“In the last decade, the industry has underwent a major transformation by revisiting and restructuring the product portfolio majorly to align with the consumer tastes and preferences - Nirupama Raghavan”
|Emerging trends in Indian food industry by Nirupama Raghavan|
written for Smart Complianz
Increased awareness among consumer groups on the affects of unhealthy diet patterns has resulted in a paradigm shift in their tastes and preferences. Aligning to these dynamics, the industry is revisiting their strategies to accommodate the taste, novelty, convenience and nutrition into the overall product portfolio. Therefore, we are witnessing the convergence of innovative technologies, Indian traditional wisdom, regional culinary styles and effective communications to cater the consumer healthier choices. Given the context, being in the industry for 15 years I would like to dwell on the latest trends in the food processing sectors at a macro level.
It is very encouraging to witness the recent market launches in the baby food and health drinks segment, using our own Jaggery and dry fruit powder as a substitute to refined sugar. These trends clearly demonstrate that looking inward into traditional Indian food habits is becoming imperative. In addition to the above, there are lot more coarse grains, seeds, oils, fruits and vegetables waiting to come into the main stream. Lastly, these developments would create an immense ecological and economic benefit to our farming community apart from offering healthier choice to consumers and adding value to the processed food business.
3) Demand for innovative technologies retaining the product nutrient values
Clean labels and healthier food trends have also pushed processors to look for healthier processing technologies that retain nutrients and increase shelf life. Among many, High pressure processing is currently prevalent in the beverage sector as this process involves microbial pasteurization under high pressure and avoids usage of high temperature or chemical preservatives. As a result, this helps in retaining the sensory and nutritional attributes of the fruit juices in comparison to the conventional processing techniques. Further, vacuum fried snacks are another ingenious technology that is giving scope to a newer range of exotic snacks particularly of fruit and vegetable based. Another newer technology, microwave assisted thermal sterilization helps pack curries and fruit pulps that are way better than the traditional retorted foods in terms of both sensory and nutritional quality. Modified atmosphere packaging is extending the shelf life of our traditional sweets by a few more weeks and months and that is creating new business opportunities in this sector. These products are grossing good reception from the consumers as they appreciate the quality in spite of higher pricing. Finally, traditional cold pressing and expeller pressing techniques to extract pressed oils are also catching on as people are keen to go back to the roots.