Innovation is not only limited for products; it can be for quality, technology, consistency, efficiency, people and even institutional changes. According to industry reports, the food processing industry is one of India’s biggest sectors in terms of production, consumption, export and GDP growth. Estimated to be worth US$70bn, it accounts for around 14 per cent of total industrial output and around 6 per cent of GDP.
Indian food processing sector includes a large number of products from fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, seafood and poultry, dairy products; fermented foods and drinks; grains, cereals and millets; bakeries; confectionery; nutraceuticals; and even RTE (ready to eat). Also, time has become very precious and people are highly obsessed with the western culture, where they get home delivery services. On the same note, V L Rajesh, CEO at ITC Ltd says, “We have launched many new items other than products like atta, instant noodles, snacks etc; we have modulated the product.”
Now, many Indian players are making use of new technologies to increase production, meet quality standards and increase profitability. Even, the market is providing a lot of opportunities in the recent time to these players so that they can adopt new technologies
Innovations in food
Few years down the line, we will witness low calorie food with artificial and natural sweeteners. This new innovation addresses the concern of consumers regarding the amount of sugar used in their food and differentiates with different type of sweeteners.
Beverage industry proactively perceived consumer interest for these products that carried a little sugar. So, many companies have launched zero-calorie products like Tropicana's Trop 50 orange juice; Coca-Cola also launched new products in the same category.
Another innovation is thinking- If we need to understand what consumers want, first we have to understand the context and also do some research. “Going to market and observing the opportunity provided for using modern tool to create awareness is something which is different”, shared Yogesh Bellani, CEO of FiledFresh Foods Pvt Ltd.
The new emerging trend in the food processing is the preservation and packaging of food. “Today, good food has become the prime desire of the consumers, so innovation needs to get processed and reach the customers”, pointed Sirag A Chadhry, Chairman of Cargill India. Demand of the consumers and their willingness to pay some extra buck for convenience are the main reasons for food delivery.
There should be development in packaging through resources and functionality. “We want to use technology like an ATM machine for milk which is unpackaged,” shared Siva Nagarajan, MD at Mother Dairy.
Snacks and sweets are other fastest-growing segments in the food industry for producing new and creative products. Snack Innovations means creating tasty munchies and good quality products for the customers.
Hence, Indian food processing industry has reached a point where we can expect many new innovations in the coming years. Active and intelligent packaging is the new innovation for food safety, quality and convenience coming in India.