chain for daily delivery,” Singal said.
Both states currently contribute equally to its dairy business with around 50% each, he said, adding that the company has a 10-15% share of the fresh dairy market in Kolkata.
“Milk consumption is a third of the national average in Bengal. There is an opportunity for all players,” he said.
The diversified conglomerate currently sources milk from around 10,000 farmers in Hooghly, Howrah and Maldah, West Bengal, Singal said.
Asked about the evolution of dairy prices in the sector, he said: “Every category has seen an inflationary headwind. increase in milk prices across the country. We always try to minimize this impact. Everyone increased the price by an average of Rs 2 per liter and we also did the same.
Milk is the most important agricultural product which contributes 5% of the national economy and directly employs more than 8 million farmers.
India is ranked first for milk production, contributing 23% of global milk production, according to the latest economic survey.