Since its launch in the year 2000, the premium range of cookies has used its proprietary oven technology to establish its presence in the country, retailing its products through 60 stores in 200 locations. South – Chennai and Bengaluru, contributes the maximum revenues, even as the turnover of Cookie Man is set to touch Rs 42 crore for the fiscal ending March 2017.
Anupam Saluja, CEO, Australian Foods India gave an overall insight on the evolution of the company’s flagship brand in India. Incidentally, Cookie Man happens to be one of the few Australian investments in TN. After a silent phase, the company is planning to get more aggressive on branding as it preps up with a slew of campaigns. For starters, targeting the fitness-conscious consumers, the company has lined up the launch of organic cookie without added sugar.
“We will be introducing organic cookies as a high-protein offering,” he says. Nearly half of the stores are co-owned stores as Saluja notes that franchising is still at a nascent stage in the country. The dough, along with the ice cream (frozen) and other products are transported from a factory located in Ambattur Industrial Estate to other locations.
Last Deepavali yielded ‘fireworks’ as its new chocolates introduced in the market three years ago picked up extremely well. “We witnessed a huge demand for our chocolates during the festival. Given the market acceptance, we are gearing up to bring the premium range of chocolates soon,” Saluja said.
In the existing factory, a section has been earmarked for production of these hand-crafted premium chocolates. “We have already got the machinery and equipment needed for the purpose and hope to make them available by June,” he said, targeting the volume from chocolates to touch between 30 and 45 tons.
Last year, the company had sold around 18 tons of chocolates. Cookies still contribute a sizeable 55 per cent of the overall turnover. Saluja is upbeat about gifting, that he feels, as a concept is proving to be a huge opportunity.
With the scent of freshly baked cookies typically drawing footfalls at airports and malls (where it has bulk of its sales coming from), the company has also tried wooing customers by offering filter coffee along with cookies in some of its locations. “This has given us good growth of 12 to 14 per cent,” he said.
Following the note ban, card purchases had gone up to 50 per cent from the earlier 30 per cent and to keep the “impulse buying” going, they had added new variants in their existing range of products. For instance, there are now as many as 20 variants of ice-cream, which contributes around 15 per cent of the net turnover.