MEAT & SEAFOOD

As con­sumers want con­ve­nient meal so­lu­tions, they are go­ing for high value, tech­nol­ogy ori­ented, branded pack­aged prod­ucts

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Front Page - By San­jay Kumar

A young de­mo­graphic, ris­ing dis­pos­able in­come and time-pressed ur­ban con­sumers look­ing for con­ve­nient meal so­lu­tions with­out com­pro­mis­ing on health as­pects are the fac­tors driv­ing the mar­ket for meat and seafood cat­e­gory. As food­ies in­vent ever-new ways to cre­ate and con­sume food, it’s nat­u­ral that more re­tail­ers and sup­pli­ers are ex­cited by the op­por­tu­nity of growth that the mar­ket is ca­pa­ble of and the new­ness that they can of­fer to con­sumers in the meat cat­e­gory. But brands need to dif­fer­en­ti­ate and of­fer value-added prod­ucts. They need to con­stantly in­no­vate on the prod­uct front and price their prod­ucts in a man­ner that makes the con­sumer ap­pre­ci­ate the value in terms of prod­uct’s taste, fla­vor, and con­ve­nience. It is a promis­ing mar­ket for man­u­fac­tur­ers that can de­liver high value, tech­nol­ogy ori­ented, branded pack­aged prod­ucts in a fast emerg­ing or­ga­nized seg­ment.

The Indian meat mar­ket is cur­rently worth US$31 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket es­ti­mates. It is grow­ing at a CAGR 20% and will reach US$65 bil­lion by 2022. Out of the to­tal $300 bil­lion Indian gro­cery mar­ket, this is the only largest cat­e­gory that is largely un­or­ga­nized and where 90% of the meat sold an­nu­ally is han­dled out­side the or­ga­nized mar­ket. The an­nual per capita con­sump­tion of re­tail pro­cessed meat and seafood prod­ucts, though still low at 29.36 gram and 6.65 gram re­spec­tively is grow­ing in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Min­tel Mar­ket Sizes. In­dia’s per-capita con­sump­tion of meat puts it at the sec­ond po­si­tion on the list of coun­tries with the least meat con­sump­tion per per­son. But while this dis­tinc­tion can be at­trib­uted to our 2,000-yearold tra­di­tion of veg­e­tar­i­an­ism, yet like all old cul­tures, this one is chang­ing as well. The de­mand for meat is ex­pected to grow faster in In­dia with sus­tained eco­nomic growth, ris­ing per capita in­come, strength­en­ing ur­ban­iza­tion trends and in­creas­ing aware­ness of the nu­tri­tive value of meat and meat prod­ucts. By 2020, the de­mand for meat and eggs is ex­pected to reach eight mil­lion tonnes.

Fish pro­duc­tion in the coun­try dur­ing 2015-16 (pro­vi­sional) was 10.79 mil­lion met­ric tonnes with a con­tri­bu­tion of 7.21 mil­lion met­ric tonnes from in­land fish­eries and 3.58 mil­lion met­ric tonnes from marine fish­eries. The to­tal fish pro­duc­tion in 1990-91 was 3.84 mil­lion met­ric tonnes, which in­creased to 10.79 mil­lion met­ric tonnes in 2015-16. The share of in­land fish­eries in to­tal fish pro­duc­tion has in­creased from 60% in 1990-91 to 66.81% in 2015-16, thereby re­duc­ing the share of marine fish­eries from 40% in 1990-91 to 35.93% in 201516. Though In­dia is sec­ond in seafood pro­duc­tion through­out the world, our per capita con­sump­tion of fish is at 10kg/ per­son/ year. In China, the per capita food con­sump­tion of fish has in­creased from 30kg/ per­son/ year in 2007 to 42kg/ per­son/ year in 2016. The global OECD av­er­age of fish con­sump­tion is at 25kg/ per­son/ year. Over the next decade, Chi­nese per capita con­sump­tion of fish is pro­jected to grow fur­ther to 50kg/ per­son/ year. (Source: OECD-FAO Agri­cul­tural Out­look 2017-2026).

Meat, seafood and poul­try prod­ucts are nu­tri­ent dense and rich in pro­tein, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. A three-ounce serv­ing of meat or poul­try con­tains be­tween 160 and 200 calo­ries and has all the nine es­sen­tial amino acids, which is why meat is con­sid­ered a ‘com­plete pro­tein.’ Meat pro­vides more pro­tein per serv­ing (25 grams per 3 ounces) than dairy (8 grams per cup), eggs (6 grams each), legumes (12 grams per ¾ cup), veg­eta­bles or nuts (2 to 5 grams per serv­ing). Pro­tein is crit­i­cal for de­vel­op­ing, main­tain­ing and re­pair­ing mus­cles and is needed to make en­zymes and hor­mones be­sides be­ing a ba­sic build­ing block of bones, car­ti­lage, skin, and blood.

With in­comes ris­ing, pro­tein con­sump­tion will con­tinue to grow and will in­ten­sify even fur­ther with in­creased use of big­ger home re­frig­er­a­tors, which will spur an in­crease in the ticket sizes. Our coun­try’s grow­ing mid­dle-class will push the growth of the meat sec­tor by show­ing a pref­er­ence for high­pro­tein food like meat. This is ev­i­dent from In­dia’s largest house­hold con­sump­tion sur­vey con­ducted by the Na­tional Sam­ple Sur­vey Of­fice (NSSO), with a sam­ple size of over one lakh house­holds. In fact, a re­cent sur­vey has busted the myth that In­dia is a vege­tar­ian coun­try; 72% of In­di­ans have non-vege­tar­ian di­etary habits with south In­dia be­ing a heavy meat con­sum­ing region com­pared to cen­tral & north In­dia. So, while veg­e­tar­i­an­ism is of­ten be­lieved to be wide­spread in In­dia, in­flu­enced by re­li­gion and other fac­tors, the data seems to sug­gest oth­er­wise. Rather, In­dia is pro­jected to be one of the largest growth areas for con­sump­tion in chicken, beef, and mut­ton. Ac­cord­ing to the sam­ple reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem (SRS) base­line sur­vey 2014 re­leased by the Regis­trar Gen­eral of In­dia, 71 per cent of In­di­ans over the age of 15 are non-vege­tar­ian.

Chicken con­sump­tion has grown the most with In­dia be­com­ing the fourth-fastest grow­ing mar­ket for the prod­uct in the world. The pro­por­tion of house­holds con­sum­ing chicken has shot up sig­nif­i­cantly, while that of the fish-eat­ing house­holds has in­creased marginally. — Yog­maya Chat­ter­jee Food and Drink An­a­lyst, Min­tel

It means that 330 mil­lion of In­dia’s 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple are vege­tar­ian but it ob­scures the fact that many are rapidly aban­don­ing their vege­tar­ian diet due to an in­creased de­sire for meat. The fig­ure is in­ter­est­ing in the sense that meat con­sump­tion is a good marker of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The eco­nomic gap be­tween de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries is of­ten re­flected in their meat con­sump­tion. While peo­ple in de­vel­oped coun­tries meet more than half (56 per cent) of their pro­tein needs from an­i­mal sources, it is only 18 per cent in the case of peo­ple in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like In­dia. Pro­tein foods are linked to at­tributes like sati­ety, weight man­age­ment and en­ergy, all of which en­hance the ap­peal to­wards its con­sump­tion. As a re­sult, the vol­ume of pro­cessed meat and fish con­sump­tion in In­dia is set to grow at an an­nual rate of 15.9 per cent and 14.3 per cent re­spec­tively.

Re­search shows that there will be about 80% growth in meat de­mand by 2022 driven by con­ve­nience. This will bol­ster the adop­tion of pro­cessed meat, fish, and poul­try prod­ucts. Higher meat con­sump­tion in In­dia is not en­tirely sur­pris­ing, as meat-heavy di­ets are of­ten cor­re­lated with an in­crease in wealth. As the emerg­ing mar­ket coun­tries like In­dia gain a larger share of the eco­nomic pie, the trend is likely to con­tinue.

As per a new re­search from global mar­ket in­tel­li­gence agency Min­tel, In­dia is cur­rently sec­ond fastest grow­ing pro­cessed meat and poul­try mar­ket glob­ally with a CAGR of 22%. In­done­sia stands first in this cat­e­gory with 26.7% CAGR be­tween 2011 and 2015 fol­lowed by Viet­nam at 15.5%, China at 13.9% and Brazil at 10.9%. As per the re­port, In­dia is one of the fastest grow­ing re­tail mar­kets for pro­cessed fish and seafood glob­ally,

Launch­ing meat and fish sec­tion at tra­di­tional gro­cery stores is not an easy busi­ness and such prod­ucts can be made avail­able only if tra­di­tional gro­cers have a full-fledged cold stor­age or a tieup with a ven­dor who has such ca­pa­bil­i­ties. — Av­inash Tri­pa­thy Buy­ing and Mer­chan­dis­ing Head, Go­drej Na­ture’s Bas­ket

grow­ing at a CAGR of 24.9% be­tween 2011 and 2015, while In­done­sia has seen a CAGR of 19.5%, with Tur­key 11.8%, South Africa 11.2% and Rus­sia 10.8% round­ing out the top five growth mar­kets. Global in­no­va­tion within the pro­cessed meat, poul­try and fish cat­e­gories has in­creased over the years and many mar­kets with the high­est growth po­ten­tial are from the Asia Pa­cific region, the re­port said.

“The need for con­ve­nience is the key driver be­hind Asia’s grow­ing pro­cessed meat, poul­try and fish re­tail mar­kets in In­done­sia, Thai­land and In­dia. De­mand for pro­cessed and ready-to-eat foods, par­tic­u­larly frozen foods, is grow­ing across Asia as in­creas­ingly time-pressed con­sumers have em­braced the con­ve­nience of the freezer and of mi­crowave cook­ing. Aligned with con­sumer in­ter­est in the region, pro­cessed meat, poul­try and fish prod­uct in­no­va­tion in 2016 saw strong focus on con­ve­nience claims, such as ease of use and mi­crowave­able,” says the Min­tel study, adding that con­ve­nience is at the heart of adop­tion of pro­cessed meat, fish, and poul­try prod­ucts as time-pressed ur­ban con­sumers are look­ing for easy to pre­pare meals, fuelling the de­mand for pro­cessed food prod­ucts.

In­dia’s meat pro­duc­tion reg­is­tered an in­crease of nearly 9% in the 2016-17 mon­soon over the pre­vi­ous year. Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est government data on In­dia’s meat pro­duc­tion, to­tal meat pro­duc­tion in­creased to 2.43 mil­lion tonnes be­tween Ju­ly­oc­to­ber 2016-17, as against 2.24 mil­lion tonnes for the same pe­riod dur­ing 2015-16, reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 8.74%. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment as per the In­te­grated Sam­ple Sur­vey 2016-17, about 47.86 per cent of the meat out­put is con­trib­uted by poul­try and over 20 per cent from buf­faloes. Ut­tar Pradesh, Ma­ha­rash­tra, West Ben­gal, Andhra Pradesh, and Te­lan­gana are key meat pro­duc­ers. In case of eggs, the to­tal out­put in 2016-17 was es­ti­mated to be 55.11 bil­lion of which 29.09 bil­lion eggs was from mon­soon season. The pro­duc­tion of eggs is largely con­trib­uted by com­mer­cial poul­try farms at nearly 75.75 per cent and the re­main­ing pro­duc­tion com­ing from house­hold/ back­yard poul­try. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Te­lan­gana, West Ben­gal and Haryana were five largest pro­duc­ers of eggs. In­dia cur­rently stands as one of the largest ex­porters of poul­try meat along­side China, Brazil, EU, and Mex­ico.

Trend­ing meat prod­ucts

In In­dia, the growth in the meat sec­tor is led by poul­try whose mar­ket size is ex­pected to grow ten­fold by 2050. Poul­try’s share in to­tal meat con­sump­tion stands at 28 per cent cur­rently, as against 14 per cent ten years ago. “Chicken con­sump­tion has grown the most with In­dia be­com­ing the fourth-fastest grow­ing mar­ket for the prod­uct in the world. The pro­por­tion of house­holds con­sum­ing chicken shot up from eight per cent in 1993-94 to 38 per cent in 2011-12, while that of the fish-eat­ing house­holds in­creased marginally from 30 per cent to 32 per cent over the same pe­riod. The pro­por­tion of goat-meat/mut­ton-eaters has fallen sig­nif­i­cantly — from 30 per cent in 199394 to 15 per cent in 2011-12. The pop­u­la­tion of beef and buf­falo meat-eaters has re­mained more or less con­stant at about six per cent over this pe­riod ac­cord­ing to NSSO 2011-12,” says Yog­maya Chat­ter­jee Food and Drink An­a­lyst, Min­tel.

Ac­cord­ing to Min­tel Global New Prod­ucts Database (GNPD) es­ti­mates in 2016, in re­tail pro­cessed fish prod­ucts (frozen fish, seafood and seaweed, and also meal cen­ters and ready meals), 57 per cent launches were in the frozen seg­ment while the rest were in chilled fish prod­ucts (this in­cludes all pack­aged fish, seafood and seaweed, which have been fur­ther pro­cessed in some way). It also in­cludes smoked and salted fish but not plain fil­leted or por­tioned prod­ucts, which have also started to

Cus­tomers are shift­ing from buy­ing non-veg from un­or­ga­nized / open mar­ket out­lets to modern re­tail stores where prod­ucts are han­dled in a much hy­gienic way. — Dnyanesh­war Phadtare Mer­chan­dis­ing Head – Meat, Fish and Frozen – at HYPERCITY Re­tail

emerge with a 26 per cent share in new launches com­pared to 31 per cent launches in frozen fish and a 1 per cent launch in the chilled fish seg­ment in 2014. Pri­vate la­bel launches are gain­ing mo­men­tum and they are likely to gain ow­ing to the strong pref­er­ence for fresh food con­sump­tion. On the other hand, in meat and poul­try prod­ucts, frozen meat prod­ucts that in­clude meat pat­ties, ke­babs, and meat balls take the greater share of 81 per cent launches in 2016 com­pared to a 64 per cent share of new launches in 2014. For poul­try, in the chilled seg­ment that in­cludes pre mar­i­nated chicken and smoked prod­ucts, new launches have grown from 16 per cent in 2015 to 28 per cent in 2016.

With food­ies in­vent­ing ever-new ways to cre­ate and con­sume food, it’s nat­u­ral that more gro­cers are pay­ing at­ten­tion to a core of their store: the meat case. Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies on the Indian meat mar­ket, while meat and meat prod­ucts, es­pe­cially the poul­try in­dus­try, is grow­ing at 8% to 10% CAGR since the past few years, the value-added prod­ucts are grow­ing faster, es­ti­mated at 20%. It turns out that in­creas­ing the num­ber of meat op­tions for shop­pers may be one of the se­crets to in­creas­ing meat sales and over­all cat­e­gory sales. It’s a for­mula that is fol­lowed scrupu­lously by gourmet food re­tailer Go­drej Na­ture’s Bas­ket, which stocks an ar­ray of value-added meat prod­ucts com­pris­ing chicken, tur­key, duck, lamb, pork and seafoods. This range can be fur­ther di­vided into sub­cat­e­gories such as Fresh Chilled (raw and pro­cessed), Frozen & Cold Cuts and Canned Non-veg, which is mainly driven by im­ported brands like Zwan, Ayam, John West, among oth­ers. GNB also has a rep­u­ta­tion for car­ry­ing a very dis­tinc­tive meat range – lamb meat from Aus­tralia and New Zealand, tur­key meat from Spain, raw pork from Bel­gium, Ger­man sausages, fresh seafoods (Sal­mon and Basa), and im­ported cold cuts from Aus­tria, Spain and Ger­many.

The sales fig­ure for the frozen and re­frig­er­ated food cat­e­gory is also much higher at gourmet food chain Go­drej Na­ture’s Bas­ket than at many other big-box re­tail­ers, at 28 per cent of the over­all sales. Also, sales from the cat­e­gory have been grow­ing steadily and im­pres­sively, at over 20 per cent year-on-year. Says Av­inash Tri­pa­thy, Buy­ing and Mer­chan­dis­ing Head, Go­drej Na­ture’s Bas­ket: “Im­ported sal­mon is the top sell­ing SKUS in the frozen port­fo­lio fol­lowed by im­ported basa, prawns, seer fish, crab stick and pom­fret. Chicken seekh ke­bab, chicken nuggets, smoked chicken, chicken tikka, chicken pop­corn, chicken burger patty, shammi ke­bab, chicken fin­gers, green peas, cheese corn nuggets and po­tato-based SKUS are also top sell­ers. Th­ese apart, bone­less pork chop, bone­less goat meat, pork loin steak, and minced goat meat are the other hot-sell­ing prod­ucts in the frozen cat­e­gory.” Typ­i­cally, top gourmet re­tail­ers al­lo­cate 18-20 per cent of the shelf space to the meat cat­e­gory within the over­all store space. In­ven­tory turnover time varies from one day to 35 days and the typ­i­cal av­er­age in­ven­tory turnover time for this cat­e­gory is about 17 days.

“To­day, a ma­jor­ity of Modern Trade food and gro­cery re­tail­ers are in­clined to­ward sell­ing frozen meat as com­pared to fresh meat,” points out Tri­pa­thy. Over the years, a lot of peo­ple have come to ac­cept this cat­e­gory though it’s still on a grow­ing stage of the in­dus­try life cy­cle curve. The cat­e­gory has some es­tab­lished play­ers who have

Con­ve­nience of shop­ping, avail­abil­ity of a wider range un­der one roof, as­sur­ance of cor­rect weight and qual­ity, right pric­ing are the key dif­fer­ences over the wet mar­ket, which en­cour­age shop­pers to buy meat prod­ucts from or­ga­nized re­tail­ers. — Shashwat Goenka Sec­tor Head – Spencer’s Re­tail Ltd

been there for over two decades and have worked to build this cat­e­gory. Mccain Foods, Venky’s, Sumeru, Red Lob­ster, Go­drej Real Good Chicken and Go­drej Yum­miez are some of the ma­jor brands that have been there in this seg­ment for quite some time now. As the in­dus­try grows, more and more play­ers will try and en­ter the mar­ket. And as con­sumer pref­er­ences are chang­ing, only those com­pa­nies will grow and thrive that will work on prod­uct in­no­va­tions. Con­sumers are ex­per­i­ment­ing more and more to­day and they are ready to spend on good and dif­fer­en­ti­ated prod­ucts, which stand apart in taste and ex­pe­ri­ence and com­pa­nies with a wide prod­uct range to of­fer will cor­ner a greater share of the mar­ket. On the prod­uct front, taste and qual­ity are the most pro­found fac­tors cou­pled with the avail­abil­ity and visibility of the prod­uct to the con­sumers, which will drive the cat­e­gory per­for­mance.

Ac­cord­ing to Tripathi, there are very lim­ited chains even in Modern Trade that have an in-depth as­sort­ment in the meat cat­e­gory. The other Modern Trade play­ers to have a meat sec­tion across all their stores are Star Bazar, Food­hall, HYPERCITY and SPAR. Th­ese gro­cers en­sure that they have the best in class as­sort­ment of pre­mium, In­ter­na­tional and gourmet range of meat and seafood prod­ucts at their stores. “HYPERCITY stocks meat prod­ucts that in­clude raw chicken, mut­ton, fish, dif­fer­ent cuts of chicken, mut­ton, mar­i­nated chicken/ mut­ton, all ma­jor va­ri­eties of sea wa­ter and fresh wa­ter fish, mar­i­nated fish, fil­lets of fish, prawns, lob­sters, dry fish, all kind of cold cuts of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional brands, fresh chilled im­ported sal­mon, New Zealand lamb, dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of eggs – Omega 3 en­riched, herbal, brown, free range, duck, quail; season based SKUS like tur­key and many more,” says Dnyanesh­war Phadtare, Mer­chan­dis­ing Head – Meat, Fish and Frozen – at HYPERCITY Re­tail, which boasts of hav­ing one of the finest and pre­mium range of meat / seafood / cold cuts.

He re­veals that the as­sort­ment and range at HYPERCITY in­cludes raw frozen seafood – sal­mon fish, basa fish, prawns, sur­mai, pom­fret, etc – to breaded value-added chicken and seafood SKUS com­pris­ing chicken nuggets, fin­gers, pop­corn, burger patty, etc. Seafood SKUS in­clude fish fin­gers, fish pop­corn, samosa, frozen cold cuts, frozen ke­babs, tikka, etc. The re­frig­er­ated or fresh chilled cat­e­gory SKUS ex­tend to raw fresh chicken SKUS, raw fresh seafood SKUS, raw fresh mut­ton SKUS; fresh chilled cold cuts and fresh chilled mar­i­nated SKUS. At HYPERCITY, non-veg prod­ucts con­trib­ute about 6 per cent of food sales and are one of the most im­por­tant driv­ers of foot­falls.

Play­ers like Big Bazaar, More, Spencer’s carry a se­lec­tive range in their stores at some lo­ca­tions as per the catch­ment. Then there are some stand­alone stores like Dorabji and Haiko that also keep a good as­sort­ment of meat prod­ucts. “Our ma­jor busi­ness in meat prod­ucts comes from the hyper and su­per for­mats. At the same time, frozen and chilled packed meat ranges are also gain­ing trac­tion in our small stores but it is seafood that is clock­ing the high­est growth, pri­mar­ily due to the stores of­fer­ing a su­pe­rior level of con­ve­nience over the wet mar­ket,”

We have an endto-end cold chain man­age­ment from the source till the con­sumer’s home. We op­er­ate on a hub and spoke model, which means that each city has a pro­cess­ing cen­ter where the en­tire pro­cess­ing (clean­ing, butch­ery, stor­age and mar­i­na­tion) hap­pens. — Ab­hay Han­jura Co-founder, Li­cious

says Shashwat Goenka, Sec­tor Head – Spencer’s Re­tail Ltd, whose stores of­fer close to 400 prod­ucts in fish and meat, in­clud­ing fresh chilled, frozen non­veg and del­i­catessen of­fer­ings.

Like meat and poul­try prod­ucts, seafood con­sump­tion has been con­stantly in­creas­ing over the past few years and will play an im­por­tant role in con­tribut­ing to the over­all turnover of the meat in­dus­try. Fish, which used to be eaten mainly in the coastal re­gions of our coun­try, is now find­ing tak­ers all across In­dia. The coun­try is a huge mar­ket for seafood prod­ucts and, in the next 10 years, In­dia is ex­pected to be­come one of the most sig­nif­i­cant mar­kets for seafood. Un­til now, the frozen seafood mar­ket in In­dia has been dom­i­nated mainly by raw frozen food. But the trend in seafood has now shifted to RTC and RTE seg­ments and this is es­pe­cially true in ur­ban In­dia where cou­ples work and have very lit­tle time to cook. So they are con­stantly look­ing for some­thing that re­quires very lit­tle cook­ing time and is also healthy.

As frozen food comes to get in­creas­ingly ac­cepted across In­dia with peo­ple be­liev­ing in the qual­ity of RTC and frozen foods, good qual­ity and avail­abil­ity of frozen prod­ucts through­out the year is a crit­i­cal fac­tor that will in­flu­ence con­sumers. There is a grow­ing de­mand for good qual­ity frozen seafood and in re­cent years quite a few seafood com­pa­nies have started sell­ing ex­otic surimi line of prod­ucts like crab sticks, crab claws and lob­ster bites. The best thing about frozen food is that there are no chem­i­cal preser­va­tives used. And ad­vances in freez­ing tech­nol­ogy has now made it pos­si­ble to add value in terms of con­ve­nience and re­duce kitchen time than just be a tech­nique used more for preser­va­tion.

To­day, as more shop­pers con­sume seafood, the more will­ing they are to pur­chase it raw and pre­pare it at home. But lin­ger­ing prepa­ra­tion trep­i­da­tion may be pre­vent­ing some po­ten­tial buy­ers from ap­proach­ing the fresh seafood sec­tion. To sur­mount this par­tic­u­lar bar­rier to in­creased seafood sales, var­i­ous gro­cers and sup­pli­ers are adopt­ing so­lu­tions that en­com­pass both in-store and dig­i­tal el­e­ments. Re­tail­ers and sup­pli­ers say that the best way to sup­port con­sumers and dis­pel any myths around seafood is to share sim­ple recipes, ed­u­cate them on how to pur­chase, and ar­tic­u­late the dif­fer­ences in the wide va­ri­ety of species they have to of­fer.

The trend of buy­ing through modern re­tail­ers is ex­pected to in­crease in the fu­ture as the price dif­fer­ence be­tween modern and tra­di­tional re­tail­ers de­creases. Hy­giene fac­tors and chang­ing lifestyles will also has­ten the shift to in­creased pur­chase of meat prod­ucts from modern re­tail. — Dilip Rad­hakr­ishna Re­search An­a­lyst at Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional

Seafood in modern re­tail

Fresh seafood is an im­por­tant cat­e­gory in the per­ish­ables divi­sion of any Hyper­mar­ket, Su­per­mar­ket or Cash and Carry chains. Modern chains are tak­ing ex­tra care to keep the prod­ucts fresh by fol­low­ing ap­pro­pri­ate stan­dards of qual­ity, as per norms. Though the price may be higher some­times for the same fish of same size com­pared to what cus­tomers are get­ting on streets or in lo­cal mar­kets, but it’s worth pay­ing higher as it as­sures many times the qual­ity, hy­giene and trace­abil­ity of the prod­ucts. Top brands in frozen seafood in Modern Re­tail in­clude Gadre Marine, Cam­bay Tiger, Big Sams, Em­pire, Sumeru, IFB, Buf­fet, etc.

Many of the lead­ing Modern Trade and/ or Cash & Carry play­ers fol­low the HACCP stan­dards, which are usu­ally be­ing adopted for ex­port of seafood prod­ucts. It im­plies that the Indian con­sumer is more aware of eat­ing healthy & safe seafood. Equipped with freezer ca­pac­i­ties, Modern Re­tail­ers given an op­tion to con­sumers to buy ap­peal­ing frozen seafood. Pack­aged and frozen seafood pro­vide a quick and con­ve­nient meal op­tion. An added ad­van­tage of frozen seafood is the shelf life of the prod­uct. Many of frozen seafood packs come with an av­er­age shelf life of one year. Busy lifestyles and con­ve­nience for food have sup­ported

the growth of pro­cessed seafood in 2016. Frozen pro­cessed seafood was one of the fastest grow­ing cat­e­gories in 2016, worth INR 2000 mil­lion in value. A re­cent de­vel­op­ment is of on­line play­ers get­ting into this busi­ness with a keen in­ter­est be­ing shown by on­line gi­ant Ama­zon in food in gen­eral and fresh cat­e­gories in par­tic­u­lar. Fresh seafood is one of the last fron­tier cat­e­gories for them as it is glob­ally. A few lo­cal In­dia on­line play­ers like Li­cious, with a fresh to home propo­si­tion, have es­tab­lished fish & seafood on­line busi­ness in a few ur­ban cities, which started at a small scale with lim­ited in­fra­struc­ture but are grow­ing fast now. This seg­ment, with its ad­di­tional ser­vices and con­ve­nience, is ex­pected to grow very rapidly in the com­ing years. Flex­i­ble plas­tic op­tion for pack­ing is slowly in­creas­ing its im­por­tance in frozen pro­cessed seafood. 200 gm flex­i­ble plas­tic packs in frozen pro­cessed seafood saw a no­table growth of 18% whereas 500 gm packs saw the strong­est growth of more than 25% in 2016. Zip/press clo­sure flex­i­ble plas­tic could be seen as of­fer­ing greater con­ve­nience to con­sumers and may see an in­crease in such pack­ag­ing for more gourmet prod­ucts.

Im­ported fresh/ chilled seafood

In In­dia, though there is less focus at the mo­ment on im­port of fresh seafood, the trend is slowly in­creas­ing since the past three years. With an in­creas­ing num­ber of In­di­ans trav­el­ling across the globe, the ben­e­fits of eat­ing health­ier seafood (e.g. At­lantic Sal­mon) is fast spread­ing and in turn grow­ing the mar­ket. At­lantic Sal­mon is the lead com­mod­ity among im­ported seafood prod­ucts. Nor­way is ex­port­ing its seafood to more than 140 coun­tries in the world and a ma­jor portion of At­lantic Sal­mon in In­dia is com­ing from Nor­way though the vol­umes are com­par­a­tively lower. There are very few play­ers op­er­at­ing as im­porters of Fresh Seafood in In­dia, namely, In­de­pesca (Big Sams), West Coast Fine Food, Leo Gourmet Pri­vate Lim­ited, For­tune Gourmet Pri­vate Lim­ited, Catch of Nor­way, Fiske Fresh, etc.

Leo Gourmet Pri­vate Lim­ited is the only com­pany in In­dia that fol­lows ‘Friend of the Sea’, a global sus­tain­able sourc­ing stan­dard for pro­cure­ment of its seafood. They have plans to make avail­able var­i­ous ranges of Euro­pean im­ported seafood to con­sumers in In­dia, which mainly will in­clude At­lantic cod, Chilean seabass, hal­ibut, scal­lops, tur­bot, sole, blue mus­sels, etc. This range of fish is in high de­mand al­ready at many lead­ing ho­tels and in gourmet re­tail stores. With the re­cent en­try of Mum­bai-based Fiske Fresh, the brand is try­ing to set its foot in im­ported fresh chilled cat­e­gory with At­lantic sal­mon, which it is ca­ter­ing to a small set of cus­tomers. Heavy im­port du­ties are a ma­jor con­straint in the de­vel­op­ment of im­ported seafood busi­ness in In­dia. Pre­sent­ing solution to­wards this will boost the im­ported seafood seg­ment which, in turn, will help the gourmet in­dus­try to grow fur­ther.

Build­ing the trust fac­tor in meat prod­ucts

“Launch­ing meat and fish sec­tion at tra­di­tional gro­cery stores is not an easy busi­ness and such prod­ucts can be made avail­able only if tra­di­tional gro­cers have a full-fledged cold stor­age or a tie-up with a ven­dor who has such ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” ex­plains Tri­pa­thy of GNB. In In­dia, the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try has its in­her­ent chal­lenges, of which, food safety from farm to fork is at the top. This is fol­lowed by cold chain in­fra­struc­ture across the ex­tended sup­ply chain in our coun­try, which is crit­i­cal to pro­cessed food in­dus­try and more so as food prod­ucts are per­ish­able and tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive. In­ef­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture, high en­ergy costs, ris­ing real es­tate prices and un­even dis­tri­bu­tion ca­pac­i­ties in­crease the cost of pro­duc­tion, thereby lead­ing to higher prod­uct prices. Al­though government

As con­sumers in In­dia move to­wards brands that can guar­an­tee them a cer­tain stan­dard of qual­ity, there ex­ists a tremen­dous scope to build a brand with trust. This is where modern trade re­tail­ers and branded prod­ucts have a key role to play.

ini­tia­tives in this sec­tor have been en­cour­ag­ing, it will take time to reach a state of de­vel­oped cold sup­ply chain. In ad­di­tion, the cold chain in­fra­struc­ture still does not at­tract many pri­vate en­tre­pre­neur­ial in­ter­ests, in tak­ing up the chal­lenge to pro­vide a seam­less ser­vice from farm gate to re­tail point. “We have an end-to-end cold chain man­age­ment from the source till the con­sumer’s home. Our pro­cess­ing cen­ter, de­liv­ery cen­ters, etc, are all cold-chain pow­ered. We op­er­ate on a hub and spoke model, which means that each city has a pro­cess­ing cen­ter where the en­tire pro­cess­ing (clean­ing, butch­ery, stor­age and mar­i­na­tion) hap­pens. From the pro­cess­ing cen­ter, the meat is trans­ferred to our de­liv­ery hubs. Once a cus­tomer or­ders, the prod­uct is de­liv­ered from the near­est de­liv­ery cen­ter within 90 min­utes in a uniquely for­mu­lated tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled box, which en­sures fresh de­liv­ery at the doorstep. In fact, this cold chain re­mains un­bro­ken at ev­ery step of the way right from sourc­ing, pro­cess­ing, trans­fer and de­liv­ery,” says Ab­hay Han­jura, Co-founder, Li­cious, which of­fers fresh poul­try, lamb and a fairly ex­haus­tive range of sea food as well as a whole range of delicious pre-mar­i­nated meat for gourmet meat lovers. Han­jura says that Li­cious is In­dia’s only ab­so­lute fresh meat brand un­like other brands that op­er­ate in si­los of poul­try, seafood, etc. “This means we are a sin­gle win­dow solution for all fresh meat crav­ings backed by an im­pec­ca­ble tech­nol­ogy plat­form. To set us apart, we are tak­ing a ‘brand’ route, which means we don’t act as a mere plat­form that prom­ises time-bound de­liv­ery but take com­plete own­er­ship at ev­ery step of the way with eyes fixed on the ‘qual­ity & source’”. Fur­ther, we have di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion in cat­e­gories like mar­i­nates, which gives us a very unique iden­tity among all meat lovers. We have a ded­i­cated team of ex­pert in­ter­na­tional chefs who are con­stantly in­no­vat­ing and will be adding new cat­e­gories in the com­ing days.”

As con­sumers in In­dia move to­wards brands that can guar­an­tee them a cer­tain stan­dard of qual­ity, there ex­ists a tremen­dous scope to build a brand with trust. This is where modern trade re­tail­ers and branded prod­ucts have a key role to play. “Our un­der­stand­ing is that the prob­lem/ gap doesn’t lie in the avail­abil­ity. The pain point re­ally is hy­giene, safety and fresh­ness of meat, which even­tu­ally ties into the “trust” fac­tor! It’s an in­ter­est­ing prob­lem and we have de­cided to dis­rupt a very ex­cit­ing mar­ket. In the com­ing years, we aim to or­ga­nize this space sys­tem­at­i­cally by adding value at ev­ery step of the ex­ist­ing ecosys­tem. We have been ahead of the curve by bring­ing on board the best team that un­der­stands the in­tri­ca­cies of con­sumer busi­ness mod­els and the im­por­tance of scale,” says Han­jura.

“Cus­tomers are shift­ing from buy­ing non-veg from un­or­ga­nized /open mar­ket out­lets to modern re­tail stores where prod­ucts are han­dled in a much hy­gienic way – prod­ucts are stored at the right tem­per­a­ture, staff gives you the right prod­uct in­for­ma­tion, and they come with the ex­pe­ri­ence of buy­ing and prompt cus­tomer ser­vice. Our cus­tomer prom­ise and brand po­si­tion­ing of ‘some­thing fresh ev­ery day’ en­sures that we bring fresh prod­ucts to the cus­tomers as soon as pos­si­ble and re­duce what­ever time we can from sourc­ing to sell­ing. This way our cus­tomers are able to get a wide range – be a nor­mal lamb or New Zealand lamb, Catla fish to smoked salmons – un­der one roof. An­other as­pect is that we un­der­stand the catch­ment and make the prod­ucts avail­able as per the re­quire­ments of spe­cific re­gions. For ex­am­ple, the HYPERCITY store in Janakpuri, Delhi, sells more chicken than fish – the rea­son be­ing that the lo­cal­ity is dom­i­nated by Pun­jabis. On the other hand, our Noida store sells more fish as it has a strong Ben­gali catch­ment. Hence, as­sort­ment must be planned as per the re­quire­ment of the cus­tomers in the catch­ments. We study and

Con­sumers to­day are look­ing for more op­tions in prod­ucts in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories like fry and serve, grill and serve, heat and serve and cold cuts, and th­ese are some of the most pop­u­lar prod­ucts in the youth seg­ment.

cater to the needs of our cus­tomers in the areas and catch­ments where we op­er­ate our stores,” says Phadtare.

“Con­ve­nience of shop­ping in a hy­gienic and com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment, avail­abil­ity of a wider range un­der one roof, as­sur­ance of cor­rect weight and qual­ity, right pric­ing, cut­ting, clean­ing of choice free of charge are the key dif­fer­ences over the wet mar­ket, which en­cour­age shop­pers to buy meat prod­ucts from or­ga­nized re­tail­ers,” says Shaswat Goenka. Apart from of­fer­ing a wide and var­ied as­sort­ment, there is also a much higher level of con­ve­nience that Modern Trade re­tail­ers have to of­fer vis-a-vis the open/ wet mar­ket.

In­no­vate and dif­fer­en­ti­ate

The op­por­tu­nity for growth that the mar­ket is ca­pa­ble of and the new­ness that man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers can of­fer to the con­sumers in the meat cat­e­gory is im­mense. But brands need to dif­fer­en­ti­ate and of­fer value-added prod­ucts to the con­sumers. Value-added meat prod­ucts like pre­sea­soned/ pre-mar­i­nated meat prod­ucts make it easy and con­ve­nient for con­sumers to get din­ner on the ta­ble, for which they are of­ten will­ing to pay a pre­mium. Brands need to con­stantly in­no­vate on the prod­uct front and price their prod­ucts in a man­ner that makes the con­sumer ap­pre­ci­ate the value that is charged. For adding value in terms of prod­uct’s taste and fla­vor, con­ve­nience, and for re­duc­ing kitchen time, man­u­fac­tur­ers need to take to de­liv­er­ing high value, tech­nol­ogy ori­ented, branded pack­aged prod­ucts in a fast emerg­ing or­ga­nized seg­ment.

As man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers take to ca­ter­ing to a class of peo­ple (youth) that is con­stantly look­ing

Con­sumer eat­ing habits — par­tic­u­larly around meat — are steadily evolv­ing, and re­tail­ers opine that sales of smaller, less ex­pen­sive and per­ceived-as­bet­ter-for-you op­tions would be higher in the fu­ture.

for some­thing new in an al­ready sat­u­rated frozen food mar­ket, qual­ity, va­ri­ety and spec­i­fi­ca­tions based on con­sumer needs will be the growth driv­ers of the cat­e­gory. As con­sumer pref­er­ences are chang­ing, only those com­pa­nies will grow and thrive that will work on prod­uct in­no­va­tions. Con­sumers are ex­per­i­ment­ing more and more to­day and they are ready to spend on good and dif­fer­en­ti­ated prod­ucts, which stand apart in taste and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Apart from the reg­u­lar nuggets and fin­gers and shots, the de­mand for unique prod­ucts like chicken jalapeno salami, Ital­ian herb sausages, chicken rings, which not only sound ex­otic but taste fan­tas­tic too, will con­tinue to climb. Con­sumers to­day are look­ing for more op­tions in prod­ucts in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories like fry and serve, grill and serve, heat and serve and cold cuts, and th­ese are some of the most pop­u­lar prod­ucts in the youth seg­ment. So com­pa­nies need to blend both Western and Indian tastes for ca­ter­ing to a well-aware tar­get, which has de­vel­oped a dis­tinct taste for Euro­pean and Amer­i­can aro­mas and fla­vors. Al­most 65% of the Indian pop­u­la­tion is be­low the age of 35 years and the prod­ucts should be aimed at of­fer­ing con­ve­nience food to this con­sumer seg­ment.

Brand aware­ness about the prod­uct, nu­tri­tional bal­ance and health aware­ness, hy­giene and qual­ity will be key pa­ram­e­ters in shap­ing the cat­e­gory’s per­for­mance. Also, peo­ple are more in­clined to­ward con­ve­nience foods like ready-to-eat prod­ucts, and their avail­abil­ity will play a ma­jor role in the

cat­e­gory’s per­for­mance. Most man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers agree that ex­cit­ing prod­ucts and great taste will drive the cat­e­gory, pro­vided the prod­ucts are show­cased well and the con­sumer is in a po­si­tion to taste the same be­fore mak­ing an in­formed pur­chase de­ci­sion. Keep­ing this in view, in-store sam­pling is one of the key ini­tia­tives that brands and re­tail­ers can take up and this is an area where they need to strongly focus on.

Pack­ag­ing and la­bel­ing

To­day’s youth is look­ing for a value propo­si­tion. They don’t mind spend­ing a ru­pee more if they feel they are get­ting some­thing more out of their money. Ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive look­ing pack­ag­ing is part of the over­all value propo­si­tion. One way, com­pa­nies can do well at crack­ing the mar­ket is to have their in-house team of food ex­perts who con­stantly study the mar­ket and strive to keep up with the times, tastes and value for money propo­si­tion. The prod­ucts should be tried and tasted by in­ter­nal food pan­elists first and only then sold to the TG.

When great care has been taken to develop the prod­uct, the same should go into the pack­ag­ing and la­bel­ing as well. Not only do the prod­ucts meet the FSSAI’S la­bel­ing reg­u­la­tions but they also need to con­vey the de­tails of the prod­ucts to the cus­tomers as well. At the same time, pro­cessed and frozen meat prod­ucts should have the right pack­ag­ing that can han­dle tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions by en­sur­ing that the packs are of high qual­ity, freezer-safe, and can pre­vent dam­age of the prod­ucts. Prod­ucts should be packed in high qual­ity car­tons, which can han­dle the stress put on them. At the end of the day, prod­uct pack­ag­ing is the first thing that at­tracts a cus­tomer be­fore they even try a prod­uct.

To­day, pack­ag­ing is be­ing taken to a dif­fer­ent level where it is not merely the gelling of col­ors and vis­ual ap­peal. Sur­veys are con­ducted to un­der­stand what the TG is look­ing for. Which are the col­ors that ap­peal to the youth most? All this has led to out-of-the-box pack­ag­ing themes and con­cepts. Tar­get-au­di­ence-based pack­ag­ing helps keep up with the mar­ket trends and en­sures that cus­tomers eat “with their eyes first!”. Be­sides, pack size need to be con­ve­nient - prod­ucts in one-time con­sump­tion packs and fam­ily meal packs are the trend to­day. Prod­ucts that come in 250 gm, 500 gm and 1 kg packs of­fer cus­tomers more op­tions to choose from. With in­fla­tion ris­ing in all sec­tors, cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly look­ing for a value propo­si­tion in ev­ery­thing they pur­chase.

With con­ve­nience and porta­bil­ity a trend across the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try, con­sumers are seek­ing high-pro­tein meat snacks. Go­ing ahead, the mar­ket for prod­ucts like meat jerky, meat snack bars, and meat sticks is set to grow.

Trends to watch out for

Con­sumer eat­ing habits — par­tic­u­larly around meat — are steadily evolv­ing, and re­tail­ers opine that sales of smaller, less ex­pen­sive and per­ceived-as­bet­ter-for-you op­tions would be higher in the fu­ture. In other words, make your meat of­fer­ings more con­ve­nient, cheaper and what con­sumers con­sider health­ier or shop­pers may look the other way. In terms of key con­sumer seg­ments, con­ve­nience­seek­ing Mil­len­ni­als seem to want it all in the meat depart­ment. For this seg­ment, de­mand for smaller por­tions of meat takes a front seat to just about ev­ery other trend in the depart­ment. The smaller por­tions are the re­sult of two evolv­ing trends. For one, some folks aren’t ready to give up meat, but are sim­ply try­ing to eat less of it, so they’re pur­chas­ing smaller por­tions. At the same time, ag­ing Baby Boomers tend to eat less of ev­ery­thing — in­clud­ing meat — and of­ten pre­fer to pur­chase it in smaller amounts.

And let’s not for­get about the fact that con­sumers are in­creas­ingly seek­ing value-priced meat. Con­sumers short on time, but long on the need to quickly feed their fam­i­lies, are in­creas­ingly re­ward­ing re­tail meat de­part­ments that play up value. The value-added cat­e­gory, which in­cludes

of­fer­ings like kabobs and mar­i­nated meats, are en­joy­ing a jump in sales. But per­haps the fastest­grow­ing cat­e­gory of meat eaters is the con­sumer whose chief con­cern is per­ceived safety and im­proved nu­tri­tion. In a world where there is an in­creas­ing clamor to sell an­tibi­otic-free chicken, su­per­mar­ket chains find them­selves un­der the very same pres­sure. That’s why meat ex­ec­u­tives say that they see an in­creased con­sumer de­mand for meat that is free of an­tibi­otics, hor­mones, MSG and ad­di­tives. Meat pro­duc­ers are keenly aware of this, and mis­per­cep­tions are driv­ing some to ad­dress the is­sue head-on. As an in­dus­try, pro­duc­ers and re­tail­ers need to do a bet­ter job of pro­vid­ing more in­for­ma­tion of how food gets from farm to ta­ble.

Then there’s the on­go­ing na­tional ob­ses­sion with all things or­ganic, with ris­ing sales of or­ganic meats in tan­dem with the cat­e­gory’s over­all growth. De­mand for pricier or­ganic pro­teins will most likely see an ap­pre­cia­ble jump in the fu­ture. Mar­ket re­search firm Nielsen notes on con­sumers’ grow­ing ap­petite for “clean” meat la­bel­ing: Though nat­u­ral, min­i­mally pro­cessed, an­tibi­otic-free, hor­mone­free and or­ganic meat prod­ucts to­day ac­count for a rel­a­tively small piece of the to­tal meat depart­ment, but th­ese prod­ucts will rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant amount of sales in the fu­ture. Sales growth for some of the meat la­bel claims with the high­est shares (nat­u­ral, an­tibi­otic-free and hor­mone-free) will out­pace that of con­ven­tional meat in the years ahead. With con­ve­nience and porta­bil­ity a trend across the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try, con­sumers are seek­ing high-pro­tein meat snacks. Go­ing ahead, the mar­ket for prod­ucts like meat jerky, meat snack bars, and meat sticks is set

to grow.

Con­clu­sion

Play­ers in the meat in­dus­try be­lieve that there is a huge op­por­tu­nity for branded play­ers and for the or­ga­nized re­tail to grow and ex­pand the mar­ket be­cause in In­dia, peo­ple have un­til now pre­ferred fresh meat and so open and wet mar­kets in meat and live bird mar­kets have played a ma­jor role in meat re­tail­ing. But now peo­ple are be­com­ing aware of the hy­giene and qual­ity of pro­cessed meat and this seg­ment is pick­ing up wherein a huge de­mand is wait­ing to be tapped and there is plenty of scope to ex­pand. With rapid ur­ban­iza­tion across the coun­try, wet meat mar­kets will shrink and live bird slaugh­ter­ing will get re­stricted, opine th­ese in­dus­try play­ers.

With su­per­mar­kets and shop­ping malls spread­ing to even Tier II and III towns, it is ex­pected that there will be greater sup­port for growth in the re­tail­ing of chilled/ frozen meat prod­ucts. In re­cent years, new play­ers have been emerg­ing reg­u­larly, which in­di­cates that the mar­ket size is ex­pand­ing and a lot of MT stores have started sell­ing chilled meat as well. “Modern re­tail­ers of­fer con­ve­nience, a wide prod­uct range and fresh prod­ucts. The trend of buy­ing through modern re­tail­ers is ex­pected to in­crease in the fu­ture as the price dif­fer­ence be­tween modern and tra­di­tional re­tail­ers de­creases. Hy­giene fac­tors and chang­ing lifestyles, mainly in ru­ral In­dia, will also has­ten the shift to in­creased pur­chase of meat prod­ucts from modern re­tail,” opines Dilip Rad­hakr­ishna, Re­search An­a­lyst at Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional.

With su­per­mar­kets spread­ing to even Tier II and III towns, there will be greater sup­port for growth in the re­tail­ing of chilled/ frozen meat prod­ucts. New play­ers have been emerg­ing reg­u­larly, which in­di­cates that the mar­ket size is ex­pand­ing and a lot of MT stores have started sell­ing chilled meat as well.

In the pages to fol­low, we bring you the pro­files of some cut­ting edge brands in the meat and seafood cat­e­gory and what they are do­ing to of­fer high value, tech­nol­ogy ori­ented, branded pack­aged prod­ucts that de­liver con­ve­nient meal so­lu­tions to con­sumers.

Com­pany & Brand Pro­file: Chevon Agrotech, founded in 2011, is an in­te­grated frozen food com­pany with its Head­quar­ters in Mum­bai since 2014. Chevon Agrotech of­fers two brands un­der its um­brella: Brand ‘Chevon’ is the sig­na­ture line of the prod­ucts with world cui­sine of­fer­ings fo­cused on health as­pects. Brand ‘Kuzo’ is a soul food and a value-for-money prod­uct range. The brands of­fer a wide range of prod­ucts in the goat meat seg­ment, par­tic­u­larly Os­man­abadi goats, which are known for their su­pe­rior taste and qual­ity and pre­ferred by meat con­nois­seurs.

Thanks to its in­no­va­tive of­fer­ings, the brand has won sev­eral pres­ti­gious awards and ac­co­lades: It was awarded by The Eco­nomics Times as “Best Brand of the Year” for Re­tail Ex­cel­lence in the Frozen Food cat­e­gory in 2018; Awarded by Times Now for be­ing “Best Brand of the Year” for Mar­ket­ing Ex­cel­lence in Frozen Food in 2018; Awarded at Su­per Start-up Asia 2018 for “Best Start-up of the Year”.

Vi­sion and Pur­pose: Chevon aims to be the pre­ferred food com­pany of global con­sumers by pro­vid­ing healthy and great taste ex­pe­ri­ence. Its goal is to pro­duce qual­ity and healthy meat prod­ucts and make it con­ve­niently avail­able to the con­sumer. Chevon’s pro­cess­ing and cold stor­age fa­cil­ity is ap­proved by APEDA and FSSAI and is equipped to un­der­take pro­cesses such as blast freez­ing, plate freez­ing, chill­ing, pack­ing, and cold stor­age. Chevon’s sup­ply back-end is se­cured by its live­stock farms in So­la­pur, Ma­ha­rash­tra, where it un­der­takes large-scale rear­ing and breed­ing of Os­man­abadi goats. Brand’s USP and Dif­fer­en­tia­tor: The United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) con­sid­ers goat meat health­ier than most other meats, in­clud­ing chicken and even tur­key. To bring more value to its prod­ucts, Chevon fol­lows a sig­na­ture process (PCQ ) to en­sure the main­te­nance of Chevon’s high brand stan­dards. The PCQ process be­gins with the se­lec­tion of the finest breed of Os­man­abadi goats, with ha­lal-cer­ti­fied pro­cesses fol­lowed dili­gently at all stages across the com­pany’s state-of-the-art pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

The goats are farm bred and pro­vide lean and ten­der meat. The meat is fat stripped to make it leaner and health­ier and freshly frozen to pre­serve fresh­ness. It is then vac­uum packed for qual­ity main­te­nance and comes with triple layer pack­ing. Be­sides, the meat also boasts of con­ve­nience pack­ing – in two in­di­vid­u­ally frozen 215 gm tray packs. The prod­uct is ha­lal meat and meant for univer­sal con­sump­tion. Cat­e­gory and Mar­ket Forecast: The Indian goat meat mar­ket is an INR 50,000 crore op­por­tu­nity cur­rently and is grow­ing healthily. On the other hand, the frozen foods mar­ket in In­dia has been clock­ing a dou­ble-digit growth in re­cent years and grow­ing at a CAGR of 15-20% in the last four years (In­dia Frozen Food Mar­ket Out­look, 2021). With grow­ing con­sumer aware­ness, a large sec­tion of con­sumers is mov­ing be­yond the ba­sic func­tion­al­ity as­so­ci­ated with food prod­ucts. They are seek­ing food prod­ucts with in­cre­men­tal

Goat meat has emerged as the new su­per­food across global health food cir­cuits. It is a health­ier and tastier meat as com­pared to other red or white meats, of­fer­ing great nu­tri­tional value to the con­sumers. Our prod­ucts are cre­ated keep­ing in mind both the health and taste pref­er­ences of Indian con­sumers. — Rizwan Thakur CEO, Chevon Agrotech Pvt. Ltd.

nu­tri­ents and chem­i­cal free prod­ucts. As such, the gourmet food mar­ket, which took its time to es­tab­lish, is now soar­ing in In­dia. The mar­ket, which is char­ac­ter­ized by dis­tinctly flavoured, high qual­ity, fresh and beau­ti­fully pack­aged food prod­ucts, stands at INR 15,000 crore and is grow­ing at a CAGR of 20%. Though the in­fras­truc­tural lim­i­ta­tion of cold chain poses a for­mi­da­ble chal­lenge in an al­ready space-starved re­tail place, chang­ing lifestyles, food habits and work en­vi­ron­ment, widen­ing palate, the rise of con­ve­nience foods, are driv­ing the de­mand for frozen foods. The cus­tomer adop­tion of frozen prod­ucts has be­gun its jour­ney from Sec A&B, to­wards mul­ti­ple cat­e­gories and is al­ready the norm in a few cat­e­gories like French fries, etc. There is also a grow­ing shift to­ward global brands (due to the look and feel fac­tor) across a ma­jor­ity of cat­e­gories. How­ever, when it comes to fresh and lo­cal del­i­ca­cies, lo­cal brands en­joy a strong pref­er­ence over global brands. Strictly speak­ing, there is no ‘per­ish­able’ bar­rier im­ped­ing the growth of global brands in th­ese cat­e­gories but still lo­cal tastes play an im­por­tant part in con­sumers’ pref­er­ence for lo­cal or global brands.

De­mand for the cat­e­gory is likely to rise from sig­nif­i­cant changes in con­sumer pref­er­ences such as: Greater de­mand for branded pack­aged prod­ucts; will­ing­ness to pay more for health­ier food; time con­straints; culi­nary skills lead­ing to the de­mand for ready-to-cook prod­ucts; un­will­ing­ness to visit tra­di­tional wet mar­kets lead­ing to the growth of Modern Re­tail; in­creased power pur­chas­ing par­ity lead­ing the de­mand for pro­tein-rich foods; bold and ever-chang­ing palate of con­sumers. Keep­ing th­ese fac­tors in mind, Chevon’s ready to cook range with an ex­tended shelf life is an­tic­i­pated to drive fu­ture growth for the brand. Mar­kets and Con­sumer Seg­ments: Brand Chevon’s cur­rent area of focus is Metro towns and the brand is mainly tar­geted to­wards SEC A, B class of cus­tomers. Modern trade out­lets and A class out­lets of gen­eral trade act as point of sales.

Brand Kuzo is a plea­sure food cat­e­gory prod­uct and hence tar­geted at mass non­veg eat­ing pop­u­la­tion through gen­eral trade out­lets. Con­sumer Con­nect Ini­tia­tives: In keep­ing with its ob­jec­tive to get into more and more house­holds to drive up con­sump­tion, the brand is fo­cus­ing on ex­pe­ri­en­tial mar­ket­ing (taste sam­pling). It is also in­vest­ing in driv­ing aware­ness through so­cial me­dia en­gage­ments. It is mak­ing the prod­ucts avail­able at POS and pro­motes de­ploy­ments inside the stores to ed­u­cate con­sumers about the prod­uct and cat­e­gory. Chal­lenges: With lim­ited in­fra at re­tail point and cold chains, this cat­e­gory has seen its share of chal­lenges. But re­cent in­vest­ments in this in­dus­try by larger play­ers and sup­port through government schemes are help­ing to re­duce the in­ten­sity of prob­lems. But lim­ited in­fra­struc­ture at the re­tail point and short­age of cold chains has been a ma­jor chal­lenge for this cat­e­gory. The re­sis­tance of re­tail­ers to treat raw goat meat as a com­mod­ity prod­uct and ex­pec­ta­tions of high trad­ing mar­gin is mak­ing this prod­uct costlier and mak­ing it in­ac­ces­si­ble to the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple. Roadmap Ahead: Cur­rently, the com­pany’s ob­jec­tive is to set up a ro­bust dis­tri­bu­tion net­work across the coun­try so that it can make its in­no­va­tive prod­ucts avail­able to more con­sumers. To this end, the com­pany is look­ing to set up dis­tri­bu­tion net­works across top 500 towns by 2022. To fur­ther ex­pand its prod­uct line and dis­tri­bu­tion for the Indian mar­ket, Chevon has now launched its brands and prod­ucts in the Mid­dleeast­ern and South­east Asian mar­kets to cap­i­talise on the vast op­por­tu­ni­ties in th­ese ge­ogra­phies for pre­mium frozen foods. It also has plans to in­no­vate its prod­uct range to sa­ti­ate lo­cal ap­peal and taste palates con­sid­er­ing that food taste changes ev­ery 300 km in In­dia.

We are not only fo­cus­ing on our prod­ucts or cat­e­gory but also on cre­at­ing aware­ness about frozen V/s fresh, why frozen is bet­ter, and goat meat is health­ier than other meats. To cre­ate the de­mand for prod­ucts, we are po­si­tion­ing our­selves as an in­no­va­tive food man­u­fac­turer and mak­ing in­roads in the ready to eat / ready to cook seg­ments. — Chan­drakant K Head-sales & Mar­ket­ing, Chevon Agrotech Pvt. Ltd.

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