Trends, devel­op­ments and op­por­tu­ni­ties for man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers in In­dia

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Front Page -

Deoki Much­hal, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Cargill’s food business in In­dia, speaks to Pro­gres­sive Gro­cer about the trends and devel­op­ments that are shap­ing the bak­ery in­dus­try in In­dia and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it presents for man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers. What is the cur­rent sta­tus of the bak­ery in­dus­try in In­dia and how do you look at its fu­ture prospects?

The bak­ery in­dus­try today is evolv­ing rapidly and it is cur­rently a fu­sion of tra­di­tional prod­ucts with western bak­ery con­cepts. With end con­sumers be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant, the fo­cus is on cre­at­ing good ex­pe­ri­ences for them by in­creas­ing the touch points for greater en­gage­ment – be it in the form of cafes or mini eater­ies or even de­part­men­tal stores, which al­lows for sam­pling and of­fer­ing all meals of the day. Con­sumers are more con­scious than ever be­fore, and this has re­sulted in greater de­mand for qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, in­clud­ing fats be­sides mak­ing bakers more con­scious as well.

Which con­sump­tion trends in the bak­ery cat­e­gory would you like to highlight?

Baked goods have al­ways been pop­u­lar among the con­sumers, es­pe­cially breads and cook­ies as they are read­ily avail­able and easy to con­sume on the go. The con­sump­tion of bak­ery goods de­pends ma­jorly upon the avail­abil­ity, fla­vor, health quo­tient and innovation. As con­sumers are be­com­ing more cu­ri­ous and open to­wards food ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, the con­sump­tion of baked prod­ucts has in­creased man­i­fold. Now, if you ob­serve, one-third of any sweet shop is now filled with baked goods. Thus, ar­ti­san bakers have a wider plat­form to show­case new tech­niques and ex­pand their con­sumer base. See­ing this grow­ing trend, home bakers and bak­ery out­lets have also in­creased in the coun­try, in the last few years.

How do you see the bak­ery mar­ket in In­dia de­vel­op­ing for value-added prod­ucts?

The bak­ery in­dus­try in the coun­try is wit­ness­ing a growth of 12-15% per an­num. Today, with close to 50% of the coun­try’s bak­ery seg­ment be­ing with ar­ti­san bakers, they want to ex­per­i­ment with their skills and de­velop new tech­niques, which will give them the lib­erty to pro­vide some­thing dif­fer­ent to the con­sumers.

Where do you think are the fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties for man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers in the bak­ery seg­ment?

Bak­ery prod­ucts, due to their high nu­tri­ent value and af­ford­abil­ity, are items of huge con­sump­tion. The high de­mand pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the man­u­fac­tur­ers to ex­per­i­ment with fla­vors and tech­niques to cre­ate more prod­ucts. The In­dian bak­ery in­dus­try is one of the big­gest sec­tors in the coun­try’s pro­cessed food in­dus­try. Thus, in terms of in­creas­ing the business, the bak­ery sec­tor is tak­ing grad­ual steps to­wards the fu­ture of the seg­ment. The

in­no­va­tions, for in­stance, in­tro­duc­ing bak­ery fats, short­en­ing or mar­garines, are some of the im­por­tant steps that we are tak­ing in the in­dus­try.

Which fac­tors play an im­por­tant role in this cat­e­gory’s per­for­mance?

With health be­com­ing a pri­or­ity and the num­ber of dis­cern­ing con­sumers in­creas­ing at a fast pace, the fo­cus is on qual­ity in­gre­di­ents that pro­vide a good ex­pe­ri­ence. In this sce­nario, the choice of fats is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant as it af­fects the mouth­feel and tex­ture. Bakers are very se­lec­tive today about the fats they use as it plays an in­te­gral role in the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence when con­sum­ing prod­ucts – whether it is cake, cook­ies, puffs, kharis, etc.

Any sug­ges­tion for brands and re­tail­ers by way of in­tro­duc­ing new prod­uct fea­tures, more value ad­di­tion, etc. that would give more trac­tion to the cat­e­gory?

An­a­lyz­ing the de­mand of modern con­sumers as per their life­style and match­ing the sup­ply as per the re­quire­ments will not only gain trac­tion but also in­spire the man­u­fac­tur­ers to push the en­ve­lope fur­ther. The bak­ery in­dus­try has a lot of po­ten­tial to ex­pand their business; we just need to fo­cus to­wards the de­mand of the con­sumers, gauge what they like and pro­vide so­lu­tions match­ing their lik­ings.

Tell us about the role played by your com­pany in rais­ing the bench­marks for the bak­ery in­dus­try in In­dia and in con­tribut­ing to its devel­op­ment?

Cargill’s ma­jor goal is to nour­ish peo­ple in a safe and sus­tain­able way. This re­flects in our of­fer­ings across brands. Our con­tri­bu­tion to the bak­ery in­dus­try is through our brand Na­ture­fresh Pro­fes­sional, whose short­en­ings and mar­garines and tech­ni­cal sup­port from the ap­pli­ca­tion cen­ter based out of Gur­gaon, pro­vides a com­plete so­lu­tion to its cus­tomers. Un­der Na­ture­fresh Pro­fes­sional short­en­ings, we have Na­ture­fresh Pro­fes­sional Classic for puffs & kharis and Elite for cook­ies. Un­der mar­garines, we have Na­ture­fresh Pro­fes­sional Cham­pion, Ge­nius, and Mas­ter. Fi­nally, in Spe­cialty, we have Na­ture­fresh Pro­fes­sional Lite, which has been giv­ing bril­liant re­sults in cakes and cook­ies. As a brand, we are con­stantly in­no­vat­ing and look­ing at ex­pand­ing our prod­uct port­fo­lio with newer vari­ants, all aimed at adding value to bakers and al­low­ing them to make qual­ity prod­ucts while con­tin­u­ing to de­light con­sumers.

The bak­ery in­dus­try in the coun­try is wit­ness­ing a growth of 12 -15% per an­num. Today, with close to 50% of the coun­try’s bak­ery seg­ment be­ing with ar­ti­san bakers, they want to ex­per­i­ment with their skills and de­velop new tech­niques, which will give them the lib­erty to pro­vide some­thing dif­fer­ent to the con­sumers.

As a com­pany, what are your fu­ture plans for bring­ing newer tech­nol­ogy and so­lu­tions to the bak­ery seg­ment?

Cargill is con­stantly look­ing at newer av­enues for en­gag­ing with bakers and cus­tomers. Fu­eled by the ob­jec­tive to en­hance value cre­ation, ed­u­cate bakers by in­creas­ing their knowl­edge and acu­men while part­ner­ing with them to cre­ate qual­ity prod­ucts, the brand is con­stantly en­gag­ing with bakers, cus­tomers, and even con­sumers. With con­sumers be­com­ing in­creas­ingly par­tic­u­lar about the prod­ucts they con­sume, the brand also en­gages with bakers to in­crease their con­scious­ness and aware­ness on the im­por­tance of food safety and hy­giene con­di­tions to cater to th­ese con­sumers.

Deoki Much­hal MD, Cargill’s food business in In­dia

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