By Ramesh Kebbehundi
Think milk and only ‘Nandini’ comes to your mind, despite tough competition from other brands. After being a household brand, Nandini has now forayed into the market of snacks and namkeens, taking on the more powerful brands with aggressive marketing and customer-friendly strategies. And as if to give a shot in the arm to its marketing strategies, a state-of-the-art Mega Dairy of
Mysuru Milk Union Limited (MyMUL) has been commissioned at Alanahalli in Mysuru. It is Karnataka’s largest automated facility which involves zero human intervention.
This Weekend Star Supplement focuses on the Bigger Bite taken by Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) in the snack market and at the same time throws light on the Mega Dairy that is one more feather in the cap of this heritage city.
Spicing up your Cuppa
After literally ruling the milk market in Karnataka through a white flood, Nandini, a brand run and managed by Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has forayed into the business of snacks, to go with a hot cup of coffee or tea, made with Nandini milk. The Federation has, for the first time, entered the market with spicy short eats under Nandini brand.
As part of planned aggressive marketing strategies, KMF’s retail outlets across the State are selling milk products, condiments and khara items such as ‘benne muruku’ made of milk. And KMF officials are upbeat as the consumers are lapping it up as the products have the same quality synonymous with the brand, with the USP (unique selling proposition) being that they are made of pure milk.
KMF introduced snack products November last year with the main intention of promoting khara products along with sweet items. Khara products were introduced under Nandini brand as there were complaints that agents at Nandini outlets were selling khara items that were brought from the open market. The khara brand was introduced to dissuade agents from selling other brand short eats and at the same time, diversify the milk market adding more products under one household brand.
Apart from milk, ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) milk, flexi pack milk, curds and other fermented products, ghee and butter, milk powder, ice cream, frozen desserts and chocolates, KMF has been selling more than 81 milk-based ethnic sweets including Mysore Pak, Peda, Khova, Premium Badam Burfi, Premium Cashew Burfi, Dry Fruits Burfi, Coconut Burfi, Chocolate Burfi, varieties of Peda like Kesar Peda, Elaichi Peda, Ready-to-Eat Khova Jamoon and Rosogolla, Nandini Bite, Jamoon mix and Badam powder.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, KMF Director (Marketing) M.T. Kulkarni said Khara products
like Benne Murku, Chakkuli, mixture and Kodubale introduced three months back have received overwhelming response from customers. In the initial months, KMF introduced khara products with a monthly production of four tonnes. Now, the production has doubled to eight tonnes.
KMF has 14 Milk Unions covering all the districts and these unions procure milk from Primary Dairy Cooperative Societies and distribute milk and milk products across markets. It has set up 16 marketing depots including Mysuru, Mandya, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Kalaburagi and Belagavi. Such depots have been established in Hyderabad, Kannur, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Chennai
Mineral water a grand success too
KMF has also tasted success in mineral water business launched eight months ago. It has been selling 8 lakh litres of bottled mineral water every month and has augmented its production activity considering huge demand. It also produces 2,000 kilograms of cookies every month which is a runaway success.
KMF has given clear instructions to all its milk
KMF has been receiving orders for hundreds of tonnes of sweets and khara products from premier Public Sector undertakings like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and Indian Space Research Organisation, Indian Institute of Science, Bharat Electronics Limited and from various software firms. These bulk orders are given during festival season and on special occasions including satellite and rocket launching.
State Boards and Corporations have also been purchasing KMF sweet and khara products for special occasions following directions from State Chief Secretary. This has helped KMF maintain its position in the market and at the same time helping milk producers get marketing facilities.
On brand promotion, Kulkarni said that various cine actors including Upendra, Puneeth Rajkumar, Darshan, Ramya, Ragini, and Rachitha Ram have been popularising Nandini products without seeking any remuneration. Matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar was the first film personality to promote Nandini products without any remuneration.
KMF has roped in franchises to set up retail outlets in and around city headquarters. Nandini outlets are expected to dot cities with milk unions planning to set up at least two shops every kilometre. Another 1,000 shops will be launched in the rest of Karnataka. This will be in addition to the existing retail chain of the Nandini brand. It has around 500 exclusive Nandini outlets and over 1,800 milk parlours run by authorised agents.
“At present, milk parlours operate only for a few hours in the morning while the number of retail outlets that are open throughout the day is limited. We are planning a slew of new shops which will be a combination of milk parlours and retail outlets. They will sell milk and an array of Nandini products,” said Kulkarni.
While the process of identifying franchises has already begun, KMF, as an incentive, is planning to fund the rent for premises and provide the required equipment such as freezers at subsidised prices. Officials say that while the new retail chains would help ramp up revenues, it would also enable Nandini to take on increasing competition from other brands.
With a share of about 25% in the national market, Nandini brand stands a distant second to Amul, which has a share of over 60%.Kulkarni said the popularity of Nandini brand is growing in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. KMF, which exports UHT (ultra-heat treated) milk to foreign countries including Singapore, Qatar and Australia, is also looking to scale up exports, he said.
All you wanted to know about MyMUL Mega Dairy
- The state-of-the-art mega dairy of Mysuru Milk Union Limited (MyMUL) has been established at Alanahalli.
- It is a fully automated mega milk dairy set up by Mysuru District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Societies’ Union.
- The unit will be fully operational from March 31. A striking feature of this unit is the bust of Dr. Verghese Kurien known as the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ in India. The bust has been sculpted by Mysuru’s Arun Yogiraj.
mega dairyis built at an estimated cost of Rs. 187 crore on 13 acres of land.
- It is the biggest compared to similar facilities in other parts of the State, especially in Bengaluru.
- The land of the new unit is spread over 13 acres out of 38.19 acres owned by Mysuru District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Societies’ Union.
- The mega plant is a fully automated facility with zero human intervention from the start to end stage of production.
- The procurement, production and packing processes can be controlled by a computer.
- As the milk will not be exposed to air throughout the process, the products will be of superior quality.
- The plant has the capacity to process six lakh
litresmilk a day, which can be increased to nine lakh litres.
- Most of the equipment
havebeen imported from Sweden, mainly those installed to pasteurisemilk and separate cream from milk.
- The government has invested Rs. 128 crore in the first phase, and works at a cost of Rs. 59 crore will be taken up in the second phase.
- Milk powder unit with the capacity to produce 30 metric tonnes will be established in phase two.
- The fully automated facility can be controlled by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
- Only treated water generated through
ReverseOsmosis (RO) method will be used to ensure a quality product to consumers.