The Indian Halwai and desi snacks maker is one of the market leaders in the Indian snack food industry.
In its financial report, Hildiram’s claimed it is now seeing a higher turnover than its five biggest rivals combined, including Balaji Wafers, Prataap Snacks, Bikanervala, Bikaji Foods and DFM Foods.
Hildiram’s sells its products nationally through three divisions: Haldiram Snacks and Ethnic Foods in the northern region; the Nagpur-based Haldiram Foods International for the western and southern markets, and a smaller division, Haldiram Bhujiawala, for the eastern market.
The company reported the Snacks and Ethnic Foods northern division brought in Rs 2,136 crore ($322m) in sales revenue in Y2016, while its southern and eastern markets saw revenues of Rs 1,613 ($243m) crore and Rs 298 crore ($45m) respectively.
Understanding Indian tastes
According to Euromonitor International, savoury snacks in India are forecast to reach a constant CAGR of 12% between 2016 and 2021, with sales reaching INR445bn ($6,65bn).
While growth will be propelled by consumers’ rising disposable income and demands for convenience, the market researcher said manufacturers’ product innovation will play a big part, too.
This is aligned to Haldiram's MD Kamal Agarwal belief that the company has grown by catering to varying consumer preferences in regions throughout India.
“We understand Indian palates well and that comes in handy when launching new products,” he said.
Hildiram’s also has a strong e-commerce presence and exports to the US, UK, EU, Africa, Asia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
From small beginnings
The family-owned business began when Shri Shivkisan Agrawal opened a shop in Bikaner in the Thar Desert in 1937, selling a few traditional sweets and namkeens (a generic term to describe savory snack foods).
Today, Hildiram’s produces Indian delicacies, including namekeens like chanachurs, mixtures and dalmoth; sweets such as rasgullas, gulab jamuns and pethas; and baked products like khari and cream rolls.
It also manufacturers potato chips, papads, banana chips, Dundee cakes, pickles and frozen foods.
PepsiCo India retained the lead in savoury snacks last year, with a 31% market share, reported Euromonitor.