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Is Haldiram’s Indian cuisine comparable to McDonald’s burgers?

Director Neeraj Agrawal discusses the company’s goals for worldwide expansion, the upcoming holidays, and QSR business expansion.

A Haldiram’s gift box is a common sight on the shelves of many Indian homes during the holiday season, when gift boxes multiply due to exchanges with friends and family.

Basking in the glory of their almost century-long history of confections, namkeen, bhujia, soan papdi, munchies, and other mouthwatering items, Haldiram’s Food International is currently focusing on its Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) franchise.

As with how other QSR businesses become well-known for particular foods, like McDonald’s for burgers and Domino’s for pizza, Haldiram’s wants to establish Indian cuisine as a major player in the world market.

The director of Haldiram’s Food International, Neeraj Agrawal, tells ! Since we Indians are never content with just one food item, there can never be a specific food item. As an Indian company, our goal is to eventually become a global leader in the food and chaat industries, both north and south of India.

In terms of the competitive environment, Haldiram’s does not aim to directly compete with well-known international QSR brands.

“We’re following these international QSRs; we’re not competing with them. We aim to represent Indian food in the same way that these brands do for the culinary products of their nation. Since our product offers differ from theirs, we want to align ourselves with them rather than go up against them,” he says.

At the moment, the company runs 275 stores in 40 locations, 40% of which are located in malls and 60% of which are found on main streets.

Haldiram’s plans to open 60–80 stores by 2024, with a focus on strategic regions including Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad.

Because food delivery services are more convenient for customers, they contribute significantly to the income of any QSR business. It provides the brand with between 25–30% of its total revenue from restaurant sales.

According to Agrawal, “We have a close relationship with Indian families since they visit us on various occasions. We offer a wide range of QSR products to cater to different target audiences.

The age range of the target audience for its QSR endeavors is vast, ranging from 5 to 65 years old.

HR Cafe: capturing the youth market

In an attempt to reach the teenage market, Haldiram’s launched the HR Cafe, which is presently in test mode and offers a range of products.

“We have product offerings like sandwiches, chocolate muffins, fusion items and more,” emphasizes Agrawal.

The HR Cafe is currently open for business in Raipur, Pune, and Indore. There are currently no plans for a significant expansion, though.

Marketing campaigns

Dhina Dhin Dha, the company’s debut TVC, was released to advertise its restaurant business.

Even if they were already in thirty cities, why was a nationwide campaign needed?

“It was covering major cities, and we weren’t looking to do a region-specific campaign,” Agrawal responds. With this campaign, Haldiram’s hopes to highlight its QSR network, which consumers often connect with packaged food. Our goal is to grow much more as well.

The campaign’s media mix consists of radio, television, newspapers, cinema, and digital media.

With the launching of a new movie on October 11, the brand resurrected its 2020 campaign Desh ki Mithaas for the holiday season.

“This campaign worked well for us; we want to leverage the same in the upcoming years,” he says. The campaign’s main message is to savor every moment, and eating Indian sweets will help elevate the spirit.

Given that Indian sweets are region-specific, the business hopes to increase its national exposure with this ad. A wide variety of regional candies are gathered under one roof in the portfolio. Peda from Rajasthan, Mysore Pak, and Orange Burfi from Nagpur are a few examples.

The brand is concentrating on corporate sales for the gifting. Our gift package, which includes nibbles and candies to satisfy any craving, has a two-month shelf life. Agrawal emphasizes, “The packaging is also friendly to delivery.

Is Haldiram’s Indian cuisine comparable to McDonald’s burgers?

Presently, 10% of the brand’s total holiday sales revenue comes from its gifting division.

Global Marketplace

Haldiram’s is highly sought-after worldwide, with its classic sweets like ladoo, gulab jamun, and rasgulla, as well as its well-known namkeen goods like Aloo Bhujia, catering to the needs of its NRI global population.

The company wants to grow in the US, Canada, and the Gulf countries and presently exports to over 100 countries.

Regarding FMCG, 10-12% of its total revenue comes from overseas markets.

Other Projects

The company plans to use two strategies to enter the market for healthy snacking. The first is buying up already-existing brands that are in the same market, and the second is introducing house-made items that are composed of ragi, soy, and millets.

To promote its RTE (ready-to-eat) line, the brand partnered with the 2023 Bollywood film Bawaal, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan. “Our idea is to seamlessly integrate with any movie so that it can easily flow with the script,” says Agrawal. We market sparingly yet as effectively as we can.

In order to capitalize on Cricket World Cup 23, the company is offering freebies during in-store activations.