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INTERVIEW

“Bakery witnessing growth of 12 -15%”
Monday, 13 August, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, company help people thrive by applying our insights and over 150 years of experience. The company has 155,000 employees in 70 countries/regions who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. Deoki Muchhal, managing director, Cargill’s food business in India, in an email interaction with Shraddha Joshi highlights the bakery industry in India. Excerpts:

What is the current scenario of the bakery industry in India, with respect to market size, in-demand products and current trends?
The bakery industry in the country is witnessing a growth of 12-15%. Today, with close to 50% of the country’s bakery segment being with artisan bakers, they want to experiment with their skills and develop new techniques, which will give them liberty to provide something different to the consumers. With health becoming a priority and consumers growing increasingly discerning, the focus is on quality ingredients which provide a good experience. In this scenario, the choice of fats becoming increasingly important as it affects the mouth feel and the texture. Bakers are very selective today about the fats they use as it plays an integral role in the overall experience while consuming products - whether it is cake, cookies, puffs or kharis.

What are its future growth aspects? What are the trends and innovation the industry is likely to witness in the next five years?
The bakery industry today is evolving rapidly and it currently a fusion of traditional products with Western bakery concepts. With end-consumers becoming increasingly important, the focus is on creating good experiences for them by increasing touch points for greater engagement - be it in the form of cafes or mini eateries or even departmental stores which allows for sampling and offering all meals of the day. Consumers are more conscious than ever before, and this has resulted in greater demand for quality ingredients including fats, making bakers more conscious as well.

What is your distribution scale in India in the bakery sector? What are your plans to uplift the same for its brands in the country?
India has wide spread distribution channels in place with the value chain being well established to cater to industry. However, there is a need for hygienic storage at all points, clean and safe transportation as well as ensuring food safety during the production process. In fact, the company continues to partner with value chain to provide right environment for logistics and storage.

FSSAI recently proposed to reduce the trans-fats content in bakery shortenings and margarines. How will that impact the bakery sector?
Our major goal is to nourish people in a safe and sustainable way. We focus at providing complete health solutions without compromising the taste. FSSAI’s decision on reduction the trans-fats content in bakery shortenings and margarines will have a positive impact on the industry as this will be a major step towards turning Indian into a trans-fats-free market. Since, as awe are committed whole-heartedly to nourish people and promote healthy living, we welcome this move.

What are your expansion plans in the bakery segment? Do you have any plans to launch new products? If yes, which ones?
At present, NatureFresh Professional shortenings and margarines and technical support from our application centre based out of Gurgaon, provides complete solution to its customers. Under NatureFresh Professional shortenings we have NatureFresh Professional Classic for puffs & kharis, Elite for cookies. Under margarines, we have NatureFresh Professional Champion, Genius and Master. Finally, in speciality, we have NatureFresh Professional Lite which has been giving brilliant results in cakes and cookies. As a brand we are constantly innovating and looking at expanding our product portfolio with newer variants, all aimed at adding value to bakers allowing them to make quality products while continuing to delight consumers.

How are you planning to maximise your reach amongst the consumers/masses?
NatureFresh Professional is constantly looking at newer avenues for engaging with bakers and customers. Fueled by the objective to enhance value creation, educate bakers by increasing their knowledge and acumen while partnering with them to create quality products, the brand is constantly engaging with bakers, customer and even consumers. With consumers becoming increasingly particular about the products they consume; the brand also engages with bakers to increase their consciousness and awareness on the importance of food safety and hygiene conditions to cater to these consumers.
 
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