Prabhat Dairy produces three varieties of cheese from cow's milk procured directly from dairy farmers: mozzarella, cheddar and processed.
Growing cheese market
The company said that the use of cheese is growing in India.
The Indian fast-food market is a major driver for India's cheese industry and is currently worth more than Rs. 80-100 bn ($1.2bn-$1.5bn) and growing at 30-35% annually according to the IMARC (International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group) report on the dairy sector.
Formerly an ingredient for continental European cuisine, it is now being incorporated into Indian cuisine alongside paneer on dosas, parathas and uttapams.
Cheese is now the fastest growing segment in the domestic dairy and milk products industry in India. Economic growth, change in tastes and preferences, and urbanization have resulted in a shift in consumption away from traditional food, and towards processed products, Prabhat Dairy said.
Started production in 2015
To take advantage of the trend, Prabhat Dairy started commercial production of cheese in the second quarter of 2015.
The Shrirampur manufacturing facility is India's third largest plant, capable of manufacturing 20 tonnes of cheese daily.
The plant is currently increasing production to provide institutions and hotels, restaurants and caterers with regular supplies.
Consumption of value-added dairy products like cheese and paneer is still dominated by consumption in this channel, with only 35-40% bought at the household level.
Expanding beyond India
Prabhat Dairy has established a distribution network for its institutional cheese business across Maharashtra, Gujarat, parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and is entering Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Looking beyond Indian borders, the company has already started exporting its product to Yum Brand in the Middle East. Prabhat Dairy said that its cheese business is expected to witness significant volume growth.
Prabhat Dairy's products are sold under its retail consumer brands as well as ingredient products or co-manufactured products to institutional and multinational companies. As well as Shrirampur, the company also has a manufacturing site in Navi Mumbai.