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Food brands driving consumption trends and opportunities: Experts
Thursday, 25 March, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Food brands are driving the consumption trends and opportunities. This is where the industry is looking to focus on trust for the consumers. From sourcing of quality products to Good Manufacturing Practices, clean labelling and hygienic processes are now the core for all food processing companies.

India being the largest producer of many agri products, the industry of food processing has a promising future to devise innovative models to take the sector forward.

Hemant Malik, chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee & CEO, food division, ITC Food Division, noted that while we view the future of food processing as promising. “The industry is at the cusp of transformation. The country also has an untapped export potential. We believe that Indian food market in the packaged segment is just a 10-12 per cent growth has a miniscule role to play in the export market.”

“Comprehending the importance of food processing industry, the Government of India with the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s launch of the Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for the sector allocating Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 crore for it, will prove our mettle in local manufacture and enable us to enter the export market,” he said.

“Our learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on Q1 and Q2 has now brought the businesses almost close to normal. Having said that there are challenges like the soaring crude oil prices affecting access to packaging material, which is a critical cost component on product pricing because of plastic packaging and corrugated boxes. These commodity factors are cyclical which the industry needs to handle,” he added.

Now for the food processing industry, it is the consumer which is the engine of economic growth. There is a paradigm shift going by the global demand for food safety, food security, sustainability, capability and reliability of supply chain are more critical during these  Covid times. We also find a fair amount of changes that have taken place where there is an uptick in immunity products that have taste and value, said Malik at the 13th FICCI Foodworld India 2021 ‘Decoding Future Of Indian Food Processing Sector’ session on Future of Food Processing Industry: How Food Brands are Driving the Consumption Trends into Opportunities.

Rachit Mathur, MD & partner, BCG India, who moderated the event, pointed out that food processing market was repositioning itself to the market needs.

According to Mohit Anand, co-chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee, & MD, Kellogg’s India & South Asia, the interest towards health and wellness through food is getting its due and it will only increase in the coming years.

Siraj Hussain, Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, GoI, noted that food processing is going through a phase of innovation.

Manoj Joshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GoI, noted that there is a need for brand building and focus on products that are export oriented.

Richa Arora, president- packaged foods, Tata Consumer Products, said that Covid accelerated the importance of health and nutrition.
Sanjay Sharma, CEO, MTR Foods, pointed out that convenience is the name of the game. Much of the company’s sales were driven on the platform for convenience to ensure not spending less time in the kitchen and provide a variety in food to be cooked.

Piyush Patnaik, MD, Cargill Oils India, stated that India has the largest crop of mustard seeds in the country which is used by the industry for edible oil processing and giving the farmer much of the income driven by the market demand.
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