Cat­e­gory Watch: Frozen Food

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

Com­pa­nies are em­pha­siz­ing their health-andwell­ness in­no­va­tions, and adding fla­vor and va­ri­ety to their prod­ucts.

The frozen foods mar­ket in In­dia has been clock­ing a dou­ble digit growth in re­cent years and this pace of growth is likely to con­tinue in the fu­ture. Though the in­fras­truc­tural lim­i­ta­tion of cold chain poses a for­mi­da­ble chal­lenge in an al­ready space-starved re­tail place, the change in our life­style, work en­vi­ron­ment and food habits are act­ing as driv­ers for push­ing the ac­cep­tance and de­mand for frozen foods. Re­search sug­gests that con­sumers ap­pre­ci­ate the va­ri­ety, taste, in­gre­di­ent qual­ity, and di­etary op­tions of to­day’s frozen meals. On the man­u­fac­turer side, com­pa­nies are em­pha­siz­ing their health-and-wellness in­no­va­tions: trans-fat re­duc­tion or elim­i­na­tion, sat­u­rated fat re­duc­tion, in­tro­duc­tion of prod­ucts with whole grains and fiber, sugar and sodium re­duc­tion, and por­tion con­trol, be­sides also adding to the fla­vor and va­ri­ety of their frozen food prod­ucts.

In­dia’s frozen food mar­ket is be­lieved to be pegged at about USD 485.7 mil­lion cur­rently, ex­trap­o­lat­ing from var­i­ous stud­ies and in­dus­try es­ti­mates. As per one such es­ti­mate, the In­dian frozen food mar­ket had to­tal rev­enues of $335.2 mil­lion in 2014, rep­re­sent­ing a com­pound an­nual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% be­tween 2010 and 2014. One in­dus­try fore­cast sug­gests that the frozen food in­dus­try in In­dia is pro­jected to grow at a CAGR of over 16% to reach $ 754 mil­lion by 2023.

A Tech­sci Re­search re­port, “In­dia Frozen Food Mar­ket By Prod­uct Type, By Or­ga­nized Vs Un­or­ga­nized, Com­pe­ti­tion Fore­cast and Op­por­tu­ni­ties, 2011 - 2021”, says that In­dia’s frozen food mar­ket is pro­jected to grow at a CAGR of around 15%, dur­ing 2016-2021, on ac­count of an in­creas­ing num­ber of mod­ern re­tail chains, ris­ing num­ber of re­frig­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties in small re­tail shops and ru­ral house­holds, rapid de­vel­op­ment of fast food chains, ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing strate­gies by ma­jor frozen food man­u­fac­tur­ers, and longer shelf life and easy avail­abil­ity of frozen food prod­ucts. Another re­port, “In­dia Frozen Food Mar­ket Out­look, 2021”, says that the frozen food mar­ket of In­dia has been grow­ing at a CAGR of 15-20% in the last four years.

Ac­cord­ing to Shankar R Nair – Na­tional Cat­e­gory Man­ager – Frozen and Dairy, SPAR Hy­per­mar­kets, “The frozen cat­e­gory in In­dia has been record­ing a healthy growth at a CAGR of 20-25% thanks to in­creas­ing cus­tomer ap­petite and ac­cep­tance for frozen foods com­ple­mented by an in­crease

in the avail­able freezer space in the re­tail do­main. A deeper anal­y­sis of the in­dus­try re­veals that the mar­ket for frozen food has the po­ten­tial to grow three-fold over the next five years. How­ever, there are cer­tain con­straints lim­it­ing its growth such as in­fra­struc­ture, which calls for a mas­sive in­vest­ment in trans­porta­tion (cold chain) and stor­age re­quired to serve mod­ern re­tail and the food ser­vice seg­ment.”

The mar­ket is seg­re­gated into six seg­ments: frozen veg­eta­bles, frozen snacks, frozen seafood, frozen poul­try, frozen red meat and oth­ers. Frozen snacks and veg­eta­bles are the largest cat­e­gory in terms of sales vol­ume whereas frozen poul­try, seafood and red meat have started gain­ing in cur­rency in re­cent years. Not un­til long ago, the frozen food in­dus­try in In­dia was lim­ited to only ba­sic frozen veg­eta­bles and French fries. Even to­day, though In­dia is the sec­ond-largest pro­ducer of veg­eta­bles and con­trib­utes about 14% of the to­tal world pro­duc­tion of veg­eta­bles, only 2% of the en­tire pro­duc­tion of veg­eta­bles is frozen.

As per in­dus­try es­ti­mates, the frozen veg­eta­bles mar­ket con­sti­tutes 31% of the to­tal frozen food mar­ket and this share is an­tic­i­pated to in­crease fur­ther. The cat­e­gory is ex­pected to grow at a CAGR of 17.65% over the next six years due to changed life­style, year round avail­abil­ity and price sta­bil­ity of frozen veg­eta­bles. The de­mand for frozen veg­eta­bles is in­creas­ing in the coun­try as Tier-i and Tier-ii cities are aware of the brands and prod­ucts. The num­ber of work­ing women has in­creased in th­ese cities, which is gen­er­at­ing greater de­mand for such ready-to-eat prod­ucts. Restau­rants have also started per­ceiv­ing frozen veg­eta­bles as a good al­ter­na­tive that ob­vi­ates the need for more la­bor and ef­fort re­quired in us­ing fresh veg­eta­bles. Quick ser­vice restau­rants have also con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the de­mand for frozen veg­eta­bles. Green peas are the most pop­u­lar frozen pro­cessed veg­etable, pro­duced and pur­chased in In­dia, fol­lowed by mixed green veg­eta­bles and corn.

Soli­taire Drugs and Pharma Pvt. Ltd (Food and Bev­er­age Di­vi­sion) is one of lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers and ex­porters of frozen veg­eta­bles, frozen fruits, frozen ready to cook, pulps, jams, pick­les, among other prod­ucts to­day. The com­pany has three pop­u­lar brands un­der its ban­ner – I-freeze, Snacky’s and Sh­a­gun. “The com­pany started its op­er­a­tions in 2014 and sup­plies its prod­ucts to Cash and Carry stores, in­sti­tu­tions, mod­ern trade and gen­eral trade. I be­lieve all th­ese mar­kets play a sig­nif­i­cant role in build­ing a brand. We are also into pri­vate la­bel and the tar­get con­sumers for our prod­ucts in­clude housewives, school and col­lege stu­dents and work­ing peo­ple in the 18-45 age group. Our prod­ucts are also pre­ferred for par­ties and small gath­er­ings,” says Avnish Ku­mar Jain, Chair­man cum Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Soli­taire Drugs and Pharma Pvt. Ltd (Food and Bev­er­age Di­vi­sion). “Our vi­sion is to be the pre­ferred first choice sup­plier for all our cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments and our mis­sion is to at­tain mar­ket lead­er­ship in our busi­ness ar­eas by cre­at­ing cus­tomer de­light through value, in­no­va­tion, and ser­vice. We are grow­ing rapidly in north In­dia and our tar­get is to ex­pand pan- In­dia. Soon, we will be start­ing op­er­a­tions in south In­dia and then will ex­pand to other mar­kets,” says its Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Su­labh Jain.

Un­til about a few years ago, frozen food play­ers were largely de­pen­dent on the ex­port mar­ket, which helped them earn a large part of their rev­enues. How­ever, with the grow­ing im­por­tance and pen­e­tra­tion of frozen food in the com­mer­cial and re­tail sec­tor, the do­mes­tic mar­ket has also turned out to be lu­cra­tive now. Take the case of Farsan Foods In­dia, a leader in tra­di­tional In­dian sa­vory snacks – samosas, spring rolls, ka­cho­ris, pat­ties, tikis, veg burg­ers, bha­jis, among oth­ers – which has set up its fac­tory in In­dia now to pro­duce qual­ity hand-made frozen snacks for the In­dian mar­ket. The com­pany is orig­i­nally based out of Le­ices­ter, UK, but has opened a new fac­tory in Halol, Gu­jarat. “We make authen­tic qual­ity prod­ucts at an af­ford­able price be­sides also sup­ply­ing to the

The frozen cat­e­gory in In­dia has been record­ing a healthy growth at a CAGR of 20-25% thanks to in­creas­ing cus­tomer ap­petite and ac­cep­tance for frozen foods com­ple­mented by an in­crease in the avail­able freezer space in the re­tail do­main. — Shankar R Nair Na­tional Cat­e­gory Man­ager – Frozen and Dairy, SPAR Hy­per­mar­kets

mar­kets in the Euro­pean Union and North Amer­ica. With our base in Le­ices­ter, UK, in­vest­ing in In­dia seems to have hap­pened at the right time for my food ex­port­ing com­pany. We also sup­port lo­cal veg­etable pro­duc­ers by ac­quir­ing their fresh pro­duce for our ex­port food prod­ucts,” says Nainesh Pa­tel, Owner, Farsan Foods.

To­day, quick ser­vice restau­rants, fast food chains, ho­tels and cafes, not only in the met­ros but even in Tier-ii and TIER-III cities, are gear­ing up to of­fer their cus­tomers the finest in food along with am­bi­ence. Hence, they have started us­ing frozen food to serve their or­ders quickly and ef­fi­ciently with­out any has­sles. There are three end users of the In­dian frozen food in­dus­try: re­tail con­sumers, com­mer­cial busi­nesses and ex­ports. With the grow­ing ac­cep­tance and pop­u­lar­ity of frozen food in the F&B sec­tor and along with the growth and boom of the food­ser­vice in­dus­try in In­dia, there is also a high de­mand for com­pa­nies that spe­cial­ize in pro­vid­ing turnkey tube ice plants, in­dus­trial re­frig­er­a­tion equip­ment and slurry ice ma­chines.

One such provider of prod­ucts and ser­vices is Icel­ings, one of the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ers of Tube Ice plants with in­stal­la­tions in over 20 coun­tries. Over the past decade, the com­pany has grown from strength to strength and has suc­cess­fully in­stalled the world’s largest ice plant for one of the largest gold min­ing com­pany in South Africa to the small­est of ice ven­dors in a town in Zim­babwe. “We are a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer, sup­plier & ex­porter of Tube Ice man­u­fac­tur­ing plants, cool­ing sys­tems and in­dus­trial re­frig­er­a­tion plants. We mass man­u­fac­ture high­qual­ity, in­dus­trial grade ice pro­duc­tion equip­ment. Our clien­tele in­cludes mostly mid-to-large scale food, bev­er­age, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, and hos­pi­tal­ity en­ter­prises. Keep­ing spe­cific cus­tomer re­quire­ments in mind, we cus­tom de­sign each plant. Our range is from 1 tonne to over 125 tonnes of ice pro­duc­tion per day. We are a trusted source of bench­marked qual­ity prod­ucts and cus­tomer-cen­tric ser­vices,” says Rus­tom Irani, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor & Owner, Icel­ings.

For re­tail­ers, frozen re­mains a niche cat­e­gory even though con­sumer ac­cep­tance and re­cep­tiv­ity to frozen is ris­ing ap­pre­cia­bly. “It is tough to com­ment on the con­tri­bu­tion of this cat­e­gory to the over­all food busi­ness as this cat­e­gory is niche and is slowly tak­ing a share of the reg­u­lar snack­ing op­tions avail­able cur­rently. Frozen in­creases the av­er­age bas­ket value as com­pared to the reg­u­lar snack­ing op­tions avail­able in the cat­e­gory,” opines SPAR’S Nair.

We are a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer, sup­plier & ex­porter of Tube Ice man­u­fac­tur­ing plants, cool­ing sys­tems and in­dus­trial re­frig­er­a­tion plants. Our clien­tele in­cludes mostly midto-large scale food, bev­er­age, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, and hos­pi­tal­ity en­ter­prises. — Rus­tom Irani Manag­ing Di­rec­tor & Owner, Icel­ings

Grow­ing ac­cep­tance and pop­u­lar­ity of frozen

To­day, busy life­styles along with rapid eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and a grow­ing ur­ban pop­u­la­tion are in­flu­enc­ing con­sumers to shift their di­etary pref­er­ences to­wards ready-to-eat food prod­ucts. As a re­sult, In­dia’s food mar­ket is pro­jected to dou­ble in size in the com­ing few years. The pro­cessed food mar­ket, there­fore, has wit­nessed the en­try of many brands of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of prod­ucts across dif­fer­ent pro­cessed food cat­e­gories. “The con­cept of frozen and ready­toeat- food prod­ucts is new to the In­dian mar­ket. How­ever, the mar­ket for frozen food is grad­u­ally ex­pand­ing. The num­ber of com­pa­nies in­tro­duc­ing their prod­ucts in this seg­ment is in­creas­ing by the day with play­ers like Amul, ITC and Go­drej in­tro­duc­ing new prod­ucts and va­ri­ety in the mar­ket. So, frozen and ready-to-eat food prod­ucts have a very good po­ten­tial in the com­ing fu­ture,” says Amit Ba­jaj, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ve­zlay Foods Pvt. Ltd. Among all the food cat­e­gories, frozen con­ve­nience food is ex­pected to be the lat­est trend in In­dian pro­cessed food mar­ket.

Frozen foods have some real ben­e­fits that go be­yond con­ve­nience. Freez­ing means less waste, which is a sad fate of a large per­cent­age of all food pro­duced in In­dia. Whether it’s home cooks freez­ing ex­cess in­gre­di­ents for their own for use at a later time, or re­ly­ing on frozen pro­duce or fruit in or­der to avoid hav­ing things go bad in the fridge, freez­ing is very help­ful. Con­sider, too, how much less waste is gen­er­ated by cook­ing a frozen meal in a sin­gle con­tainer or bag, com­pared to the waste that ac­com­pa­nies most take­out meals – sty­ro­foam or plas­tic con­tain­ers, dis­pos­able cut­lery, condi­ment pack­ages, pa­per nap­kins, and plas­tic bags. Also, the re­tail sec­tor is grow­ing with a strong com­pounded an­nual growth rate in re­cent years. The frozen food mar­ket is ex­pected to grow due to the grow­ing con­sumer de­mand and also on ac­count of many new play­ers and brands en­ter­ing the in­dus­try. Th­ese new play­ers are

bring­ing in new va­ri­eties of prod­ucts to ful­fill the con­sumer de­mand For in­stance, Ve­zlay Foods Pvt. Ltd is widely ac­knowl­edged for its in­no­va­tion on soya and for pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tious and de­li­cious veg­e­tar­ian foods in a hy­gienic and cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner. “Ve­zlay Foods is in­volved in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of ex­clu­sively soya-based di­ver­si­fied healthy food prod­ucts that are rich in pro­teins and vi­ta­mins. The taste and tex­ture of Ve­zlay prod­ucts are very close to non-veg, which is the rea­son Ve­zlay is widely ac­cepted by both veg­e­tar­ian and non-veg­e­tar­ian food lovers. Ve­zlay has a vast range of prod­ucts and recipes, suit­able to all de­mo­graph­ics and cul­ture. Health-con­scious cus­tomers and those who love ex­per­i­ment­ing with their recipes and main­tain unique­ness in their kitchen love our Ve­zlay prod­ucts. We also have ve­gan-friendly prod­ucts for our ve­gan cus­tomers. Fur­ther, the com­pany is fo­cus­ing on the niche mar­ket and Horeca in­dus­try. Ve­zlay food prod­ucts are very user friendly and can be used for cre­at­ing unique recipes. That’s why th­ese prod­ucts are widely ac­cepted by Horeca,” says Amit Ba­jaj of Ve­zlay Foods.

“The frozen food mar­ket is dom­i­nated by or­ga­nized play­ers like Mother Dairy, which stands out with a 50% mar­ket share in the veg­eta­bles seg­ment as a re­sult of the wide­spread pop­u­lar­ity of its flag­ship Safal brand that has now en­tered the potato snack­ing seg­ment with their fries and other value-added snacks. The other key brands in the mar­ket are Venky’s, Mccain, Yum­mies, In­no­va­tive Foods (Sumeru), Al Kabeer and Meatzza. The fries seg­ment has seen value ad­di­tion with Sumeru in­no­vat­ing in the seg­ment with fla­vored spice mixes of piri-piri, chilli gar­lic and chicken masala and its healthy paratha range com­pris­ing turmeric/ beet­root/spinach paratha – which have be­come

Ve­zlay Foods man­u­fac­tures soya-based prod­ucts that are rich in pro­teins and vi­ta­mins. The taste and tex­ture is close to non-veg. — Amit Ba­jaj Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ve­zlay Foods Pvt. Ltd

pop­u­lar among young con­sumers – apart from the con­ven­tional paratha range. Among the new brands that are in­no­va­tive and aspire to change the per­cep­tion of the frozen cat­e­gory are Chevon with their high­pro­tein goat meat as­sort­ment like Mum­bai baida roti, mut­ton nuggets, mut­ton samosas, etc, which not only have be­come pop­u­lar among loyal cat­e­gory con­sumers but also bring new prod­uct ad­di­tions to the cat­e­gory,” in­forms SPAR’S Nair.

Chevon is an in­te­grated frozen food com­pany with a range of prod­ucts in the goat meat seg­ment and two brands in the re­tail space. The premium ‘Chevon’ brand is tar­geted at the Sec A & B seg­ments and dis­trib­uted mainly through mod­ern re­tail stores. The other ‘Kuzo’ brand is for the mass mar­ket and is dis­trib­uted pri­mar­ily through the gen­eral trade net­work and mass cat­e­gory mod­ern re­tail stores. Sim­i­larly, in the food ser­vice space, it has two cat­e­gories of of­fer­ings – premium and stan­dard – to suit cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments. “Goat meat has im­mense nu­tri­tional value and is a health­ier and tastier form of meat as com­pared to other red or white meats. It is rec­om­mended by nu­tri­tion­ists from around the world and goat meat’s recog­ni­tion as a su­per­food has fur­ther con­sol­i­dated Chevon’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the mar­ket. In the West, goat meat is rec­og­nized as a health­ier meat than chicken, mut­ton, lamb, pork, etc, and is termed as a su­per­food. We be­lieve In­dia is a mar­ket of mar­kets and each of th­ese mar­kets needs prod­uct re­gion­al­iza­tion and our prod­uct strat­egy re­flects the same. The In­dian goat meat mar­ket is an INR 50,000 crore cur­rent op­por­tu­nity and is grow­ing healthily,” says Chan­drakant K, Head-sales & Mar­ket­ing, Chevon Agrotech Pri­vate Lim­ited.

Chevon soon plans to en­ter the Mid­dle-east­ern and South­east Asian mar­kets and cap­i­talise on the vast op­por­tu­ni­ties in th­ese ge­ogra­phies for premium frozen foods, while fur­ther ex­pand­ing its prod­uct line and dis­tri­bu­tion for the In­dian mar­ket by tar­get­ing the top 100 cities. “With a smaller base com­pared to the over­all mar­ket and in view of the sig­nif­i­cant de­mand for our prod­ucts, we will grow mul­ti­fold over the next few years. Chevon is mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in the re­tail in­dus­try by of­fer­ing var­i­ous in­no­va­tive prod­ucts. How­ever, cur­rently our ob­jec­tive is to set up a ro­bust dis­tri­bu­tion net­work across the coun­try so that we can make our in­no­va­tive prod­ucts avail­able to con­sumers,” dis­closes Chan­drakant.

Apart from Chevon which, as a leader in the frozen goat meat prod­ucts seg­ment, has been ad­vo­cat­ing the var­i­ous health ben­e­fits of goat meat, play­ers like Cam­bay Tiger of Westcoast Group, Em­pire Foods, Car­ni­vore and Ruchi have helped bring in lots of ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive frozen food prod­ucts in the

Goat meat has im­mense nu­tri­tional value and is a health­ier and tastier form of meat as com­pared to other red or white meats. It is rec­om­mended by nu­tri­tion­ists from around the world and goat meat’s recog­ni­tion as a su­per­food has fur­ther con­sol­i­dated Chevon’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the mar­ket.

— Chan­drakant K Head-sales & Mar­ket­ing, Chevon Agrotech Pvt. Ltd

mar­ket – frozen fish/seafood, meat prod­ucts, potato prod­ucts, pizza, ready meals, among oth­ers. Em­pire Foods, a di­vi­sion of Em­pire In­dus­tries Lim­ited, is one of the fastest grow­ing com­pa­nies in the food in­dus­try. “We have two di­vi­sions – im­ports and dis­tri­bu­tion and ex­ports. We are the lead­ing im­porter and ex­porter of qual­ity seafood prod­ucts in In­dia. We im­port basa, salmon, smoked salmon, lamb, pork, duck, Chilean seabass, black cod, tuna saku, tilapia, caviar, truf­fle and some other rare prod­ucts from all over the globe. In ex­ports, we grow and process premium van­namei shrimps from the east­ern coast of In­dia and sell it to the en­tire world. We sup­ply prod­ucts to the Horeca seg­ment, five star ho­tels, four star ho­tels and other lead­ing cater­ers of the coun­try. Our cus­tomer list in­cludes top brands across In­dia en­com­pass­ing the Horeca mar­ket, re­tail out­lets and many more. We are the leader in the Horeca seg­ment for most of our prod­ucts. Our con­sumers are not re­stricted to any par­tic­u­lar age group. We im­port the best prod­ucts that are not avail­able in In­dia and they are con­sumed by ev­ery­one,” says Yo­gesh Grover, Founder & Di­rec­tor, Em­pire Foods.

The com­pany is fo­cus­ing on grow­ing its ex­ports di­vi­sion and fur­ther strength­en­ing its pres­ence in the ma­jor mar­kets, which in­clude the USA, Canada, Europe, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, Viet­nam and the Mid­dle East. As far as im­ports are con­cerned, it is look­ing to in­tro­duce poul­try prod­ucts from the US be­sides also work­ing to ex­pand the dis­tri­bu­tion of lo­cal seafood avail­able in In­dia like tilapia, mahi mahi, and other prod­ucts. It has also launched four new brands for prawns and shrimps – Mis­ter Shrimp, Aroma of Seafood, The Blue House, and Ocean King. “The

Our cus­tomer list in­cludes top brands across In­dia en­com­pass­ing the HORECA mar­ket, re­tail out­lets and many more. — Yo­gesh Grover Founder & Di­rec­tor, Em­pire Foods

mar­ket size is about INR 300 crore and we have a 40 per cent share of the mar­ket. We are the mar­ket leader and there is a huge gap be­tween us and our com­peti­tors,” re­veals Grover.

One brand to have cre­ated a niche in the meat mar­ket is Car­ni­vore with its spe­cial­iza­tion in seekh ke­babs. “If you look at sta­tis­tics, most seekh ke­babs are sold through the un­or­ga­nized meat trade and only a mea­ger 1-2% is sold via the or­ga­nized sec­tor. In Delhi alone, we see a sale of 14-15 tonnes of seekh ke­babs in the re­tail seg­ment on a daily ba­sis. About 95% of the mar­ket share is cap­tured by the un­or­ga­nized sec­tor. My prod­ucts are of premium qual­ity and sell for Rs. 10-15 more than the price of the prod­uct in the lo­cal meat mar­ket. My cus­tomers are those look­ing for a bet­ter qual­ity and also those who were look­ing to pay less than what they would usu­ally pay to a big brand. I am now sell­ing 19 tonnes of meat prod­ucts most of which is ke­babs and my tar­get is to pro­duce 60-70 tonnes a month, re­veals Anil Sawh­ney, Pro­pri­etor, Car­ni­vore.

The com­pany has a di­verse range of fla­vors which have been re­ceived well by cus­tomers across the coun­try. “My ke­babs come in 10 dif­fer­ent fla­vors, and this worked to my ad­van­tage. Over­all, I have a to­tal of 48 prod­ucts. My fla­vors cater to re­gional tastes and also to dif­fer­ent age brack­ets keep­ing in mind their spice pref­er­ences and the need for added sea­son­ing. Aware of the suc­cess of fla­vors such as lime and pu­d­ina in potato chips, I in­tro­duced th­ese fla­vors in my meat prod­ucts as well. I also no­ticed a mar­ket need for ke­babs with a milder spice quo­tient to cater to for­eign na­tion­als and chil­dren. I also no­ticed how the dif­fer­ent re­gions in In­dia fla­vor their meat. For ex­am­ple, Nawabi meat is fla­vored with a com­bi­na­tion of 27 herbs and meat made in Pun­jab is of­ten smoked in a tan­door. I brought in th­ese in­no­va­tions to my prod­ucts,” shares Sawh­ney, adding that frozen prod­ucts oc­cupy only 5 per cent of the en­tire meat trade. “Most prod­ucts are sold chilled and there is of­ten a lack of proper tem­per­a­ture con­trol sys­tems to main­tain an op­ti­mum en­vi­ron­ment for chilled prod­ucts.”

Another brand with a wide ar­ray of meat and other prod­ucts in the frozen seg­ment is Frozit, a sis­ter con­cern of Ruchi – a pop­u­lar spice brand in Odisha – owned by Om Oil And Flour Mills Ltd. The Frozit brand pro­duces and dis­trib­utes ready-to-eat food such as Odia po­dap­i­tha, chicken biryani, mut­ton biryani, mut­ton dum biryani, lachha paratha and ben­gan bharta, lachha paratha and dal, lachha paratha and dum aloo, lachha paratha and chana masala, lachha paratha and mugh­lai chicken, pa­neer but­ter masala, pa­neer tikka, chicken champ, chicken lol­lipop, chicken tikka, pasta mush­room, ra­jma and chawal, yel­low dal tadka, malai kabab, tangdi kabab, raw ba­nana kabab, hariyali kabab, chicken drum­sticks, egg fried rice and chilli chicken, mixed fried rice, jeera rice and ben­gan masala, ghee rice and mut­ton kasa, among oth­ers.

“The com­pany has its own state-of-art megak­itchen. All the uten­sils/equip­ment are san­i­tized

My cus­tomers are those look­ing for a bet­ter qual­ity and also those who are look­ing to pay less than what they would usu­ally pay to a big brand. I am now sell­ing 19 tonnes of meat prod­ucts, most of which is ke­babs, and my tar­get is to pro­duce 60-70 tonnes a month. — Anil Sawh­ney Pro­pri­etor, Car­ni­vore

be­fore us­age. All the ves­sels are of stain­less steel food grade ma­te­rial. The kitchens have ex­pert cooks and are man­aged by trained su­per­vi­sors. Crit­i­cal Con­trol Points (CCPS) like cook­ing tem­per­a­ture are checked to en­sure the best qual­ity of the food. To en­sure that good food qual­ity is main­tained, qual­ity check is done by the Qual­ity Con­trol Lab. We have our own so­phis­ti­cated qual­ity con­trol meth­ods that en­sure that ev­ery in­gre­di­ent main­tains its qual­ity and safety through all pro­cess­ing stages and that the fin­ished prod­ucts are pack­aged and stored safely. Our lab tests in­clude mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal tests, chem­i­cal tests, spoilage in­di­ca­tors and nu­tri­tional tests to en­sure the qual­ity and safety of our foods,” says Rashmi Sa­hoo, Di­rec­tor, Om Oil And Flour Mills Ltd.

In the seafood do­main, Cam­bay Tiger is a lead­ing brand across the coun­try. “We are among the pi­o­neers to in­tro­duce the frozen con­cept in seafood. We fly in At­lantic Salmon from Nor­way to en­sure sushi qual­ity fresh fish. We are the only ones in the in­dus­try do­ing Mod­i­fied At­mo­spheric Pack­ag­ing (MAP) for our prod­ucts, which en­sures fresh­ness at the kitchen level. We are one of the only com­pa­nies in the coun­try to mar­ket fish reared in self-owned farms. Our stores have live fish tanks for cus­tomers to come and choose their fish,” in­forms Shivam Gupta, Direc­tor­west­coast Group & Ceo-cam­bay Tiger.

The brand’s frozen food prod­ucts are dis­trib­uted across 15 cities to its chan­nel part­ners and in­clude farm raised as well as im­ported seafood. Re­cently, it launched a wide ready-to-cook range as well as new in­no­va­tions such as frozen pizza and hot pock­ets.”

We en­sure that in­gre­di­ents main­tain their qual­ity and safety at each pro­cess­ing stage. — Rashmi Sa­hoo Di­rec­tor, Om Oil And Flour Mills Ltd

We are present across Mod­ern Trade, Gen­eral Trade as well as di­rect to con­sumer chan­nels. And we have been grow­ing all chan­nels quite rapidly. At present, our aim is to con­sol­i­date our pres­ence in met­ros such as Mum­bai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Ben­galuru, Chen­nai and Hy­der­abad. We aim to pen­e­trate into smaller towns sur­round­ing the met­ros with our frozen prod­ucts as and when mod­ern re­tail with in­fra­struc­ture like freez­ers en­ters,” adds Gupta, while dis­clos­ing that that its frozen foods busi­ness has been grow­ing at 35% Y-O-Y. “We are plan­ning an ag­gres­sive 60% growth in this fis­cal. The frozen foods busi­ness has been his­tor­i­cally linked with the growth of re­tail stores and some­times this is a bit lim­it­ing. So we are start­ing to see a lot more growth com­ing in from our new di­rect to cus­tomer model.”

Health and wellness trends in frozen

Ev­ery­thing is shaped by peo­ple’s eat­ing habits, and right now we’re in the midst of an ob­ses­sion with health, wellness, and clean eat­ing. In line with this in­creas­ing health-con­scious­ness, food com­pa­nies in the frozen cat­e­gory too are of­fer­ing sim­pler, health­ier, and more fla­vor­ful op­tions. The con­ve­nience of items in the frozen foods cat­e­gory, cou­pled with the in­tro­duc­tion of more nat­u­ral and organic frozen of­fer­ings, has weak­ened con­sumers’ as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween “frozen” and “un­healthy.” Frozen foods can also claim some nu­tri­tional and en­vi­ron­men­tal advantages over fresher fare. Frozen foods are of­ten flash frozen af­ter har­vest or prepa­ra­tion, lock­ing in nu­tri­ents that fresh foods grad­u­ally lose in the time it takes to reach a gro­cery store or kitchen. And con­cerns about preser­va­tives and other in­gre­di­ents have been less­ened by the as­sump­tion that if prod­ucts are nat­u­ral or organic, they must be more nu­tri­tious.

Mind­ful of the grow­ing con­cerns about health and hy­giene is­sues, Icel­ings has in­tro­duced In­dia’s first branded pack­aged ice cre­ated from treated wa­ter. It is made from min­eral qual­ity wa­ter that has un­der­gone ex­ten­sive mul­ti­stage pu­rifi­ca­tion process, in­clud­ing mi­cron fil­tra­tion and re­verse os­mo­sis as per IS 10500:2012 stan­dards. The prod­uct is zero bac­te­ria and the ice tubes are un­touched by hu­man hands through­out the man­u­fac­tur­ing process and pack­aged in spe­cial food grade LDPE bags. “We are the largest pro­ducer of ‘The Premium Pack­aged Ice’. Our 250 tonnes per day ca­pac­ity plant in Mum­bai of­fers pure qual­ity and hy­gienic ice and is cer­ti­fied by FSSAI, AIPIM and IPIA. The prod­uct cur­rently sells in Mum­bai, Pune, Jaipur and we are look­ing to ex­pand pan-in­dia,” says Rus­tom Irani, point­ing out that ice made from un­safe wa­ter can have a range of toxic ef­fects. The com­pany is look­ing for a fran­chise part­ner to join them in cre­at­ing an ice rev­o­lu­tion in the coun­try and work on a pan-in­dia level.

“A health-con­scious per­son knows the dif­fer­ence be­tween un­safe tap wa­ter and branded bot­tled wa­ter. The same is true of im­pure ice and pack­aged ice made of pu­ri­fied wa­ter. Re­mem­ber, ice is food and just as you take care to con­sume good qual­ity, safe and hy­gienic food and wa­ter, so should you when con­sum­ing ice. As a health con­scious per­son, make sure that the ice you mix in drinks, tea or cof­fee is made of pure wa­ter. As a dot­ing par­ent, make dou­bly sure that your chil­dren are con­sum­ing safe and pure ice. Icel­ings’ pure ice is per­fect for cel­e­brat­ing par­ties, get to­geth­ers, birth­days or even big func­tions, ” adds Irani who feels that there ex­ists a great op­por­tu­nity to dis­trib­ute premium qual­ity pack­aged ice in In­dia. “We are com­mit­ted to sup­port re­tail­ers on var­i­ous on­line and off­line me­dia plat­forms for brand pro­mo­tions through­out the year.

The com­pany started its op­er­a­tions in 2014 and sup­plies its prod­ucts to Cash and Carry stores, in­sti­tu­tions, mod­ern trade and gen­eral trade. I be­lieve all th­ese mar­kets play a sig­nif­i­cant role in build­ing a brand. — Avnish Ku­mar Jain Chair­man cum Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Soli­taire Drugs & Pharma Pvt. Ltd (Food and Bev­er­age Di­vi­sion)

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