LuvIt set to take on the chocolate market

Chennai: Global Consumer Products, the packaged foods start-up launching its LuvIT chocolate brand on Tuesday, is in talks with some foreign companies for technology to launch new varieties, a top official of the company said. The move appears to be aimed at taking on chocolate biggies. The company will soon launch beverages and snacks too, the official said. "We will first focus on the southern markets and later go national with our LuvIt range. Following an asset-light policy we have outsourced the chocolate production while forming our own sales and distribution network," A. Mahendran, chairman and managing director, Global Consumer Products, told reporters here. The Mumbai-based company, formed a year ago, has secured Rs.315 crore funding from Goldman Sachs and Mitsui Global. According to Anuradha Narasimhan, executive vice president, the company is targeting the youth segment in the 15-30 age group for its chocolates. Speaking about the overall chocolate industry, Narasimhan said the domestic market size is of around Rs.7,000 crore and growing at 25 percent annually. "There is high scope for differentiation and growth. The southern markets accounts for around 30 percent of the national market of which Tamil Nadu is the largest," Narasimhan said. According to Mahendran, the company has signed up with Tamil/Telugu movie actor Siddharth as the brand ambassador. "This is perhaps the first time a Tamil actor has been engaged as a brand ambassador for a chocolate brand," Mahendran said. Curiously, while the leading chocolate brand conveys the idea of sharing its brand philosophy, Global Consumer Products gives a slight twist to its brand philosophy. The brand's philosophy says the product is too good to be shared and if anybody shares the chocolate, beware of the hidden agenda. The product's commercial featuring Siddharth also dwells on the theme 'beware if shared'. The company has come up with nine variants of LuvIt in different chocolate formats like moulded chocolates, enrobed wafers, panned chocolates and caramel-nougat bars at price points ranging between Rs.5 and Rs.45. The other major players in the chocolate segment are Mondelez International, Nestle India, and Mars International India, among others.

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