Faridabad headquartered Greendot Health Foods (GHFPL) entered the Indian snacks market in 2009 with Cornitos Nacho Crisps. Started on a modest scale with a vision to offer high-quality food, its managing director Vikram Agarwal, says, “Cornitos Nacho Crisp is a Mexican snack with international flavors catering to the Indian palate. It is a gluten-free snack, cooked in corn oil and made by the Mexican lime-treatment process (Nixtamalization) of making traditional masa using stone ground non-GMO corn.”
Greendot Health Foods has fully automated, state-of-the-art food manufacturing facilities at Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India. The company currently exports to 30 countries and planning to expand further.
The Cornitos brand portfolio includes Nacho Crisps, Veggie Nachos, Taco Shells, Dips, Mexican Delights, and nuts and seeds, combo packs, festive packs, and the recently launched tortilla wraps with a shelf life of more than a year. “The zip-lock technology offers more freshness with reopening feature and saves tortilla wraps for later consumption within seven days,” Aggarwal adds.
Impact of pandemic and recovery
According to him, Cornitos faced operational difficulties on multiple fronts, including labor, raw materials, transportation, and a dip in sales during the lockdown. Nevertheless, he is hopeful of a revival of demand and in-home consumption. He explains, “We are focusing on establishing new benchmarks and new strategies with long term planning.” The production unit can bring process efficiency at a micro-level through cost control on consumables, controlling process waste, process automation, ensuring breakdown prevention, and increasing production efficiency.
To boost sales, the company is ensuring the broader availability of its products. Aggarwal recalls, “When the lockdown started, we saw a dip in Nachos sales as supply was constrained, and at the time Cornitos products were not available online.” Sales have started crawling back to normal levels as the online ordering and home delivery model have helped reach customers.
“We have strengthened the use of digital technology around customers, employees, and business operations. Cornitos’ social media handles are being used for digital marketing, online services, and eCommerce.” Available on all leading online web platforms and in major cities, the company launched its eCommerce website recently.
Change in consumer behavior
The pandemic has brought many changes in consumer behavior. Aggarwal sees a shift in consumer demands and says, “Now the consumer is inclined less towards convenience but more towards value. The lack of secure feelings will push them to be more prudent in their everyday spending. Consumer preferences will continue to change in shape, and the price will be critical in decision making.” He also believes that the ‘vocal for local’ mantra announced by prime minister Narendra Modi will place brands like Cornitos in a favorable position.
Ensuring food safety
The Covid-pandemic situation has raised questions over food safety and hygiene practices of food producers. Speaking of the factory’s safety measures, he says, “Greendot Health Foods is manufacturing Cornitos products in Roorkee after taking all the necessary Covid 19 precautions as notified by FSSAI. The manufacturing unit is currently functioning with a limited workforce.”
New category addition
The company has been active in making changes from time to time. For example, last year, it changed its packaging to achieve a more colorful shelf impact. Aggarwal says, “A part of our strategy is to offer new products every quarter or half-year and remove the weaker selling flavors from the portfolio.”
Focused on agro-based, healthy snacking options in a value-for-money product, he adds, “Cornitos is known for high-quality and product innovation that we will continue. This year, we are planning to enter the non-corn-based snacks category, most likely in the baked format.”
The company participated in the 35th edition of Aahar 2020, the International Food and Hospitality Fair at Pragati Maidan in March. The well-managed distribution strategy in smart cities benefited the company with double-digit growth last year when it achieved Rs 58 crore sales revenue. With the festive season ahead, it’s hoping to surpass Rs 70 crore this year!