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India’s food processing sector: Coming of age

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India’s move to allow 100 per cent FDI in food processing has already attracted US$ 463.44 million in the first half of FY19-20 and is expected to reach upto US$ 1200 by end of the year. In this AAHAR Special, we take a look at some of the growing players in the sector


Kagome Foods India

Rohit Bhatla, MD, Kagome Foods India

Evolution of the food processing industry in India
The food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India. It ranks fifth in terms of production, consumption, and exports. Food processing has a key role to play in linking Indian farmers to consumers in both domestic and international markets. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is making huge efforts to encourage investments across the value chain. The industry engages approximately 1.85 million people in around 39,748 registered units with fixed capital of US$ 32.75 billion and aggregate output of around US$ 158.69 billion. Major industries constituting the food processing industry are grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages, and dairy products.
Focusing specifically on tomato processing, India is the second largest producer and consumer of tomatoes in the world with a production of 20 million tonnes. It is ready for large investments across food supply chains. Processed tomato products account for less than one per cent of India’s total consumption of tomatoes, presenting a huge opportunity to Kagome Foods India, while in the US the processed tomato consumption is in excess of 75 per cent.
The food processing sector has enormous potential to propel all round development, given its entire footprint across agriculture, industry and services. It can lead to gainful employment opportunities and put purchasing power in the hands of the people in both rural and urban regions.

USP of your products
l Seed to table value chain – Only company with a presence in the end-to-end value chain, from seed to table. Kagome’s wholly owned subsidiary (seed) company, supplies specialised, tested and approved seeds to farmers in Nashik, who grow them under the expert guidance of our agronomy teams. Our agronomists impart guidance to farmers to grow high yield, high-quality tomatoes at a low cost. These juicy tomatoes are harvested only when they are fully ripened, sorted and crushed in state-of-the-art plants customised for processing tomatoes.

  • Global quality at local prices – Our rigorous quality controls, ensure safety and reassurance, enabling us to offer global quality products at local prices.
  • Preservative free portfolio – Our entire product range is preservative free, with no artificial flavours or colours.
  • Japanese technology – In India, the norm is to process tomato products on the mango line. However, Kagome has made significant investments in factory infrastructure, to customise our processing line for tomato-based products, to make them better suited for use in restaurants.

Future roadmap

  • Increase farmer partners under our Contract Farming Program, from 200 (presently) to 1,000
  • Expand our distribution reach from our existing markets of Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Pune, to cover the top 10 foodservice markets in India
  • Expand our product range, to focus on a wider range of tomatoes and onion-based products
  • Further investments in value chain and factory infrastructure.

Lavazza India

Jai Ganesh Ramnath, MD, Lavazza India

Evolution of the food processing industry
The Indian food industry has developed as a profit-making sector due to its enormous potential, particularly within the food processing industry. Earlier, food processing was largely restricted to preservation, packaging and transportation.
However, over the years with emerging trends and technologies, the sector has broadened its possibilities. It has started producing many new items like ready-to-eat food, beverages, processed and frozen products. In terms of coffee, the industry has been growing steadily. The trends show that millennials are becoming accustomed to fresher trends in coffee. The per capita is still low, but we at Lavazza India focus more on educating people on coffee and believe in giving the best coffee experience.

USP of your products
We have mastered the art of blending and continuously attempt to satisfy every profile with varieties of coffee. Additionally, due to a great pull from the market for organic and sustainable blends, we launched Lavazza Alteco which represents a blend of origins from uncontaminated mountain plantations that practise organic farming and respect the principles of environmental sustainability which has been our key USP. This indeed helps us to stick to our commitment towards the environment and make conscious efforts to achieve it.

Future roadmap
We mainly emphasise on the HORECA segment. In a low coffee penetrated country, it plays a big role in creating appeal in this category. We will be in the forefront to cultivate this through consistent coffee education. We plan to invest more in our training centres to spread knowledge associated with coffee.


Intergrow Brands

Evolution of the food processing industry

Ashok Mani, MD & CEO, Intergrow Brands

When disposable income increases, our allocation of spends tend to show a steep increase towards the different types of foods that we are wanting/willing to try. This need to try new tastes, flavours and palate is being one of the reasons why the food industry has evolved so much over the last decade. While the industry was grappling with distribution challenges, shelf life was the main focus. But, as customer got conscious of health, products with high preservatives, etc., were looked down upon. This forced the industry to look for options to have shorter time lag between production date and customer. This evolved into products made with newer technology of retorting, hot filing, sterlisation, etc. As distribution efficiency increased and cold chain improved, the ability to produce products of higher quality further increased. High pressure pascalisation and other such technologies made possible fresh juices to be sold in FMCG packs. The consumer no longer wanted pulp or synthetic flavour. so with consumers wanting newer tastes, distribution formats changing, evolution of packaging, we have seen a shift in food processing. All of these work hand in hand to drive the industry to new innovations.

USP of your products

Technology is at the forefront of all that we do. We are the first company to launch tea extracts in powdered and soluble form. We process tea leaves within six hours of plucking them and through our unique cold crafting process, convert it into soluble powder.
Not only is the product more convenient and tastier but retains maximum goodness that’s present in tea leaves.

Future roadmap
We intend to give new experiences and tastes to the Indian consumer. People are looking for a change but brands haven’t taken the leap of faith. We hope to be different and drive this as the core fundamental behind which we will launch all our products.


Cremica Food Industries

Evolution of the food processing industry in India

Akshay Bector, CMD, Cremica Food Industries

The industry has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. The quality of processed food has seen a significant improvement in these past 20 years. Starting from raw basic commodities like sugar, oils and wheat, all these foods are coming processed these days with quality control systems in place to check and maintain highest nutritional standards of the product. The process is getting more streamlined and error-free year on year. Also with the changing needs of the consumer, the producers are tweaking their products accordingly. What has indeed been revolutionary is that more and more food processing companies are able to process food products suiting the Indian market, considering the palate of the consumers and also packaging keeping in mind the tropical climate of the country. Homegrown companies have been able to bring in packaged products that keep all the extreme conditions of the climate, temperature, and humidity in mind. It is evident by the fact that the processed milk sector is dominated by homegrown brands despite the presence of international brands here. Noting that the products are going to be stored for a long period of time in the kitchens, the sauces and mayonnaise need to be prepared in a way that their shelf life longevity is fair enough. Companies like ours have been able to answer that need.

USP of your products
Our foremost USP is that all our products are well suited for the Indian palate and climate conditions. We have been the pioneers in the global market to research and develop vegetarian variant of mayonnaise back in 1996. Over a period of five years, the product was designed to suit the local markets. The ketchup has also been designed keeping the Indian palate and shelf life in mind.

Future roadmap
We are the market leaders in sourcing liquid condiments to the restaurant space in India. Last year we launched many products in association with foreign companies. We launched a range syrups while in association with a French company for bringing the best flavours in the world. We have also recently launched flat breads and pastas. We also developed solutions of ready made sauces for specialty Chinese restaurants. Cremica over the years has developed a wholesome range of products. Every year our portfolio becomes bigger and bigger. We have already crossed 300 crore in turnover and are looking to continuously grow in this year by 20 per cent despite of the tough conditions in the market.


Rich Graviss Products

The evolution of food processing industry over the years

Pankaj Chaturvedi, executive director & CEO, Rich Graviss Products

The food processing industry in India has largely been an unorganized one. It is gradually getting organized now.  Secondary processing which includes processing of fruits, vegetables, dairy, bakery, cocoa etc. has also been growing steadily as compared to primary processing. The lack of skilled labor & increased urbanization is triggering this growth. Many changes are taking place on the demand side as well. Demographic changes & hectic lifestyles are leading to more and more people ordering in, giving rise to platforms like Zomato, Swiggy, etc. and sprouting of cloud kitchens at the back-end. We still have a long way to go in terms of having an efficient supply chain in food processing industries. Every year lack of infrastructure causes thousands of crores worth of losses which considerably decreases the overall supply chain efficiency. Preprocessing losses occur due to lack of awareness and a dearth of storage facilities whereas a shortage of refrigerated vehicles is reflected through losses occurring at the transport stage.

USP of your products

We aim to listen, understand and deliver for our customers like nobody else. They are the guiding force behind everything that we do. All our innovations stem from their challenges, their needs as well as global & local trends. We focus on solving the problems that they face in theirs kitchens – be it wanting to diversify their product offerings or reducing the time in making something from scratch. This means that all our products are made keeping the customer in mind. A key focus for us has been to maintain premium quality. From proactively monitoring raw materials and finished goods to manufacturing processes and stringent sanitary handling, superior food safety is at the heart of everything we do. With Rich’s, you don’t have to compromise between convenience and quality.

Future roadmap

We foresee a big opportunity in beverages. With consumers constantly looking for new and unique tastes and flavours, especially millennials always wanting to ‘explore more’, beverages naturally become an ideal way to cater to them. Thick shakes, freak shakes and what not are flooding the market today. It definitely appears to be a promising avenue for growth. Speed-scratch is another area of focus for us. It lets our customers offer more variety with reduction in labour work. It provides operators with infinite possibilities to mix and match, allowing for greater customisation. Rich’s Premium Truffle is a recent addition in this category. It is a ready-to-use Ganache that imparts perfect taste and shine to your cakes and desserts. It is truly a life-changing product that eliminates the need for spending hours to make truffle from scratch & gives you the same, consistent result every time.


Sumeru Frozen Foods India

The evolution of the food processing industry in India

Sivakumar K,VP – Procurement /R&D /FS, Brand Sumeru, Innovative Foods

The Food processing industry has evolved in every aspect possible in the 21st century. A decade ago one could have limited the industry to just packed potato chips, chocolates to confectionery and aerated beverages. But, now with the advent of Food technology, the processed food offering has expanded its horizon to much more advanced solutions: like a packed fresh meal with an extended shelf life, milk and juice-based beverage products retailed in tetra packs and the ready to eat & heat and eat categories.

Technology advancements in Canning and Retort have seen a surge in new cuisine-based offerings catering to the demands of the customers, who are hard-pressed for time and want convenience. With stringent FSSAI regulations, and new age, highly aware consumer, thanks to readily available and easily accessible information on the internet, consumers today want to make a conscious, sustainable and safe choice when it comes to their food purchasing decisions. Which has led all Food processing businesses to take cognisance of this fact and adhere to food safety, environmental sustainability, farm to fork philosophy, traceability based supply chain, and nutrition-based food fortification. The whole concept of HACCP which was specifically created by General Mills in collaboration with NASA for the Man in Moon space mission has made its way to the dining tables of the common man.

USP of your products

Sumeru Frozen Foods is innovation and technology-driven company. We have been providing convenient food solutions for almost 30 years with 100 per cent chemical preservatives free and using low temperature as the only mode of food preservation. We practice traceability of the raw material and it is our utmost priority since all the materials, in-process items and finished goods are tested daily for multiple microbiological parameters in in-house laboratories, as per Indian and international standards. Products are released into the market only after Quality Assurance clearance, based on these microbial tests and organoleptic checks. Sumeru’s products are all safe and superior in freshness compared to the local market produce which seldom has any traceability.

Our manufacturing units are FSSC 22000 certified which is the topmost global food safety certification along with HALAL certified by HALAL INDIA. All our products are frozen by using the Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) technology wherein the product is frozen to a core temperature of -18 deg C in rapid time which results in far superior sensory quality. Sumeru also boasts of a dedicated R&D department, which employs a team of experienced Chefs and Food Technologist along with experienced and expert Nutritionists, who continuously work on new concepts and strive to offer a new evolved culinary experience to our loyal and esteemed consumers, who put their trust in us.

Future roadmap

Sumeru Frozen Foods is one of the leading food processing brands in India with the largest and the most holistic/ comprehensive product range in the frozen food space with representation across all categories. Sumeru has already built the capacity to cater to its growth plans. With the kind of innovations that we are rolling out, we plan to tap more markets and focus on creating a product range in both frozen and ambient food verticals based on the market demand and strategic need. We want to amplify our presence closer to the consumer by driving value and premium offering across our portfolio with increased focus in our distribution, market focus, innovations and digital marketing footprint to drive growth across all these categories.

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