India’s diversity is one that is very well-known. Even the food habits of its people vary from region to region. For this reason, it is very interesting to see how the food and beverage sector will take on these distinct challenges. Additionally, small towns around rural areas have become the center of activity. Here’s more on how this sector will change over the coming years.
Food and drink is an innate part of the Indian culture. It brings to the forefront the different use of various types of condiments and spice to change flavors and textures. And as a people, Indians usually like, what may seem quirky to others, their food and drink according to the tastes of the region. With this as a background, the market for packaged goods, food and beverages is poised with a unique challenge for the subcontinent.
To cater to the changing needs and tastes of the Indian market, the specialty chemicals sector has grown leaps and bounds; however, is still yet to reach its optimum potential. Managing Director, VDMA, Rajesh Nath averred, “The Indian specialty chemicals market is currently valued at approximately $23 billion and has shown a strong growth at 14 per cent per annum over the last 5 years. While the growth rate is encouraging owing to small base, the consumption and overall penetration levels of specialty chemicals and additives are still very low in India. With increasing consumption and high growth in end-user industries several specialty chemicals would see a point of inflection in next 3–7 years. Estimates show that the Indian specialty chemicals market has the potential to reach $60–70 billion by 2020.”
Flavors and fragrances (F&F) are the basic essential additives for any foodstuff that lend the specific taste and smell to the product. The major end users of F&F are bakery, confectionary, dairy, beverages, processed food, etc., manufacturers. The market is highly fragmented in the bakery, savory, and confectionery segments with buyers ranging from multinationals to small-scale manufacturers.
Consumer–Centric Based Innovation
To be successful in the Indian market, companies need to engage consumers and leverage their insights to create products that not only meet their needs but also come at an affordable price. “Consumercentric innovation can often be the path to this outcome as it can help create products that capture the customer’s imagination, provide exiting brand experiences and offer solutions to previously unmet needs,” disclosed Spirit Beverages Consultant, FlavorActiV Ltd, Dr Binod K Maitin.
Innovation-led new product development has, therefore, become increasingly important to meet the ever-increasing challenges of a competitive global marketplace. “We recently launched Maaza Milky Delite in Punjab and Kolkata. This product has been developed keeping in mind the taste preferences of the Indian consumers. In fact the R&D on this product first started when on a market visit, we saw a housewife in Kolkata mixing Maaza with generous portion of milk, and serving it as a delicacy to us,” said Director – Supply Chain, Coca-Cola India Pvt Ltd, Chandramohan Gupta while agreeing with the importance of addressing different tastes.
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