Business / Corporate

Otsuka Foods taps India as next market for signature curry


Otsuka Foods Co., which ushered in Japan’s retort pouch food revolution with its Bon Curry product half a century ago, is trying its luck in India, the home of curry.

Otsuka Foods says it has established Otsuka Foods India Pvt. Ltd. to sell curry and curry buns in retort packages — pouches made of a flexible laminate — at corporate and factory cafeterias from around October.

Capitalized at 172.5 million rupees ($2.53 million), the Indian subsidiary in Bengaluru in the southern state of Karnataka will outsource production and market products such as Bon Curry, the world’s first commercial retort food product, and Bon Curry buns initially in southern India.

Otsuka Foods India will also hire local staff for research and development to improve its product lineup, including those for vegetarian consumers, an Otsuka Foods spokesman said.

Otsuka Foods, a food business unit of Otsuka Holdings Co., a widely diversified group of companies comprising divisions ranging from consumer products to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical items, has picked India as its second overseas market after China because of its large population and robust economy, the spokesman added.

Otsuka Foods indicates that it may build an independent factory in India and deliver products to supermarkets in the next three to five years.