Majority of the food stocks are trading in the green with Nestle and Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare being among major gainers and Golden Tobacco and United Spirits being the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, biscuit companies are focusing on the Marie biscuit segment which is growing at a fast clip along with cream and cookie segment. The segment is witnessing higher demand due to its repositioning on the health plank as well as affordable pricing relative to digestive biscuits. As per ITC, the Marie, cookie and cream biscuit segment is growing at 17-18% per annum as compared to 7-8% growth clocked by the overall biscuit industry. Recently ITC has launched new variants in Marie such as fortified with wheat fibre, oats and orange flavor variants. Taking cue, even market leader Britannia and Parle are increasing focus in the Marie segment. Britannia has launched Vita Marie Gold targeted at women. Even regional players such as Bisk Farm have upped their innovation in the Marie segment. ITC's stock is trading up marginally.
Most of the cement stocks are trading in the red with India cements and Ramco Cements being the major losers. As per a leading business daily, ACC has set up a cement blending unit at Padubidri in Udupi district. The unit will use fly-ash from the thermal power plant of Udupi Power Corporation Ltd whereas clinker from ACC's plant at Wadi in Gulbarga district will be used for cement production. The unit has a blending capacity of 30,000 tonnes of cement per month and will cater to the cement demand in coastal Karnataka and Kerala. ACC's stock is currently trading up marginally.