Health food is now the rage. Riding on this wave is ProSoya Foods (India), promoted by the Canada-based ProSoya Inc. Dr Rajendra Gupta, president of the Ottawa-based ProSoya, was in Bangalore to hold talks with ITC Foods for procurement of organic soya through ITC's e-chaupals. He was bullish about the growth of soya products in India.
"The Indian soya foods market is expected to grow at about 200% per annum as awareness about health is growing. The global market for soya milk is approximately $3 billion. Soya milk consumption is also growing at a spanking 20 to 25% in North America. In fact, in the US it constitutes 1% and in Australia about 7% of the total milk consumption", Dr Gupta says.
He estimates that 70% of Indians have lactose intolerance and many are vegetarians, hence soya milk can provide an alternative high protein, low calorie nutritional supplement. ProSoya is targetting a Rs 100-crore turnover in India in five years from the present turnover of Rs 4 crore. It plans to raise Rs 5-crore equity through private placement to finance its expansion plans.
The company, which launched its low carbohydrate soyamilk under the brand name Staeta in metros and selected cities in January this year, is rolling out the product in 20 more small cities and towns across the country.
The company already has a manufacturing tie-up with Godrej Foods at the latter's Bhopal plant. Dr Gupta says only 5% of the 20-million litre capacity is being utilised at the moment.
Dr Gupta developed the technology for airless cold grinding, which allows extraction of soya milk without the "beany" flavour which consumers find distasteful. "ProSoya Inc holds the patent for this technology which is being used by major manufacturers in over 40 countries.
The best-selling soya beverages in the USA (Silk) and Canada (SoNice) are made by this process", he says.
Staeta is available in 200-ml tetrapaks in five varieties-natural, original, malt, chocolate and kesar-pista. The company is also planning to introduce one-litre packs by the end of this month, priced at around Rs 50. The price, Dr Gupta, says will come down when packaging costs decline.