In a bid to infiltrate the Kerala market, the Karnataka Milk Marketing Federation (KMF) introduced its brand “Nandini” six months ago. However, Milma has managed to maintain its sales without significant impact.
According to recent data, Milma’s average daily sales from January to May 2023 stood at 16.27 lakh liters, compared to 15.95 lakh liters from August to December 2022. These figures indicate that Milma’s sales have increased even after the arrival of Nandini outlets in Kerala.
KMF launched five Nandini outlets in Kerala during the past six months, promoting Nandini as a more advantageous and affordable alternative to Milma milk. However, Milma Chairman KS Mani revealed that an inspection disproved these claims. Milma’s blue packet milk is priced at Rs 26 (Rs 28 for 525ml in Kochi and Malabar region), whereas Nandini’s milk is priced at Rs 27. Mani pointed out that deliberate attempts were being made to undermine the Kerala brand by disregarding quantity in the price comparison.
Despite the competition from Nandini, Milma’s sales have shown a growth of 12.5% in the financial year 2022-2023, surpassing the 9.4% growth recorded in the previous financial year.
Critics against the entry of Nandini argue that it demonstrates a double standard on the part of Karnataka, which opposed Amul’s entry into their market. They view this as an unfair competition between the dairy cooperative societies of the two states, contrary to cooperative principles. Concerns are being raised regarding the potential decrease in the market share and profits of other stakeholders, including dairy farmers, as Nandini gains a foothold in the market.
One of the challenges faced by Milma is the need to increase milk storage capacity. Discussions on this issue began even before Nandini’s arrival. Currently, Milma can store an average of 14.50 lakh liters of milk per day, while daily sales reach up to 17 lakh liters. This results in a shortfall of 2.50 lakh liters, which needs to be sourced from outside suppliers. Previously, Milma relied on milk from Karnataka, but due to shortages, Karnataka recently ceased its supply. Consequently, Milma has become dependent on Andhra and Maharashtra for milk procurement.
Source : Matrabhumi June 20th 2023