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~Orkla strengthens its presence in India with a foray into the Indian confectionary category ~

Orkla Group, the Norwegian leader in branded consumer goods and parent company of MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd., today announced the company’s foray into the Indian confectionary category with the launch of Laban – a specially crafted human-shaped, non-sticky, 100% vegetarian, fruit flavoured chew. The brand’s entry also marks the first product from the company’s portfolio in the confectionary category.

Laban – Norway’s number 1 confectionary brand from Orkla, will be manufactured and distributed by MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd. in India. Extensive research was undertaken to arrive at a formulation that would not only suit the discerning Indian consumer preferences but also retain the brand attributes i.e. the stretchy, chewy quality of Laban and its unique human shape. The product proposition has been localized to make it a 100% vegetarian confectionary with a range of popular Indian flavors such as Strawberry, Mango, Green Mango and Orange.

Speaking on the occasion, Peter Ruzicka, CEO, Orkla ASA, said, “The Indian confectionary market is seeing huge potential that Orkla would like to tap into. The current estimates show that the industry is close to INR 8200 crores with a YoY growth at 7%. The tremendous growth that we are witnessing in the category along with the other economic indicators of the country has given us the confidence to launch Laban in India.”

Atle Vidar-Nagel Johanssen, CEO, Orkla Foods said, “With the localization of Laban based on the preferences of Indian consumers, this will be the first product to come from the Orkla portfolio in the confectionary category in India. We are confident that Laban will prove to be a growth-driver for Orkla in the Indian market.”

Best-in-class production equipment from various countries such as Germany, Britain and Korea have been brought together to put up a state-of-the-art production line at MTR Foods’ Bengaluru manufacturing facility with a total investment of Rs. 40 crores. Besides the manufacturing facility, MTR Foods’ robust supply chain and distribution network across India will be leveraged to ensure wider reach of the brand. The packaging of the product has also been redesigned in order to appeal to the Indian consumers.

Sharing his perspective on the unique aspects of Laban, Sanjay Sharma, CEO, MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd. said, “We have invested close to INR 40 crores on this project to ensure that we get everything right – from getting the best manufacturing equipment from across the world to procuring the quality ingredients from across the world. With its unique human shape, popular Indian flavors and stretchy property along with a product concept of promoting childlike joy, Laban is clearly differentiated from any other confectionary in the industry. With an India wide launch and MTR’s sales and marketing bandwidth behind this product, we are confident about the success of Laban.

Laban will be launched with a hi-decibel campaign and will be available at all general and modern trade outlets across India priced at Rs. 10 for the 26 gms pack and Rs 30 for the 65 gms pack.

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