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Sumeru & Prasad team up to dish out signature recipes for consumer mkt
Saturday, 08 December, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Innovative Foods Ltd’s (IFL) Sumeru, one of the leading frozen food brands in India and a manufacturer and exporter of frozen food products globally, has collaborated with chef Alfred Prasad for a premium gourmet product range, to launch his signature recipes in the mass consumer market for the first time in India.

He is the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin star at the age of 29, and has been lauded for his original take on traditional Indian cuisine.

“In India, it is the younger generation that is really changing the food landscape. Millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z have global cuisine reflected in their preferences. It gives a fillip to the demand for convenience-driven products in the food processing sector,” Prasad told F&B News.

“However, this generation is also discerning. They do not only want nutritious products, but also those that are high on taste and convenience. This is where the frozen foods  sector, with no preservatives and using technologies like individual quick freezing (IQF), has created a growing market for such products, as the younger workforce in India is looking for easier alternatives to cooking,” he added.

“My first comfort was that the Sumeru team is technically solid. They have an in-depth understanding of the freezing process and logistics involved and can transform my recipes into a frozen version that tastes as good as fresh,” Prasad said.

“They have vast and brilliant knowledge of consumer preferences and the market segment. Our shared ideologies of the healthy and nutritional aspect of our products (without colours, preservatives or articifical enhancers) was an important factor,” he added.

The slew of signature dishes that are going to be developed are Super Millet Khichadi, Coromandal Roasted Chicken, Coromandal Shahi Paneer and Signature Pepper Chicken.

The new gourmet range targets Indian consumers strapped for time and seeking  convenience without compromising on nutrition and taste.

“We have ensured our products sans preservatives, artificial colours and flavours. The cooking process and unique packaging technology (IQF) ensure nutrients and flavours are locked and frozen to be as good as fresh. This is a first-of-its-kind product in the Indian frozen food market, which gives us an advantage over players in the segment,” said Prasad.

Globally, there have been food brands that have collaborated with chefs, but in India, this is a first. Such collaborations help brands to tap into the chef’s expertise and proactively engage their market by creating new products that are in sync with what the new-age consumer wants.

“However, there are challenges. This is because of the misconception around frozen food, and the process itself, as consumers think food automatically loses nutrients and have preservatives,” Prasad said.

“But this is not the case. All Sumeru products are made from the fresh ingredients picked or sourced at their peak, frozen using the latest IQF technology,” he added.

“The manufacturing units adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness and transparency. In fact, Sumeru is trying offset the myth frozen is unhealthy myth instead it is building an awareness that these products are good as fresh,” Prasad said.

When asked what were the key factors that led to him bagging the Michelin star award, Prasad said that they were quality and consistency.

“A Michelin inspector would watch out for taste, alongside the sensibilities of the dish and come back regularly at least 4-6 times a year to judge on consistency. The fact that they do this anonymously makes it even more credible and special,” he added.
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