India is Superfood Ready

Ankur Bisen, Sr. Vice President, Technopak Advisors and Head of Retail and CPG vertical speaks on the growth of superfood segment in India.


THE PREMIUM food segment accounts for 25 percent of the total packaged food market and is growing at 10 percent annually with metro cities contributing to the highest share in premium segment, and future demand will potentially be driven by Tier 1 towns, semi-urban and rural areas. With this market opportunity, international fruits are increasingly witnessing successes by leveraging the changing food habits. US Cranberries is also looking at tapping this growing market with new opportunities in the food services space. Ankur Bisen, Sr. Vice President, Technopak Advisors and head of Retail & CPG vertical speaks on the growth of superfood segment in India.

What are the top three trends in 2018 that you foresee in the food and retail sector?

1. Superfoods is a key trend – Superfoods are additives or ingredients that are increasingly getting accepted as part of daily diet for their health benefits. Foods that are known anti-oxidants viz. US Cranberries or food items rich in micro nutrients will increasingly find way into recipes.

2. Fusion – Indian recipes and food items are increasingly given a makeover with international ingredients or international recipes are modified for Indian palate. US Cranberry laced kheer or chicken tikka pizza both occupy this trend.

3.Packaged food – Increasingly, packaged food will grow beyond standard chips, wafers and beverages to include new categories like ready to cook items, pastes, snack bars, etc. Convenience that urban Indians now seek coupled with possibilities of packaging and quality of retail shelves available will allow this growth.


Has the food and beverage industry been affected with the growth of super-food segment in India?

The premium packaged food is currently around US$ 7.5 bn. All the superfoods used currently resides within this size as a small sub-set in different forms. The opportunity for superfoods to start with is in this space that is growing at 10% pa. whereas the overall food segment grows at 6%.


How important is the role of US Cranberries in this segment and how do you plan to tap this segment?

Given the food trends that are shaping India, it is an important market for US Cranberries and holds immense promise. We plan to look at India opportunity both on the health and the palate profile. For instance, US Cranberries are proven to be an effective fruit in the treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). UTI is a big issue that concerns women health in India and therefore for US Cranberries it becomes a key focus area. The palate profile of Indian that appreciates chutneys, pickles and tangy tastes that is not very different from that of US Cranberries. This allows US Cranberries to actively seek Indian food applications in food services and package food spaces.


Eating out is now being seen as an integral part of the system. Has GST helped the food industry in a big way — positive or negative?

The downward revision of GST is definitely a great booster for eating out. It signifies the importance of this sector in the economy. Eating out is no more restricted to symbol of affluence and the downward revision of the tax rates signifies this. Though there still are issues on the input credit that food services outlets will have to live with and that is negative for now.


What is the impact of super-food in India? Is India ready for this transformation?

If we look at the last five years and see the growth of some of the foreign foods in India that certainly we can claim that India is ready for this transformation. Growth of food items like Olive Oil, Pasta, Probiotic drinks are examples of this readiness. It is estimated from a near negligible share of Olive Oil ten years back, India consumes 100 mn US$ worth of Olive Oil every year.


Has the increasing consumption of processed food ensured efficient and uniform distribution?

Yes, today capabilities are enhanced in ambient temperature warehousing and logistics, retail shelves and development of food parks that is rapidly removing these constraints.

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