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Cornitos bets big on its healthy ingredients, flavours

Vikram Agarwal, GreenDot's Founder and Director, is optimistic about Cornitos's expansion in India.

Arunima Mishra | June 3, 2014 | Updated 16:04 IST
Vikram Agarwal, Founder & Director, GreenDot Health Foods
Vikram Agarwal, Founder & Director, GreenDot Health Foods

Cornitos, a flavoured tortilla corn chips brand, was established in 2009 under GreenDot Health Foods Ltd banner. Vikram Agarwal, GreenDot's Founder and Director, is optimistic about Cornitos's expansion in India. "We want to touch a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the next three years, from the current Rs 25 crore. We broke even this year (in 2014) even when we had not started advertising in a full-fledged manner."

Agarwal says that while regular potato chips have a four-month shelf life, Cornitos has a shelf life of six months. "It is 100 per cent corn snack, gluten-free, has zero cholesterol and trans fats, and contains up to 40 per cent less oil than regular potato chips. The sale of Cornitos nachos is growing as there's a growing demand for 'in-between-meals' snack. Adopting healthy snacking is important and we will continue to keep offering such healthy choices in the future as well." says Agarwal, who picked the name 'GreenDot' as it symbolises vegetarianism.

Cornitos, which has a pan-India presence, is available across major FMCG stores such as Foodhall, Spencer's, Easyday, Carrefour, More, Hypercity, Auchan, Big Bazaar, etc. It has tied up with SpiceJet, Jet Airways, IndiGo, and is in talks with more airlines. It is also present in major multiplexes, airports and in Café Coffee Day outlets. Cornitos products are exported globally, to the US, China, Nepal, Singapore, Nigeria, Ghana and Sri Lanka. "We will soon be launching our products in Thailand, Korea and Bangladesh," says Agarwal, who wants to create a benchmark in the snack market, both nationally and internationally, by delivering new innovative products to the consumer.
Equipped with a fully automated state-of-the-art food processing unit in a hygienic manufacturing environment, the Cornitos team is committed to providing quality products to its customers. The manufacturing facility is spread over an area of 6,000 sq. metres at Roorkee in Haridwar district, Uttarakhand. It has an annual production capacity of 1,800 tonne, which Agarwal aims to double next year with an additional line to meet the growing demand.

Agarwal says he spends 10 to 15 per cent of the sales on advertising the product. Though tortilla chips are a product of the western markets, the company has launched nine flavours, more than any other chips brand, that suit the Indian palate very well. These include Barbeque, Wasabi, Tikka Masala, Thai Sweet Chilli, Sea Salt, Tomato Mexicana, Lime N' Mint, Cheese and Herbs, and Sizzling Jalapeno. Cornitos product range -- priced between Rs 15 (30 gms) and Rs 85 (150 gms) -- also includes delectable salsa n cheese dips gherkins, jalapeno and relish for toppings.

According to industry estimates, the snack food market in India is pegged at Rs 13,000 crore, while traditional namkeen is around Rs 5,200 crore. The size of the nacho crisps category is estimated at Rs 32 crore to Rs 35 crore in the organised sector. Because of low penetration levels and per capita consumption in India, nacho crisps will take a while to scale up, say industry insiders. But, a focused Agarwal is looking at the next five years as far as the maturity of the nacho crisps category goes.


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