Dalmia Continental Pvt Ltd (DCPL) is selling its two remaining olive oil brands—Marco Polo and OliRyze—which would mark its exit from the olive oil business. The firm had recently sold its flagship olive oil brand Leonardo to US-based food producer and marketer Cargill, a deal which also required the Indian firm to exit the olive oil business altogether.
The firm did not say if it has already identified a seller or is looking to sell the two smaller brands, which were launched as price fighter brands.
Launched in 2012, Marco Polo competes with low-priced olive oils and exhibited 12 per cent growth in 2013-14.
OliRyze, a blend of 70 per cent Rice Bran Oil and 30 per cent olive oil, was launched in 2013 as an entry level product to upgrade users of other oils to healthier oils. OliRyze was promoted as a healthier alternative to rice bran oil which itself is promoted as a healthy oil as compared to other seed oils.
DCPL is the flagship company of VN Dalmia, son of late industrialist Ramkrishna Dalmia, founder of the Dalmia-Jain Group, who once controlled a conglomerate spanning various sectors which included Media firm Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL).
Italian corporate Nicola Pantaleo, S.P.A. holds 27 per cent equity in DCPL which has been supplying olive oil to Dalmia since 2003 and this partnership was converted into a stake-holding relationship.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)