Mapro Foods Pvt Ltd, one of the major fruit processors in India recently concluded its fourth edition of annual ‘Strawberry Festival’. The event was held at Mapro Gardens, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar in Satara district from April 1-4, 2010. The four-day event attracted over 40,000 tourists visiting Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. This year, the company is focusing to enhance and strengthen its distribution channels in India. Currently available in all major metros of India and western region of Maharashtra, the company is aiming to penetrate mini metro cities through strong distribution channel.
Talking to Hospitality Biz, Mayur Vora, Managing Director, Mapro Foods Pvt Ltd said, “Currently, our products are readily available in metro cities of India along with a strong presence in western cities of Maharashtra. However, with increasing production every year, we are now focusing on strengthening our distribution channel in India. We intend to penetrate every area of major metro cities in India. After establishing a strong distribution channel, we will start focusing on marketing our products in that market.”
Adding further about company’s future plans, Vora said, “We are also looking at elaborating our product line in the coming years depending on the market needs and requirements.” The company is looking at increasing the production of Falero chocolates five times this year considering the high demand in the market. Future plans for Mapro also include launch of a ‘ready to drink’ product which is likely to be unveiled in June this year.
Elaborating on the ‘Strawberry Festival’, Vora said, “Every year, the ‘Strawberry Festival’ is gaining popularity with increasing number of local farmers participating along with improving number of visitors. The festival helps us to reach directly to end-consumers and take feedback on our various products. The festival is not attracting any additional tourist arrivals to the hill station but is definitely enhancing tourist experience and taking them closer to strawberries and its pure taste through our various food products.”
Over 250 farmers from different villages around Mahabaleshwar participated in the festival by showcasing their products and providing knowledge about strawberries. The festival showcased various strawberry made products like strawberry bhel, strawberry sandwich, strawberry pizza, strawberry milk shake, chocolate dip strawberry and various other strawberry recipes. The festival offered visitors an opportunity to ‘eat-as-much-as-you-can’ strawberries absolutely free. According to Vora, it is only after four to five years that farmers have produced sufficient crop (strawberry) required to cater around 1,000 visitors every hour for four days. This season witnessed the highest production of strawberry of over 15,000 metric tonnes as compared to 9,000 metric tonnes during the previous season.