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India's packaged food industry could touch $30 billion by 2015: ASSOCHAM
Wednesday, 02 May, 2012, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 15 to 20 per cent annually, the Indian packaged food industry is likely to touch $30 billion by 2015 from the current level of $15 billion including snack foods, ready-to-eat foods, healthy and functional foods. This was revealed by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in an industry-specific analysis.

Factors that have fuelled this industry’s growth are the arrival of food multinationals; rising popularity of quick-service restaurants; modern retail trade; technological advancement; changing urban lifestyles and so on, the report said.

The main categories of packaged food are bakery products; canned/dried processed foods; frozen processed foods, meal replacement products and condiments. Some emerging new categories in this segment are processed dairy products; frozen ready-to-eat foods; diet snacks; processed meat and probiotic drinks.

Some key players in this industry are Hindustan Unilever (tea; instant coffee; biscuits; pulses; instant beverages); Nestle (instant coffee; milk and milk products; ready-to-eat foods); PepsiCo (aerated drinks; fruit juices; cereals; snacks) and Haldirams (sweets; namkeens; syrups; crushes, etc.)

The growth in the economy, coupled with a strong desire among consumers to maintain a healthy lifestyle and the growing awareness of functional ingredients such as herbs; minerals; vitamins; omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, is driving the functional foods and beverages market, highlighted the paper.

D S Rawat, secretary-general, ASSOCHAM, said that the food ingredients market is also increasing at a rapid growth rate, as consumers increasingly demand bigger, bolder tastes; foods that are healthy, and ingredients that are natural or sustainable.

Rawat further said that consumers are becoming more sophisticated and want more upscale flavours and ingredients. The Indian food processing market is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, and export and import prospects.

The paper also pointed out that there is a large divide between urban and rural consumers in India. Urban residents consumed 78% of all packaged food in 2011, while rural residents consumed just over 22%.

Sales of Packaged Food in India by Region in 2011:

East and Northeast: 21%

North: 38%

South: 28%

West: 36%

In a recent survey by ASSOCHAM on “Craze for Ready-to-eat Foods among Young Indians” is based on responses from 2,000 representative households with children or without children, nuclear families and bachelors, mainly because many consumers in metros lead time-pressured lifestyles and have less time available for formal meals, as a result of which the demand for products which can be eaten on the go remains high.

Over 82 per cent of the workforce prefers packaged food rather eating outside or roadside dhabhas in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.

In a survey, ASSOCHAM claims that Indian food processing market will show fast-paced growth in the next five years. It is also estimated that the food processing industry will show annual growth of 40-60 per cent in the next five years. All this will be encouraged by changed trade rules and increased demand among the people.

Eighty-eight percent parents said that convenience foods are preferred mainly by nuclear families where both husband and wife are working; bachelors who wish to avoid eating out, or people who do not have time, patience or the expertise to prepare in a traditional method.

According to survey, metropolitans are the largest consumers of processed food and are going to be the biggest consumers of processed foods because of their ever- increasing per capita income and lifestyle, which is also changing very rapidly.

The metropolitan cities in which respondents were interviewed by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) include Delhi; Mumbai; Ahemdabad; Cochin; Bangalore; Hyderabad; Indore; Patna; Pune; Chandigarh and Dehradun; and it was observed that there has been a surprising rise in the demand for packaged foods in the Indian market. All this is because the lifestyle of people has changed drastically and also the fact that consumer’s opinions regarding their eating habits have changed in a significant manner.

The majority of the working class also mentioned that it’s a boon to save time, energy and money by using these foods. Various foods helped to prevent the age-old traditional method of long preparation of grinding, cooking or fermenting for hours, and hence making the work faster. Even the manufacturers prepared the instant foods according to the tastes of the consumers.

A majority of bachelors prefer the convenience food because of less cost, time and energy-saving, convenience in preparation and consumption in the busy and hectic life. The very term 'instant foods' means simple, fast, convenient and affordable foods which are easy and fast to prepare, besides being hygienic, free from microbial contamination and also convenient to eat, the bachelors explained.

Key drivers for packaged food market in India are:

Changing demographics: Youth is driving the consumption of the packaged food such as ready meals, packaged soups, etc.

Increase in income: Rise in disposable income has increased the affordability of buying packaged food

Urbanisation: Urbanisation has led to an increase in nuclear families and also led to more and more women moving out for work

Growth in organised retail: The penetration of organised retail is expected to 15 per cent by 2016

Improvement in packaging: Advancement and development of variety of packaging has led to increase in shelf life and also satisfying various needs of customers

Increase in freezer facilities: Cold storage/freezer space plays an important part in growth of packaged food. Freezer space in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 per cent during 2008-14, which is expected to plan an important part in growth of packaged food storage

Key players in packaged foods market:

● Hindustan Unilever Ltd: Beverages; staples; dairy; snacks

● ITC: Staples and snacks

● Nestle: Dairy; beverages and snacks

● PepsiCo: Beverages and snacks

● Dabur: Beverages and Culinary Products

● Cadbury: Confectionery

● Haldiram's: Snacks

● Britannia: Bakery Products

Godrej: Beverages and Staples

Parle Agro: Beverages, Bottled Water and Snacks

Opportunities in packaged foods market:

● Focus on health

● Ready-to-eat segment will increase

● Private labels

● Customised products

● Demand of non-vegetarian packaged food
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