Customised food solutions for Indian palate

Cargill Innovation Centre (CIC) in India is carving its niche by steering insights-led innovation

In a bustling response to the evolving preferences of health-conscious Indian consumers, Cargill Innovation Centre (CIC) in India is carving its niche by steering insights-led innovation. Established in 2022, the CIC collaborates with a spectrum of food manufacturers, embracing both large enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses, to craft locally tailored food solutions that resonate with the diverse tastes and preferences of the Indian market.

One pivotal aspect of CIC’s approach is the incorporation of Cargill’s global expertise in food solutions and its keen understanding of unique consumer trends in India. According to Cargill’s proprietary Trend Tracker 2023 study on global food and beverage industry, Subin Sivan, Marketing and Commercial Excellence Leader at Cargill’s Food Solutions business in South Asia, notes, “India is a vibrant consumer market offering immense growth potential for food and beverage manufacturers.”

The study reveals that Indian consumers are placing a significant emphasis on health-conscious choices. Sivan emphasises, “With growing demand for products that are healthier and high on sensory experiences, our customers count on us for innovative solutions.” The trends showcased by Cargill’s study reflect a discerning consumer base – one that prioritises immune-boosting, digestive wellness, gut health, and higher fibre content.

“Healthy for me” is a resounding theme, with consumers in India showing a preference for products that boast fewer, familiar, and natural ingredients. The study indicates 82 per cent Indian consumers read on-pack health claims while making purchasing decisions. Recognisable ingredients are a key consideration, with nine in 10 consumers actively seeking products with ingredients they can identify.

Under the banner of “Experience it,” CIC acknowledges the shifting preferences towards indulgent snacks with health benefits. The study reveals that 28 per cent of Indians have increased their consumption of indulgent snacks in the past year, emphasising the demand for snacks that offer both indulgence and health benefits.

Sivan highlights the role of CIC in meeting these demands: “We leverage our global expertise, coupled with unique consumer insights and deep experience in the Indian market, to build trend-based, customised food solutions.” 

Some noteworthy solutions emerging from the Cargill Innovation Centre for the Indian market include Protex DS, a vital wheat gluten substitute enhancing cost efficiency for bread and rusk manufacturers, and Elite Choice, India’s first flavoured aerated cookie shortening – a trans-fat-free innovation transforming cookies for a lighter, crispier experience.

In addition to locally developed solutions, CIC is adapting Cargill’s global innovations for the Indian market. RadiPure and Protex E8001G, natural, plant-based pea proteins, cater to the dairy and beverage industries, providing superior mouthfeel and a healthier alternative to protein. Epicor, a post-biotic ingredient for gut health, is making strides in the dairy, confectionery, and bakery industries, focusing on health and nutrition in India.

Kunal Yadav, B2B Commercial Leader at Cargill’s Food Solutions business in South Asia, underlines the customer-driven approach: “We adopt a customer-driven approach and provide R&D support to create end-to-end food solutions and offerings for our customers.”

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER THE BLEISURE SPECIAL'


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