The company, which was founded in 1998, processes every month 500 tons of chicken, turkey and lamb into canned produce, frozen food, sliced meats and ready-to-serve convenience products. The food products are manufactured in highly modern factories for the huge domestic market and for export. Customers include Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Papa Johns, Barista Cafe and Dunkin Donuts, as well as the Indian military, top hotels, shopping centres and traditional retailers. Consumers can also find the delicious products in the deli counters and chill cabinets of the modern retail chains – for example at Bharti Walmart, Metro Cash & Carry, Spencers, Hypercity, More Hyper, Star Bazaar, Spar Max Auchan and in a further 800 retail outlets throughout the country.
The meteoric rise of Chatha Foods is closely associated with its packaging procedure and the liberalisation of the country. In the first few years, the company’s requirements at that time could be met by an old, “Made in Germany” thermoforming packaging machine. Up to three tons of meat were processed daily. But as more foreign investors crowded into the Indian market, and as the domestic meat industry also began to boom, “we of course saw a huge opportunity for strong growth and high market share,” explains Mr. Paramjit Chatha, Director of Chatha Foods.
On the wish list at the time was a turnkey packaging solution which could cope with both current and future challenges, such as pack design, cycle output and efficient use of resources. “The situation however became very critical, when the old machine suddenly broke down. That was 2010“, recalls the company boss. The repair costs for the 10-year old model threatened to become so expensive, that the decision was made to invest in a new and modern packaging machine. Running parallel to this was the decision to ramp up production and make it more efficient, allowing market requirements to be met and new sales opportunities exploited.
Chatha Foods had recognized at that time the enormous potential of the Indian food industry. With less than three percent, the proportion of supermarkets in India was infinitesimally small, so the opportunities for growth looked correspondingly large. According to current estimates, the market volume is expected to more than double by 2020. Walmart for example has already announced it will open around 50 new cash & carry markets by 2019. It is a similar picture with fast food. One of the world’s largest burger chains is planning to open between 75 and 100 new restaurants on the Indian subcontinent by 2017. Jubilant Foodworks, the franchiser for Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin Donuts in India, wants to invest around
$ 2.5 billion. Fast food is advancing everywhere, and foreign companies have a market share of over 60 percent. The list is led by Domino´s Pizza with a market share of
20 percent, followed by Subway with 12 percent – both are very important customers of Chatha Foods.
Chatha is very proud of its enormous growth and the future potential of the company. It sees the reason for its success as being the partnership and cooperation with its customers, business associates and suppliers, who also benefit from this growth. In addition to this, the systematic acknowledgement of food safety ensures high product quality is maintained and the brand widely accepted in the market, while competitive prices further promote growth.
“The new MULTIVAC packaging machines have certainly also played their part in this development. Our future looks very promising, and I am looking forward with excitement to the coming years,” says the company boss.
Initially as a first step in 2010, the company only invested however in a C 450 double chamber machine from MULTIVAC. “Before buying a relatively expensive thermoforming packaging machine, we first wanted to see how we would manage with a MULTIVAC packaging solution, and whether our expectations would be fulfilled.”
The outstanding packaging results led to a R 105 thermoforming packaging machine being purchased from MULTIVAC India in the same year. The stainless steel model, which is pre-configured for all basic needs, is characterised by its small space requirement and ease of cleaning, and it can be designed to produce both MAP and vacuum packs. Thanks to its many equipment options, it offers a high level of versatility - it can run both flexible and rigid films with a thickness of up to 400 µm and a film width of up to 420 mm. The maximum forming depth is 80 mm.
As a result of the massively increasing demand, further machine purchases quickly followed – there are now five R 105 machines in use at Chatha Foods. All at the company are very satisfied with the machines, since they fulfil all the expectations as regards quality, freshness, cycle output, product safety and shelf life. In this time, production has been doubled and consumption of film, energy and water significantly reduced. Every month around 500 tons of meat are packed on the five thermoforming packaging machines in a wide range of varieties, flavours and pack formats, including sausages, ham, salami, sliced products, frankfurters, breakfast meats and ready-to-serve convenience products. The shelf life of the various Indian curries, which are packed in multi-layer aluminium pouches, can be up to 18 months. The pre-cooked meals can be enjoyed cold or heated in a variety of ways. The high quality of the Chatha products is confirmed by the prestigious HACCP certification by ISACERT B.V. of the Netherlands and by the ISO-22000 certification from TUV SUD South Asia.
The company boss is also delighted with the comprehensive service capability and expertise of the Allgäu system supplier. “We wanted not just a turnkey packaging machine, but also a complete line in which the components are perfectly matched to our requirements. It was clear we could only achieve the top position in the market if we combined our convictions, strength of innovation and quality awareness with a very professional packaging solution.”
MULTIVAC India supplied a complete packaging solution, consisting of the R 105, an injector, a vacuum filler and a grinder, together with a smoke chamber, slicer and clipper. Preventative maintenance carried out by service technicians ensures a high level of availability and output is maintained for all the individual systems. Paramjit Chatha is particularly pleased, because “since then night shifts, which were always required with the old machine in order to overcome problems, are now definitely a thing of the past.”
The company sees itself as well equipped for the future. The demographic development in the country is very promising, the positive investment climate continues uninterrupted despite the many legal, social and infrastructural problems, and the prognosis for the food industry is excellent. And according to the voices of the company’s customers, “the products from Chatha Foods stand out against products from other manufacturers in the Indian market - they are characterised by their high level of product quality and their attractive, modern pack design.”