India's rice-based food company LT Foods Limited has formed a joint venture with Japan's largest rice crackers company Kameda Seika to enter into healthy premium snack food segment. Together, they launched a range of rice crackers with the brand name Kari Kari that means crunchy in Japanese.
Kari Kari crisps, made from rice and peanuts, are roasted with no-trans fat for the health-conscious youth who is well travelled and likes to experiment with food. It is the Indian version of the Japanese snack Kameda Crisp. Kameda Seika owns 30 per cent share of the Japanese rice cracker market.
Available in four different flavours, Chilli Garlic, Wasabi, Salt and Pepper and Spice Mania, the rice crackers are priced at Rs 50 for 60 grams and Rs 99 for 135 grams pack. Kari Kari is made from a special rice grain with a higher percentage of starch for that additional crisp. The Delhi-based rice food company is manufacturing it in Haryana.
The joint venture has invested Rs 70 crore in the new product range, out of which Rs 25 crore went into setting up manufacturing facilities in Sonipat, Haryana and the rest will be used over the next few years for expansion and marketing.
Currently the products will be available online and in modern trade stores. Eventually, the plan is to cater to HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and cafes) segment.
The firm plans to earn 15 per cent of its revenue from exports from Middle East, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka by the next financial year. It expects to earn Rs 10 crore revenues by this fiscal and reach Rs 130 crore over the next five years.
Speaking at the launch, Vijay Kumar Arora, Chairman & Managing Director, LT Foods said, "Based on changing consumer needs and preferences and the demand for tasty and healthy snacks, the company has ventured into the premium snacks category in India with its rice-based snacks Kari Kari. This premium snacks category is growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent per annum. Kari Kari gained tremendous traction in its test launch phase in 150 modern trade stores across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, based on the success of which we decided a country-wide launch."
Jun Kono, Director, Daawat Kameda (India) and Overseas Manager, Kameda Seika, added, "Our rice snacks are popular in Japan and I am sure this roasted healthy snack with medley of rice crisps and peanuts will find much favour with the Indian Youth. The modern, technologically advanced manufacturing unit at Sonipat, will not only cater to the India market but the entire subcontinent, Middle East & other countries in future. Soon we will launch 'Kari Kari' in new formats as well."
The launch will be supported by product sampling at retail stores, airlines, multiplexes, corporate and colleges along with digital and social media campaign. After six months, advertising in television and radio will be used for promotion. The company plans to have a presence at 20,000 retail outlets by 2024.