Agri Business

Food companies may raise R&D spends post-Covid

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 25, 2020

The rise in spending will be on new product development and market research   -  D-Keine

Food companies are seen increasing their spends on research and innovation of new products in the post-Covid era, where safety and hygiene are expected to the new normal, experts said.

As food safety becomes important, companies will increase their spends on research from around 1.7 per cent of their annual turnover to about 4 per cent in the years ahead, said Pramod S Halde, former president of Association of Food Scientists and Technologists.

The increase in spending will not only be in the area of new product development, but also on market research among others, Halde told a webinar on ‘Emerging Actions For Food Industry in India: Post Covid 19’, organised by the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM).

“Traceability and safe sourcing would become important in the post-Covid days,” Halde said, adding that the companies are now being forced to innovate to the meet the new requirement of the customer. “It’s time to innovate or evaporate,” he added.

‘Innovate and survive’

PC Mustafa, founder of ID Fresh Food India Pvt Ltd, said Covid, like any other crisis, has thrown up opportunities to innovate for food companies. ID Fresh adopted the online sales model within four days after the lockdown to make its products available to consumers, he said. ID, which has introduced products such as tender coconut and grated coconut in an easy-to-use form in natural packaging, proposes to tie up with local companies to expand its coconut business.

Saikat Mazumdar, COO of Icrisat, gave an insight on the role of food industry in promoting local production and consumption and opportunities for food processing business through Icristat schemes. He further emphasised the collaboration on Future CEOs Scheme along with students of PGDM-Food Processing and Business Management of IIPM.

Other industry experts emphasised the role of digitising agriculture for food security, efficiency and its growth and need for cryogenic food processing and frozen food. About 110 participants comprising students, academicians, researchers and practitioners of Food Technology and Business Management participated in the event.

Published on May 25, 2020

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