Can you get me New Zealand lamb? A customer's query this year to Godrej Nature's Basket, the gourmet food arm of the diversified Godrej group, set the team on a chase-lamb hunt to stockists of the product and other specialized dealers. When that yielded no results, the marketing team sourced it from the mother source -- New Zealand and added to its range of product offerings. It is customer queries like these that has helped widen the gourmet platter for the company, provided it converts into business.
The company which was set up in 2005 as a single fresh food store currently has 33 premium stores at high street locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad and online presence in these cities. It has now widened its reach online to 125 cities including Tier I and Tier II cities across 24 states offering over 10,000 products.
"By end of this fiscal, we expect to expand our reach to 200 cities," said Mohit Khattar, MD, Godrej Nature's Basket.
The brick and mortar stores will continue to be the hub for the supply of the company's gourmet products across India.
"We do not plan to make investments in a warehouse. We are leveraging our physical presence in the cities we are in to make online deliveries," said Khattar. However, online customers will have more products to choose from than at the offline stores.
Around one-tenth of the products available at Nature's Bakset is sourced in-house and the remaining from Indian and international players. Currently, the company has 10,000 SKUs (Stock Keeping Units). However, it will have only 5,000 SKUs for its online business. There will be a delivery charge for ticket sizes less than Rs 1,000. The company accepts multiple payment options like Cash on Delivery, mobile wallets, mobile apps, etc., besides which it also has tie-ups with Mobikwik and PayTm.
According to industry sources, five to 10 percent of the $500 billion grocery market is expected to move to e-commerce and mobile commerce. Nature's Basket has been able to garner five percent sales from its online presence, so far. The company expects this to scale 10x by end of this fiscal.
Nature Basket offers a range of gourmet products including international foods and condiments, health foods, premium organic groceries, bakery products, made-to-order party snacks, cheese, cold cuts, confectionary and gift hampers. The company will soon come out with meal kits for two -- to be heated before eating -- in an affordable range of Rs 300-Rs 400.
In 2010, the household earnings of 14 million people stood at Rs 10 lakhs per annum which is expected to scale to 37 million households in 2020. With exposure to cookery shows, recipes, books, travel, etc, the awareness and the requirements of the consumers are evolving, said Khattar remarking that he was surprised when the company got a request for chocolate chips. "It was an indication that the requirements for niche products are on the rise and that there is a demand for these products."
"We are at an exciting phase and the brand has scaled well," said Tanya Dubash, executive director and chief brand officer, Godrej Group.
"With the launch of our pan-India operations, we will be the first food retailer to go national and cater to gourmet needs from across the country. This move will give a fillip to our business and accelerate the growth of the online gourmet space," Dubash said.
Updated Date: Sep 11, 2015 12:44 PM