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