Rajasthan Patrika, JAIPUR, July 19, 1998

Candico Ltd to focus on gums, fresheners  
New Delhi, July 18 : Domestic confectionery maker Candico Limited plans a host of new launches in the gums and mouth freshener segment as part of its strategy to counter competition from multinationals like Nestle, Perfetti and Wrigley's.
         Company's Chairman and Managing Director,
Sanjiv Kumar said that there would be two new products in the gums category by October this year. "We have already launched a new flavoured gum Freedom last month. This will be followed by two new variants", he said.
          One will be an exotic flavour and the second
will be an improved version of Loco Poco the
company's chewing gum, he said.
         Anticipating larger volumes in this segment,
Candico has drawn up plans to set up two more
manufacturing facilities near its existing plant in
Nagpur. The estimated cost of these projects
would be at least Rs. 50 crore, he said.
         Candico will set up these new plants with its
existing equal equity partners - German Curt Georgi and Belgium EuroBase - for developing flavours and gum bases respectively.
        "We have chosen gums as one of our thrust
area as the market for gum is booming and has
immense potential. It has grown from Rs 50 crore five years back to Rs 350-400 crore now but still per capita consumption is a mere fraction compared to international levels."
In the mouth freshener segment, Candico's Mint-O faces stiff competition from Nestle's Polo.
       Kumar said Candico, therefore, has decided to spread the risk by launching varieties of Mint-O in flavours such as pan and After Smoke.
       While Nestle has positioned Polo on flavours
(Pan Polo or Polo Mint), we've taken the attitude route to avoid being a me too, he said.
    In most product sub-categories in the confectionery market, new flavours, attractive packaging and price bands (25p, 50p or one Re) decide the penetration, he says.
            Hence the emphasis on developing flavours through joint ventures besides extensive pre-launch test marketing.
             Candico was hived off from the biscuits major
Bakeman's and has completed it's full year of operations with Rs 74 crore turnover.
             It has 14 products in all at present. Apart from
the widely known Mint-O, it has toffees, candies, mouth fresheners, gums series and panned products.
             Its current manufacturing facility at Nagpur
has an installed capacity of 30,000 tonnes per annum, but only 30 per cent of this is being utilised till now.
           "We set up such a large capacity anticipating our future expansion strategies across all product categories. With the present setup, I need not invest in setting up capacity for the next five years", says Sanjiv Kumar.