City-based chicken retailer Royal Chicken, which recently opened two outlets here, targets to launch 10 more stores across in Chennai before the end of the calendar year. The start-up targets 100 stores in the city by the end of the next financial year and plans to extend its business to Bengaluru with as many stores during the same period.
The consumption of chicken is on the rise in Chennai, if global statistics were the barometer to go by. The per capita consumption of chicken in the city 6.5 kg which outranks the national average of about 3.6 kg. Of course, there is a whole lot of opportunity when one considers that the per capita consumption in Asia is about 9.6 kg and the global average is 17 kg. Dr Ravindran, the CEO of the company says, “There will only be more growth in the consumption of chicken, in Chennai and India. The reason is that it’s affordable, nutritious and is kosher across the board unlike beef and pork. The trend nationally and even in Chennai until a few years ago was that chicken would be a weekly or fortnightly indulgence, which is rapidly changing thanks to the fast food culture.”
Preference-wise, majority of Indians, i.e. close to 95 per cent prefer farm fresh chicken as opposed to the frozen meat variants available in supermarkets. And it’s also shaped the business model of the company as Ravindran tells us, “We have our own breeding farms and hatchery where we procure parent chickens from Haryana, which supply us with the broilers that go on to feed the retail outlets. As India is a market where live poultry is preferred, we realised this was the space we needed to be in. Our aim is to be in control of the end-to-end supply and retail aspects of our business. The organised retail market for chicken, or for that matter, any form of protein i.e. meat is negligible in India and we intend to bring about a change in that system.”
Apart from embarking on a round the clock delivery model, the company is also paying due attention to the e-commerce business, by launching its mobile app and web-based app to keep up with customer requirements.
The cumulative market for meat and fish products in Tamil Nadu is worth Rs 30,000 cr p.a. These are the spaces being targeted by fresh entrants into the organised meat retailing space in the city.
According to experts, the market segment pan India is worth Rs 2,00,000 cr, when it comes to meat based proteins. However, only 18 per cent of proteins in the Indian diet comes from meats. So, it’s is an industry that has potential for growth, which has piqued the curiosity of many players who are now looking at multiple store formats and produce formats - including farm fresh meats and frozen meat products available in supermarkets.