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Food and Beverages Mar, 18 2017

Is packaged food accompanied by convenience and health

Factors such as increasing disposable incomes, sophisticated consumer’s health concerns in urbanised areas led to the entrance of such goods and products.

By Pallavi Singhal
Feature Writer

Indians have been following the western trends, partly because of the mass media influence and partly because of the entry of international chains in the country. Brands see a huge opportunity of launching their products and services into the developing country with the population standing at 1.25 billion; which is offering them a market with vast scope. India shows a growth rate higher than any other country in the food packaging sector. According to NRAI food service report, Indian packaging industry is estimated to be USD 35 billion growing at 15% CAGR. This offers immense growth potential for Indian packaging industry. Food packaging accounts for 48% of total packaging industry, contributing largest share in the industry.

Why did the trend emerge?

Just like all other food and wellness trends these days, this one too is affected by the rising consumer health-consciousness. Concerns about the unhygienic status of food being cooked outside encouraged a significant change in the preference and choices of customers. This played an important role in the vitality of products like yogurt. In addition, factors such as increasing disposable incomes, sophisticated consumer’s health concerns in urbanised areas led to the entrance of such goods and products.

Markets of the first world countries like the US have already reached their saturation point and a slowdown in global packaged food markets has already been seen where Asian countries seems to be a hope for this slowing business. The populations of mature markets are not growing at the pace required by food packaging industry thus finding new markets to launch upon is what these brands are looking forward to.

Rising incomes and younger households in the developing countries ensure the growth of packaged foods there. Additionally, unmarried youth and nuclear families with working parents depending on such sources of food impact its growth. Consumers can be seen buying more canned beverages and frozen foods during their monthly grocery shopping.

Ready to cook meals

Everyone desires to eat home cooked meals but is too lazy or has no time to do so. In times like these, packaged food comes to the rescue. The idea of opening a packet and putting it into a pan for a minute and enjoying the fresh, flavourful and hygienic food at the comfort of homes is always soothing. This is what tempts consumers and thus manufacturers into making these products. Convenience and influence of western world can also be the added reasons for the industry to flourish.

Average rate of annual spending on packaged food has increased by 22.5% annually during the years 2010 to 2015, statistics indicate. Releasing the survey, Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, “The consumption of packaged food is much higher in the urban areas, especially metros, where life is fast-paced and stressful.” The main categories of packaged food are bakery products, canned/dried processed food, frozen processed food, ready-to-eat meals, dairy products, diet snacks, processed meat and health products and drinks, points the survey.

They do have a few limitations including small shelf life and lack of variety but the Indian consumer doesn’t seem to care much about it and it rarely affects the selling rate.

Cold pressed beverages

Cold pressed juices are gaining popularity day in and out in the whole wide world. They are made by pressing, or “masticating” juice from vegetables and fruits. These juices are not only safe to drink a few weeks after being packed, but they contain high amounts of nutrients too.

India has quickly become one of the leading regions in the global cold pressed juice market. In order to cater to the demands of consumers, numerous companies have launched juices manufactured through the use of pasteurized technology. Some of the key companies operating in the global cold pressed juice market are Just Pressed, Pressed Juicery, Raw Pressery, PepsiCo Inc.etc. According to a research conducted, global cold pressed juices market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 10% during 2016-2022.

Juices not pressed, add flavours and a mammoth amount of sugar to their beverages. The health conscious customer has now opted for a higher priced but good for self-well being products.

In the light of the day, it can be said, that India is surely moving towards the convenience of life and opting for packed and canned products. Although studies suggest that this trend is far from reaching the rural areas, the pace of urbanisation may show us otherwise. 

Related: The changing face of Indian dining scenario

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