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Annual spend on packaged food set to rise 32% by 2017: Assocham

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 24, 2018

B:LINE: Organised Ratail pictures---Customers shop at Big Bazaar. on 20-10-13. Pic-Ramesh Sharma

Even as the Maggi controversy rages across the nation, apex business body Assocham, on Thursday, said the average rate of annual spending on packaged food, that increased by 22.5 per cent annually between 2010 and 2015, is expected to touch around 32 per cent by 2017.

The rise in spending was due to the rise in income levels, standard of living, greater confidence in packaged food, convenience, and influence of the western world, according to an Assocham survey.

About 76 per cent of parents, mostly both working, with children under five years of age, in the big cities serve these easy-to-prepare meals at least 10-12 times each month due to increased pressures at work and actively looking for ways to simplify and save time, said D S Rawat, Secretary-General, The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries, adding the consumption of packaged food is much higher in the urban areas, especially metros, where life is fast-paced and stressful.

The Assocham Health Committee Council, which conducted the survey on the ‘Steep rise in packaged food consumption in India’, based its findings on the responses of 2,200 representative households, with or without children, nuclear families, and bachelors.

Dr B. K. Rao, Chairman of the Assocham body, said, “Packaged food usually contains high levels of salt, thus leading to a rise in blood pressure. Such items are also high in trans-fats, which are worse than saturated fats as they increase the bad cholesterol level and reduce good cholesterol.”

Respondents in the major metropolitan cities where the survey was conducted observed that the rise in demand for packaged food was due to changing lifestyles and eating habits. About 89.5 per cent of nuclear families feel that they have less free time and have less time to spend in the kitchen. It is in this background that the home delivery business model for cooked food has grown multi-fold.

Nearly 72.6 per cent of bachelors prefer convenience food because of the lower cost, time and energy saving, convenience in preparation, and consumption in their busy and hectic lives. The term 'instant’ signifies simple, fast, convenient, and affordable food that is easy and fast to prepare besides being hygienic, free from microbial contamination, and also convenient to eat, say the bachelors.

The main categories of packaged foods are bakery products, canned/ dried processed food, frozen processed food, ready-to-eat meals, dairy products, diet snacks, processed meat, and health products and drinks. Food manufacturers have also started concentrating on manufacturing new innovative food products and ready-to-eat processed food to keep up with the ever-changing taste of consumers.

There has been a major shift in food habits in the metropolitan cities. About 79 per cent of households prefer to have instant food due to a steep rise in dual income levels and standard of living and convenience.

The current size of the Indian packaged food industry is about $30 billion and is likely to touch $50 billion by 2017, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30 per cent annually, including snack foods, ready-to-eat food, healthy, and functional food.

There is a large divide between urban, semi-urban and rural consumers in India. The share of urban residents is about 80 per cent of all packaged food, while semi-urban and rural residents consumed just over 40 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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