CHUK plans to ramp up biodegradable tableware to serve food delivery sector – BusinessLine

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By Shobha Roy
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CHUK, the flagship brand of Yash Pakka that manufactures compostable and biodegradable tableware, is looking to ramp up its product portfolio to tap into the demand from the food delivery sector. The company had been been primarily focussing on the dine-in sector before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Plans are also afoot to grow the brand’s its B2C segment by launching specific products aimed at the category.
According to Amit Sharma, CEO, Compostables Business, Yash Pakka, the pandemic-induced slowdown impacted the dine-in business as the industry shifted largely from sustainable to more cost-effective solutions. This impacted the company’s sales between April and October last year.
“Till August, most restaurants had not opened, and our sales were very low. But once they started opening up, our sales have started picking up. In December 2020, our sales were only lower by about 15-20 per cent on a year-on-year basis, compared with the same period last year. We are working on a range of products suited for the delivery segment,” Sharma told BusinessLine .
Dine-in accounted for a bulk of the brand’s total sales — 95 per cent. However, post-lockdown, the segment was badly hit. But there are some greenshoots as there is steady demand from hospitals and five-star hotels for disposable cutleries on account of safety and hygiene. Hence the revival in sales has been much faster for CHUK, Sharma said.
There is an increasing shift with a number of QSR (quick service restaurants) players adopting eco-friendly solutions. CHUK recently ramped up its production capacity by nearly 30 per cent to tap into the growing demand.
CHUK has also redesigned its products so as to help hotel chains choose the right containers and standardise their shapes across restaurants. The brand’s clientele includes Haldiram’s, Lite Bite Foods, Google, PVR, Inox, Amazon, Devyani International, Starbucks and Chai Point.
“We are expecting to grow by nearly 5x; we are expanding our production capacity and also launching a couple of products based on our discussions with customers. We were largely into the B2B business till recently; we are now looking to grow the B2C side of our business,” he said.
The share of B2C, which is close to 3-4 per cent at present, is expected to increase to around 10 per cent in the next 1-2 years.
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