According to a Corporate Catalyst India (CCI) survey Food Processing in India, the South Asian country is the world's second largest producer of food next to China, and has the potential of being the biggest in the food and agricultural sectors.
The total food production in India is estimated to double in the next ten years and there is an opportunity for large investments in food and food processing technologies, skills and equipment, especially in areas of:
- dairy and food processing
- specialty processing
- frozen food processing
Fruits & vegetables, fisheries, milk & milk products, meat & poultry, packaged/convenience foods, alcoholic beverages & soft drinks, and grains are important sub-sectors of India's food processing industry. Health food and health food supplements are rapidly growing segments and are gaining vast popularity among the health conscious.
India is one of the world’s major food producers but accounts for less than 1.5 percent of international food trade. This highlights great potential for both exporters and investors. Food exports in 1998 stood at US $5.8 billion whereas the world total was US $438 billion. The Indian food industries sales turnover was Rs 140,000 crore (1 crore = 10 million) annually at the start of 2000. The industry has the highest number of plants approved by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outside the US.
India's food processing sector covers fruit and vegetables; meat and poultry; milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, Soya-based products, mineral water, and high protein foods.
The Indian food industry – food production and food processing – is projected to grow by US$ 100 billion to US$ 300 billion by 2015. The Indian fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market is estimated to grow to US$ 100 billion by 2025 from US$ 12 billion in 2011, according to market research firm Nielsen's insights from Consumer 360. The event identified four key trends that will drive consumption: premiumisation, consumers switching from commodity to brands, from indulgence to regular consumption, and acceptability.