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We intend to increase our revenue to Rs 1,000 crore by FY 2021, says Modern Food’s Aseem Soni

Modern Food recently underwent a brand refresh based on insights from consumers. The brand now has a new positioning – ‘Making wholesome awesome’ – as it targets younger audiences with newer variants

Aseem Soni (CEO & Board Member Modern Food Enterprises Pvt Ltd) & Rajev Shukla (MD, Everstone Capital Advisors, Mumbai & Director of Board of Modern Food Enterprise Pvt Ltd)

Famous for its breads, Modern Food Enterprises recently re-launched its ‘Modern’ brand, with a new brand positioning, brand identity, fresh, vibrant and contemporary packaging and an enhanced portfolio of superior and healthier products.

The company has plans to grow the revenue exponentially to reach Rs 1,000 crore by the 2020-21 fiscal. Aseem Soni, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, Modern Food, said, “In terms of overall business perspective, we are looking at a 25 per cent increase in revenue by FY18, and with a goal to grow revenue four-fold by FY 2021 to Rs 1,000 crore.”

The new Modern brand will be catering to multiple consumer segments, at every life stage, for every meal occasion, through a range of products. The brand now has eight types of breads – fruit, milk plus, enriched sweet, family special, sandwich supreme, multigrain supersede, hi-fibre brown and 100 per cent whole. The new look intends to appeal to the millennial as they are a part of the brand’s target profile. Their new positioning is – ‘Making wholesome awesome.’

Asked about the need for rebranding, Soni said, “We got insights on what bread should serve and that resulted in the new recipes. We realised that the way the brand existed had become dated and needed to be resurrected. We put some new packaging, retaining the elements of what Modern stood earlier.”

The rebranding exercise took about a year. “We worked with Saffron, a Madrid-based agency that worked on the packaging, and TBWA will work on the creative campaign,” Soni said.

The #BeLikeBread campaign is a mix of global and local shots. Such a campaign resonates well with the consumer of 15-30 years of age, explains Soni.

Speaking about their communication strategy, Soni said, “We choose our audience based on the demographic profile, while the campaign varies by city. We have sharply focused on communication, even on digital. Apart from a strong digital push, the rebranding will be seen across print, outdoor, in stores and other media.”

In the Mumbai-Thane region, Modern currently has an estimated 15 per cent market share, which the company is looking to increase to over 20 per cent in the next two quarters. Modern Food sees significant potential in the health and wellness breads category. The Mumbai-Thane region is one of the two most evolved markets in India, along with Delhi.

Within Mumbai, the health and wellness sub-category accounts for 25 per cent of the overall bread sales. As a leading industry player, Modern will spearhead the development of this segment in the Mumbai-Thane region and across India.

Soni said, “In the Mumbai-Thane market alone, we are looking at 25 per cent growth over the current share and this will be driven by a 30 per cent growth in the health and wellness range. We have made a conscious decision to focus on the health and wellness segment during the re-launch phase. The team at Modern Food has worked hard on creating an advanced portfolio of superior products, keeping in mind the evolving taste of consumers and their changing lifestyles that demand healthy, nutritious and tasty food choices.”

The brand has extensively invested in supply chain and logistics as they intend to increase their distribution in the Mumbai-Thane region by 50 per cent.

When the brand began in 1965, it had low investments and had a lot of challenges being a public sector company. When Hindustan Unilever (HUL) took over the brand in 2000, it didn’t do much with the brand and the brand faded away. In 2016, when Everstone took the brand over from HUL, it decided to re-launch. It was necessary to reboot the brand and make it relevant to today’s audience.

Rajev Shukla, Managing Director, Everstone Capital Advisors, Mumbai and Board Director, Modern Foods, said, “At Everstone Capital, we believe in strong partnerships and building great brands. Modern is an iconic brand, the first to launch packaged bread in Mumbai in 1968 and was the first to launch the iconic fruity bread in 1968 and the first-ever brown bread. It has been a pleasure for me to work with the Modern team in crafting the renovated mix. We have received an excellent response in the last few weeks since our re-launch in southern India and Kolkata. Consumers love the renewed Modern, reflecting in bread volume lifts of over five per cent in the aggregate (versus incoming sales rate) across markets where the re-launch has been rolled out.”

“Our health and wellness segment is also expanding steadily. In the last 45 days, since the launch of our new bouquet of products, the health and wellness range is growing at double the normal value growth for the overall portfolio. We are confident of accelerating this success in a crucial region like Mumbai-Thane,” Shukla added.

The bread and bakery industry in India stands at Rs 27,000 crore, of which breads alone are close to Rs 7,000 crore and grows at 10-18 per cent. According to a survey, in 2011, 34 per cent of urban households consumed breads. Everstone will continue to make key investments in Modern to expand its market and build the brand, improve quality, innovate and expand the range, as well as enter new markets and categories.

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