The food and beverage industry in India has witnessed many developments, innovations, and challenges in the year 2023. From millet-based products to premium biscuits, from health food drinks to iced tea, from basmati rice standards to banana chips, the sector has been buzzing with news and trends. Here are the top 10 most read food and beverage industry stories from India in 2023, according to FoodNavigator-Asia.
Nestle India puts millets at the centre of new product innovation efforts
Nestle India launched a range of products made with millets, an ancient grain that has been gaining popularity for its health and sustainability benefits. The products include breakfast cereals, noodles, and mixes under the Nestle CEREGROW, Maggi, and Nestle Everyday brands. The company said it aims to revive the consumption of millets in India and offer consumers more nutritious and convenient options.
Hindustan Unilever India predicts strong challenges from smaller players in the tea industry
Hindustan Unilever India, the market leader in the tea category, said it expects to face more competition from smaller and regional players in the coming year. The company said that the tea industry is undergoing a transformation, with consumers seeking more variety, quality, and value. The company also said that it is investing in innovation, premiumisation, and digitalisation to maintain its edge in the market.
RedMart reveals Singapore e-commerce trends driven by health and sustainability
RedMart, the online grocery platform owned by Lazada, shared some insights into the e-commerce trends in Singapore, based on its sales data and consumer surveys. The platform said that health and sustainability are the key drivers of online shopping behaviour, with more consumers opting for organic, plant-based, and eco-friendly products. The platform also said that convenience, personalisation, and affordability are important factors for online shoppers.
Ajinomoto responds to new umami study and its implications for MSG
Ajinomoto, the Japanese food and seasoning giant, commented on a new study that revealed the molecular mechanism of umami taste perception and its implications for monosodium glutamate (MSG). The study, conducted by researchers from Japan and the US, found that MSG activates a specific receptor on the tongue that enhances the flavour of foods. Ajinomoto said that the study validates the safety and benefits of MSG and hopes to increase its acceptance and usage in the global market.
Yili reports record high financial gains driven by liquid milk and ice cream categories
Yili, the largest dairy company in China and Asia, announced its financial results for the first three quarters of 2023, reporting a record high revenue of RMB 103.8 billion (US$ 16.1 billion) and a net profit of RMB 10.9 billion (US$ 1.7 billion). The company attributed its strong performance to its liquid milk and ice cream categories, which saw double-digit growth in sales and market share. The company also said that it is focusing on innovation, quality, and sustainability to achieve its vision of becoming a world-class health food provider.
APAC precision fermentation sector needs to shift focus from tech to commercialisation
The precision fermentation sector in the Asia-Pacific region, which uses biotechnology to produce novel proteins and ingredients, needs to shift its focus from technology development to commercialisation, according to experts. The sector, which includes companies such as Perfect Day, Change Foods, and TurtleTree, has been attracting attention and investment for its potential to create animal-free dairy, meat, and seafood products. However, experts said that the sector faces challenges such as scaling up, regulatory approval, consumer acceptance, and cost reduction.
Beyond Snack aims to revolutionise the banana chips sector in India and beyond
Beyond Snack, an Indian snack company, revealed its plans to revolutionise the banana chips sector in India and beyond, by offering premium, healthy, and innovative products. The company said that banana chips have great potential to become one of the biggest savoury snack categories in the world, as they are considered to be healthier than potato chips and have a long shelf life. The company also said that it is using advanced technology, direct sourcing, and creative flavours to differentiate its products from the traditional ones.
India launches Basmati rice standards amid geographical dispute with Pakistan
India’s food safety authority, FSSAI, launched a set of formal standards for Basmati rice, a premium variety of rice cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian sub-continent. The standards specify the quality parameters, geographical indications, and labelling requirements for Basmati rice. The move is seen as a further step in India’s quest to establish Basmati rice as its intellectual property, amid a longstanding dispute with Pakistan, the only other exporter of Basmati rice globally.
Auric eyes Middle East market with easy-to-consume functional products
Auric, an Indian functional foods and beverages company, said it aims to expand in the Middle East market with its easy-to-consume products, such as Sleep Gummies and Lung Detox sparkling drink. The company said that its products are based on Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine, and cater to the needs of millennials, who are looking for convenience, health, and premiumisation. The company also said that it is a finalist in the Gulfood Innovation Awards 2023, which will be held in Dubai in December.
Parle sets sights on ‘sizeable’ Middle East market with premium biscuits range
Parle, the Indian biscuit giant, said it plans to tap into the premiumisation trends in the Middle East market with its Platina range, which comprises several different products, such as Milano, Hide & Seek, and Mexitos. The company said that the Middle East market is ‘sizeable’ and ‘lucrative’, with consumers showing a preference for premium brands and products. The company also said that it is leveraging its strong distribution network and brand awareness to capture more market share in the region.