Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting on Thursday announced its acquisition of Brahmins, a Kerala-based traditional vegetarian, spice mix, and ready-to-cook brand, to increase its presence in the rapidly growing food market. Six months before, a unit of Azim Premji-led Wipro Enterprises entered the food industry by purchasing the Nirapara brand, famous for its spices and ready-to-cook food.
In a joint statement, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting stated that with these two acquisitions, it “is looking at becoming a sizable player in the packaged foods segment” and integrating its spices, breakfast, and ready-to-cook categories. The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.
Brahmins will be the 14th acquisition for Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting. With significant growth across its markets, brands, and categories, it achieved the Rs 10,000 crore total sales milestone in FY23.
With ethnic breakfast premix powders, spice mixes, straight powders (spices), and wheat products, including pickles, dessert mixes, and others, Brahmins, founded in 1987, is among the most popular brands in its home market in Kerala. Its premium flagship products are Sambar Powder and Puttu Podi, which enjoy a market leadership position.
“We entered the food category with our first acquisition of Nirapara and within six months, we are happy to share our latest acquisition of Brahmins. In Kerala, Brahmins is a strong heritage brand leading the spice and ready- to-cook category with a significant consumer recall,” Vineet Agrawal, CEO of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting and Managing Director, Wipro Enterprises, said.
The company has plans to launch its own packaged foods brand in the future.
“In fact, we are setting up our R&D lab in Bangalore, and are working to launch our own brand in the next nine months. Our initial plans were to grow our foods business organically. Since these two deals with Nirapara and Brahmins came our way, we decided to take these up as these are great brands,” said Agrawal.
Brahmins’ products are available across Kerala, metro cities, and international markets, including the GCC countries, the US, the UK, and Australia. Kochi-based Investment banking firm Kafco Backwater advised Brahmins on the transaction.
The packaged food business in India is estimated to be about ₹5,00,000 crore, and as middle-class households switch more often from unbranded to branded foods, the industry is expanding.
According to Anil Chugh, President of Foods Business, Wipro Consumer Care, the company’s food business is expanding at an unprecedented pace. Two important areas that are expected to see significant growth are spices and ready-to-cook (RTC). According to Chugh, the deal would strengthen the company’s position in Kerala and other markets, including the GCC countries, the UK, the US, and Australia, in blended spices and ethnic breakfast (puttu-podi, appams, and other rice products).