Health conscious Indian customer is looking out for more ready to consume snack and bite options and here is why….
India’s packaged food market is gradually seeing an upward movement. Revenue in the Snack Food segment amounts to US$5,254m in 2019 and the market is expected to grow annually by 7.5% (CAGR 2019-2023). With the millennial living extremely busy lives, options for packaged food and healthy snacking items have flooded the Indian market. The Indian customer is far more health conscious than ever before, so entrepreneurs have some creative thinking to do.
Today, nachos make for an excellent snacking option, especially for get-togethers and cocktail meets. It was a snack unthinkable in India for its Mexican origins, but Cornitos, a nacho brand created by Greendot Health Foods Pvt. Ltd (GHFL) captured the market and continues to grow strong. Here is the excerpt from a tete-e-tete with the founder Vikram Agarwal, MD, Greendot Health Foods Pvt. Ltd (GHFL):
What prompted you to get into the packaged food space?
In 2009, we decided to diversify into the food segment by introducing a niche product, the nacho crisps to the Indian snack market. We called it the ‘Cornitos’. Unlike snack markets in countries like the United States and Mexico, where nachos and tortilla chips are independent product categories in themselves, we knew there was a potential market to tap in India. So, following the blue ocean strategy of putting in a differentiator brand or idea in place, we created more value for the Indian consumers.
By entering an uncontested space where competitors were yet to step in, we reduced our entry costs and were able to deliver a premium healthy snacking option to the discerning Indian customer.
How did the idea of nachos come about?
While studying the Indian snack market, I found a gap between the ubiquitous Indian 'namkeen' and the western potato chips that was Nachos. The interest of consumers in healthier snacking options was a key factor that motivated me for the launch of “Cornitos” in India.
Cornitos Nacho Crisp is a Mexican snack offered in India in international flavors, made with corn oil, gluten-free, trans-fat free, offering zero cholesterol and high in protein and fiber with nature identical seasoning, therefore making for an extremely healthy snacking option. By using the Mexican lime treatment process, we make traditional masa using stone ground non-GMO Corn.
What is the future of packaged food and snacks in India, considering that customers gradually moving towards more fresh and healthy options?
The consumers seek fresh, no preservatives added, natural and minimally processed foods that help prevent diseases and promote good health. Consumer preference and choices are changing slowly towards healthy snacking. Gourmet food has created a new category into the domestic snack food market and there is growing acceptance for new and innovative products. Products like ours, which offer a healthy snacking choice, are going to see growing demand. We are already experiencing a 30 percent year-on-year growth rate in the Indian snack market.
What is in store for the Cornitos’ brand?
Demand for Healthy snacks is growing, which is propelling the growth of our products. Cornitos has achieved a strong base of loyal consumers and its core focus remains to keep introducing quality products at affordable pricing, thus creating a benchmark in the snacks’ industry. Currently, Cornitos the brand is available in 300 Tier I and II cities through a network of over 30,000 plus retailers and following a rapid expansion plan in Tier III cities and towns as well. We are going to continue with our ‘no picture’ policy on our packaging, unlike in the UAE market. We are also planning to expand into the soft wrap segment, and increase penetration in the HoReCa industry. We are also planning to add another healthy baked snack in our portfolio.
Cornitos brand now includes Veggie Nachos, Nacho Crisps, Taco Shells, Specialty Dips, Roasted Cashews & Almonds, Long Peanuts, Roasted Seeds, Coated Green Peas and Pickles Jalapeno Peppers & Gherkins.
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