DS Group launches premium milk brand Ksheer to take on Mother Dairy, Amul

Arunima Mishra        Last Updated: October 17, 2013  | 13:48 IST
DS Group launches premium milk brand Ksheer

Rising milk prices are prompting dairy companies to expand their product offerings. While there are a number of companies in the packaged milk segment, only a handful such as Nestle, Mother Dairy, Amul, and Parag Milk are present in the Rs 1,500-crore high-quality Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) premium segment. Now, Dharampal Satyapal Group, or DS Group, has joined the bandwagon.

The diversified DS Group launched UHT milk and cow ghee under the 'Ksheer' brand on Wednesday. The company, which forayed into the dairy segment last year, has started selling UHT milk in the national capital region in three variants - Toned, Double Toned and Slim 'n' Fit. It has priced the three variants at Rs 58, Rs 57 and Rs 60 per litre, respectively.

The company also plans to launch flavoured milk and dairy whitener, it said in a press release.

UHT milk accounts for less than 1 per cent of the total milk market in India and 4 per cent of the organised milk segment, according to International Market Analysis Research & Consulting. The UHT category is likely to grow 20 per cent annually between 2011 and 2017, the market research firm says.

Amul, the flagship dairy brand of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, recorded 53 per cent growth in demand for UHT milk during 2012/13.

Anshu Dewan, Director at DS Milk Products Ltd, said demand for safe and healthy milk is rising in India because of concerns of adulteration. "The brand 'Ksheer' symbolises the ocean of milk, which represents purity," he said. Devendra Shah, Chairman of Parag Milk Foods Pvt Ltd, agrees with Dewan. "The unavailability of fresh and pure milk which consumers can trust in India was the motivation for us to start the Pride of Cows brand," he said.

Parag Milk launched the Pride of Cows brand in July 2011. Unlike other milk, Pride of Cows is not sourced from farmers. The company has its own farm. Shah said this ensures complete control over the quality of milk. The company has invested Rs 15 crore in the machinery at its farm. It delivers milk under this brand in refrigerated conditions to clients' doorstep directly from the farm after pasteurisation. Its clientele include cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actors Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Amitabh Bachchan, as well as Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

Pride of Cows delivers more than 3,000 litres a day at Rs 75 per litre, Shah said.

Angshuman Bhattacharya, Director for Strategy Services Group at consulting firm KPMG India, says UHT milk category will continue to grow also because the cold supply chain in the country is not developed. There is no need for a cold supply chain in case of UHT milk as the product has long shelf life.

"The eastern and northeastern markets, which have traditionally been milk-deficient, used to earlier consume dairy whiteners and condensed milk. These regions are becoming a big market for UHT milk as the product can be shipped from other parts of the country under ambient conditions, unlike polypack milk," he adds.

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