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Maliban Biscuits bites into fat spread market in Sri Lanka
31 Jan, 2013 09:41:05
Jan 31, 2013 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Maliban, a food company which had its origins in biscuits has expanded into the broader food market with the launch of a fat spread or margarine, leveraging its brand strength, officials said.
The Maliban Goodness Fat Spread aims to take share of the 500 metric tonne a month fat spread market in Sri Lanka, chief executive marketing at Maliban Ravi Jayawardena said.

"We have a vision of becoming the number one food company in the country," he said. "So we have to diversify to achieve that."

The company started diversifying out of confectionary with its Maliban branded milk powder.

Jayawardena said the firm planned to expand into other agri-based product including dairy products local raw materials in the near future as part of the diversification strategy.

He said over the past three years its core confectionary categories had seen volumes growing 40 percent through growth had slowed in 2012.

"We had grown about 40 percent cumulatively when the market has grown about 20 percent," Jayawardena said.Jayawardena said last year volumes had risen 5.0 percent when the industry as a whole was estimated to have been flat by A C Nielsen, a market research company.

The group was now directly covering about 80,000 outlets including the north and the East compared to 50,000 three years ago.

New products and re-launches after market research had allowed the firm to grow.

"We do a lot of consumer research," he said. "We are working very closely with the consumers. Now our new product development starts with the consumer."

The Maliban Goodness Fat Spread is made Moi International, a Malaysia and Singapore based food group under a special formula suitable for the Sri Lankan palate, brand manager Susantha Pushpakumara said.

The vitamin fortified fat spread is targeted at both adults and children as an affordable product, he said.

Cheo Ming You, from MOI international said the products are made a factory untouched by human hands and comes in sealed packaging unlike other fat spreads currently in the market.

"Our plants are fully automated and there is no human contact," Cheo said. "We are very confident of delivering a high quality product. We made this specially for Sri Lanka."

The firm made products to 80 markets.

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1. Sunda Feb 01
Is your fat spread heart friendly