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Say cheese: Pizza to have the ‘taste of India’ Wednesday, August 15, 2001
By a Correspondent, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, Aug. 11: Keeping pace with the new age corporate world of backward integration and diversification, Amul has also started selling pizza to market its cheese and now talks about frozen foods.
Talking to the managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, Mr B.M. Vyas, he said that there are 22 Amul pizza outlets operating in the city till date. The pizza outlet at Royal Sweet Mart, off CG Road near Girish Cold Drink, was Amul’s first outlet in city and it sold about 1,800 pizzas on the first day itself.
This was the first time that so many pizzas were sold in a day and that the trend continued for three consecutive days. “People came since there was very good publicity already in the papers and they were curious to know what Amul, a brand with some holding, had to offer,” said Ashish Halvawala owner of the store.
On asking Mr Vyas why Amul chose this particular joint to launch its product, he said, “There was no particular reason but we found that this was our major ice cream outlet in city and since it already had other food items, their clientele was wider.”
Rasiklal Halvawala, father of Ashish, says, “We already had the Amul ice cream franchisee for years in our shop. When they came to us with the pizza offer we agreed.” He adds that on normal days now they manage to sell about 50 to 60 Amul Pizzas and on Sundays about 250 to 300 pieces are sold even though it is the Shravan, month of fasting, for the people.
Whereas other pizza outlets in the city like Pizza Hut sells 250 to 300 pizzas a day and on weekends it goes up to 450 to 500 pizzas, US Pizza manages to sell 325 to 350 pizzas per day, Freeze Land near GLS 100 to 110 on weekdays and 170 to 200 on weekends, Upper Crust Vastrapur branch sells 40 to 50 pizzas on a daily basis.
Ashish says, “We were the only shop in the city to open the outlet. Since it was the launch day, in fact for first three days, we sold 1,800 pizzas. I think that it was the Amul banner that brought us so many customers.” “There were Chartered Accountants, high court Judges and even the owner of Vadilal Ice creams Devanshu Abdalwala came to out shop that day,” Ashish says.
Mr Vyas, explaining about their pre launch market survey, said, “We found in our survey that among all the cheese items in the city like burger, hot dog and others, pizza had a greater demand. Two important things that came to our notice was that burgers were too big and messy to eat so people did not prefer that.
Pizza was closer to the Indian palette since it has a base, some gravy and topping. It can be altered to Indian tastes too. Also other companies marketing pizzas are very expensive therefore we priced it at Rs 20. In the post launch survey we realised that our quality had attracted the people at the price we were offering it at.”
Rituparana Bose, a FYBA student who is busy picking up khakhras from Royal Sweet Mart, also called Induben Khakhrawal says, “I love this concept of pizza for Rs 20. It is Amul, has to be good. I tried it today, the taste is very nice and I can afford pizzas more often now.”
Mr B.M. Vyas says, “We have planned to change over to frozen pizzas. Right now it is running on an experimental basis and by September 1 it will formally be launched in the market.” Explaining on why they are planning to shift to frozen pizzas he says, “We were always planned to finally change over to frozen pizzas as all the Amul pizza outlets will become only baking stations where they heat the pizzas and serve it to the customers.”
The pizza that Amul is marketing right now consists of a crisp base, neapolitan sauce, capsicum, onion, tomato and mozzarella cheese. This ready made pizza is about 5 1/2 inch in size whereas the frozen ones will be about 7 to 8 inches. On Mr Vyas about the future plans of Amul he says, “We are planning to launch frozen parathas and paneer pakodas later. Right now I want to concentrate on the pizzas.”
I shall make business out of this first before venturing into anything new.” The frozen pizzas are manufactured at the Mother Dairy in Gandhinagar and from there they will be marketed all over India.
Source - The AsianAge