Can you give us a background of
The company, which is into processing, packing, export and import of nuts and dry fruits, was established in Jammu in 1926. Nutraj, the umbrella brand of VKC Nuts, is the latest retail and consumer brand in the market. The company reported a 25% growth in revenue to Rs 900 crore in the year ending 31 March 2022 and has set a target of Rs 1,500 crore in the next fiscal year. VKC Nuts currently has seven units in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Jammu & Kashmir.
What is driving the demand for these products, after a switch from traditional kirana stores to modern retail outlets and e-commerce platforms?
Globalization and awareness of health benefits of nuts and dry fruits could be a couple of factors driving sales. Especially after COVID-19, consumers associate nuts and dry fruits with good health.
Similarly, the growth is also connected with rising income levels. Having said that, India is still at the tip of the iceberg. The per capita consumption of nuts and dry fruits is still very low as compared to the US and other developed markets.
What would be your strategy going forward?
While the industry is still very fragmented, we claim to be the largest player in the market. If one looks at numbers, we have around 4% market share. By estimates, the industry is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore and we are nearing around Rs 1,000 crore. We plan to open eight more manufacturing units by 2024, each with a capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes. We also aim to have a total of 25 company-owned stores and 50 franchise stores by the end of 2023.
Do you have any suggestions on the policy front?
The taxation in the industry is very high. Walnuts are available at a 120% tariff and raisins are at a 105% tariff. If something can be done on the tariff front, it would help everyone. There should be more awareness on part of the authorities, especially as these are healthy food items. It will help expand the category.