General Mills has announced plans to build its second Pillsbury baking mixes plant in India, doubling local production.
The US food giant has held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new plant, which is located in Nashik city, in Maharashtra state.
The new facility will produce Pillsbury baking mixes for the domestic market and is expected to be operational by August next year.
General Mills will invest approximately Rs1bn ($12m) in the new factory.
The company said it will “meet the increasing demand for its Pillsbury bakery solutions” in India, a market described as “pivotal” to the group’s growth strategy globally.
Anand Khurana, the country director for General Mills’ business in India, said: “The bakery industry in India is witnessing remarkable growth”.
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“The new facility will mark Pillsbury’s commitment to serving more bakers in India and supporting their business growth.”
Balki Radhakrishnan, vice president and managing director of global emerging markets at General Mills, said India is among the group’s “priority markets worldwide”.
“In recent years, our business in India has consistently accelerated growth and the new manufacturing plant reinforces our dedication to growing in India by delighting more consumers and catering to evolving consumer needs,” Radhakrishnan said.
General Mills’ India business is headquartered in Mumbai. The company already has three sales offices, two manufacturing plants, an R&D lab and 17 Häagen-Dazs shops in the country. It has more than 550 employees across its business in India.
In the year to 28 May, General Mills’ international business – which excludes North America – reported a 16% fall in net sales to $2.8bn. Volumes were down 28%, partly on the back of business disposals and an ice-cream recall. Exchange rates represented 5% of the decline in net sales. However, organic sales were up 5%, General Mills said.
Operating profit fell 30% to $162m, or by 25% on a constant-currency basis, driven by higher input costs and lower volumes.
Group net sales increased 6% to $20.1bn. On an organic basis, net sales were up 1%.