A lot of things have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the way people eat their food and general consumption patterns. India is at the cusp of a new food revolution. Health-conscious, evolved consumers prefer to have something on their plates that will have a lower environmental footprint. In addition, they have also become more conscious than ever of the ecosystem, apart from their own health. A food tradition that focuses on sustainable alternatives is setting the path for the future of food in India.
Trends to drive the food industry:
Dietary trends and consumption patterns of Indian customers have evolved over the years. From 1961 to 2017, a dip from 63% to 55% is seen in the daily calorie consumption of grains. People are increasing their protein consumption from 55.3 g in 2000-02 to 63 g in 2015-17, fruits and vegetables, and superfoods such as green tea and olive oil.
Elevated focus on leading a healthy lifestyle along with preventive healthcare has led to the adoption of nutritional supplements like nutraceuticals and healthy foods. Staple grains like wheat and rice are substituted by Nutri-cereals like millets. There is a constant focus on food fortification for the enhancement of nutritional value.
How the food is produced, packed, processed, delivered, and how safe it is to consume are the common concerns the informed consumers, as a result, higher consumption of organic food, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21% to reach INR 182 billion by 2026 from INR 60 billion currently. People prefer food traceability, leading to companies introducing such solutions. Clean labels are an emerging trend.
People prefer food items appealing to their local tastes. This gave an emergence of strong regional brands. Within a state too, the consumers across regions prefer variety and brands need to be aware when they plan their product mix. Still, national brands are focusing upon providing variants suited to regional cuisine preferences.
Elevation in customer buying packaged staples rather than loose supplies. This was accelerated with the onset of the Covid pandemic when people became more mindful about the safety of their food. Also, private label brands of leading retailers are witnessing increased traction.Mindful Convenience: Steady growth in ready-to-eat and frozen food categories. Be it online grocery or prepared food, food delivery is growing significantly with multiple established companies and start-ups operating in this sector – 28% CAGR for online food delivery for 2020-25, 53% CAGR for online grocery for 2020-25.