For 57 years, USMS Saffron Co. has supplied the world’s most expensive and delicate spice in the domestic and overseas markets. Now, it wants to build a bigger, diversified health-centric business.
The company will launch health-oriented food and beverages, including saffron drinks and supplements such as ‘kesar’ flavoured whey protein, targeting the youth and Gen-Z, Chief Executive Officer Avneesh Chhabra told BQ Prime.
The Rajasthan-based firm also plans to launch ayurvedic products, directly competing with Patanjali Ayurved, Dabur India Ltd. and Himalaya Wellness Co.
Over the last decade, USMS has built a robust distribution network across the country—from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It now plans to leverage this network to increase the share of its value-added products—the health-oriented food and beverages—to about 20% of sales.
India’s largest supplier of saffron, which retails under the brand ‘Baby’, has an 80% share and produces 20 million packs a year. It will be able to make 26 million packs by the end of FY24, Chhabra said.
The sixth-generation entrepreneur has drawn up plans to scale the family-owned business. Other than widening its portfolio with value-added products, USMS is adding capacities as saffron consumption surges.
“People have become more immunity-focused, thanks to Covid-19, and we see a need to expand capacities to meet demand,” said Chhabra.
The company has been growing at an annualised rate of 30% in the last five years and now has an annual turnover of Rs 150 crore. It also exports saffron to Vietnam, the U.S., China, Kuwait, Israel and Australia.
The global saffron market size, according to Grand View Research, was valued at $374 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2020 to 2028. Growing awareness among consumers about the medicinal properties and health benefits of saffron is a key factor driving demand, the U.S. based market research and consulting firm said in a report.