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Bikano's global takeover plans have their origins in Magic Bhujia

The brand targets a 40% YOY growth via global frozen products debut and intends to expand Magic Bhujia globally post its domestic success, says HOM.

Responding to the ever-changing Indian snack market, Bikano, the prominent Indian snacks and sweets manufacturer, has introduced ‘Magic Bhujia‘, a new flavour aiming to drive a substantial 20% growth within the snacks and sweets category.

Amidst the rapidly expanding snack industry in India, especially in the salty snacks segment valued at Rs 47,000 crore, Bikano’s strategic move resonates with the projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2023 to 2028.

Kush Aggarwal, head of marketing, Bikano, shares that the market landscape gained significant attention following Bikano’s launch of aloo bhujia and natkhat. Subsequently, the sector has encountered a lack of innovation in this category. 

“In response, we identified the need to create an appealing product to broaden our consumer base. After thorough research, we recognised the widespread popularity and distinct flavour profile of Maggi, primarily attributed to its unique masala blend.” 

Kush explains that they seized upon this valuable insight and decided to introduce Magic Bhujia, which features a carefully guarded recipe infused with a hint of enchantment in its ingredients. “This bhujia stands apart, offering an entirely novel taste experience,” he affirms.

Bikano is primarily focusing on the North Indian market with the introduction of its new product, specifically targeting a demographic of individuals between the ages of 15 to 35 years.

“Bikano aims to establish a new category within the salty snacks industry with the launch of ‘Magic Bhujia’. The company is confident that this new product will be well-received by consumers. After the successful domestic launch of Magic Bhujia, the brand plans to expand internationally with this product,” adds Aggarwal.

With its sights set on digital media, Bikano intends to adopt an all-encompassing omni-channel marketing strategy, spanning Above-The-Line (ATL), Below-The-Line (BTL), and digital platforms. This comprehensive approach aims to secure a formidable market presence and seize a substantial market share.

In tandem with its growth strategy, the brand is stepping into the Indian Spices category through its new sub-brand, Swad Anusar.

This initiative will introduce a range of essential spices for the Indian Kitchen, including Tandoori Masala, Chaap Masala, Kitchen King Masala, Sambhar Masala, Shahi Paneer Masala, Rajma Masala, Kadhai Paneer Masala, Dal Makhani Masala, and Chole Masala.

The brand aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 1,800 crore in the fiscal year 2024. The company has invested around Rs 400 crore in a new manufacturing plant in Greater Noida to facilitate this growth. In the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2022, Bikano achieved a turnover of around Rs 1,250 crore.

Export dynamics

Emerging from its origins as a modest establishment named Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar in Chandni Chowk, Bikano has matured into a big name for sweets and snacks, with a robust presence in over 35 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and various Asian nations.

But, what are the brand’s ambitions for international business?

Aggarwal says, “We’re actively increasing our global reach by entering new countries and exploring various distribution channels. Our aim is to engage with a broader consumer base. Unlike India where consumer preferences can vary regionally between the north and south, internationally we encounter a diverse mix of around 50 dominant nationalities.

This diversity calls for a product range that caters to a wide array of tastes and preferences.”

Aggarwal further outlines, “Our primary emphasis lies on enhancing distribution in those regions. Ensuring comprehensive coverage and effective reach is a key element in establishing our company’s direction.”

In line with these strategies, Bikano has recently unveiled an array of frozen products in the international arena, aiming for a robust 40% year-on-year growth from the export sector. While frozen foods play a pivotal role in the brand’s export dynamics, namkeen is the highest contributor to its export portfolio.

Aggarwal asserts, “While we have a presence in the majority of countries, there are still continents like Africa where our coverage isn’t complete. Therefore, our strategy involves targeting nations where we currently don’t export. We plan to extend support to our business partners in those regions and actively engage in areas where our presence is limited.”

Despite the ascending popularity of the frozen food category within India, Bikano has abstained from venturing into this domain. In 2022, the frozen foods market in India was valued at  Rs 14430 crores. Looking ahead, IMARC Group predicts it will grow even more, reaching Rs 35330 crores by 2028. This translates to a growth rate of 16% between 2023 and 2028.

Aggarwal explains, “Fresh products remain preferred by consumers in India, while internationally, frozen food is popular.”

Diversifying markets beyond Northern India

In a strategic stride towards amplifying its market presence in the southern region, Bikano established a production facility in Hyderabad in March 2022. The brand’s primary focus resides in entering the Telangana market, with plans to progressively extend into other southern states.

Aggarwal elaborates, “Hyderabad plant allows us to focus on reaching consumers in South India. However, logistics costs are higher here compared to the northern region. Despite this, we plan to supply our products from Hyderabad to states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala.”

As part of this expansion drive, the brand plans to establish additional stores in the southern regions. 

Bikano presently operates five production facilities across New Delhi, Greater Noida, Hyderabad, Rai and Yamuna Expressway. It has also entered the ready-to-eat food market, taking advantage of its fast growth after the pandemic.