Spurred by the sweet results of its India-oriented products — such as Nimbooz, the packaged lemon water — Pepsico has resolved to taste India’s namkeen market within a couple of years.

Pepsico’s snacks brands like Uncle Chipps and Kurkure enjoy an appreciable market share in India. However, the company has not been able to dip into the country’s enormous namkeen market.

The Pepsico India chairman, Sanjeev Chadha, has told the media that the company has planned to placate the Indian palate with innovative products that use ingredients indigenous to the country.

Further, it has been reported that Chadha believes there were plenty of opportunities for the company in India’s juices and drinks category.

As for the namkeen plan, the project to establish Pepsico’s fourth snacks plant, at an estimated cost of around USD 50 million, is already underway.

At present, however, it is not known what namken products the company plans to introduce to India.

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The Indian snacks market is worth around US$ 3 billion, with the organised segment taking half the market share, and has an annual growth rate of 15-20 per cent. The unorganised snacks market is worth US$ 1.56 billion, with a growth rate of 7-8 per cent per year. There are approximately 1,000 types of snacks and another 300 types of savouries being sold in the Indian market today. Potato chips and potato-based items are the most popular products with more than 85 per cent share of the salty snack market, the report said. In the organised potato chips market, Pepsi and Haldiram’s are some of the leading players.

There is a big market for snacks in India as urban Indian consumers eat ready-made snacks 10 times more than their rural counterparts. Indians in the western regions eat the maximum amount of snacks, followed by the people in northern region.

“Consumers are willing to pay a premium for both value-added private and branded products, creating immense opportunities for manufacturers and retailers,’ the report stated. “There is a widespread recognition in India that consumers are likely to replace light meals with snacks”, it further added.

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