FMCG brands, e-commerce companies and educational institutions are catching on to a new fad among households and wannabe chefs – baking and bakery products. While companies such as Del Monte are launching new products used for baking, e-commerce sites such as Snapdeal are seeing demand for bakeware. Belgium bakery, confectionery and chocolate products manufacturer Puratos has even opened a school to help those who want to learn a thing or two about baking.

Changing lifestyles

“Consumer tastes in India are becoming ever more sophisticated and this is reflected in a strong demand for bakery, patisserie and chocolate products. We see a huge gap in availability of skilled craftspeople in the bakery and patisserie industry,” said Dhiren Kanwar, Country Head, Puratos Indian Subcontinent. Puratos has also set up experience centres to help small and medium bakers perfect the art.

For Del Monte, India is becoming a huge bakery market with both QSR chains and home baking driving up the demand. Yogesh Bellani, CEO, Field Fresh, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and California-based Del Monte Pacific, says that the company recently launched its dessert sauces, primarily aimed at such consumers.

Market size, share

“India is largely a savoury sauce market, but we have now introduced fruit-based and chocolate-based sauces. Dessert sauces are growing at significantly. We also cater with our specific range of products for home bakers,” he added. The per capita consumption of bakery products in India stands at 1-2 kg per annum, which is still much lower than the developed countries where it is between 15 and 50 kg per annum.

The size of the bakery ingredients market is approximately ₹3,000 crore in India and growing at 12-15 per cent.

As the demand for bakery products grows there is also a need for chefs who can create that perfect pastry.

Niklesh Sharma, MD & Executive Pastry Chef of Malaysia-based Academy of Pastry Arts, which launched its operation in Delhi recently to train young entrepreneurs, says, “India really deserve an International Pastry school as 60 per cent of the executive pastry chefs and pastry instructors go to Malaysia for enhancing their skills and knowledge.”

According to industry estimates, the cake segment occupies nearly 20 per cent market following the bread category, which is approximately 78 per cent of the baked products market. Besides bakery institutes, Puratos has also set up experience centres to reach out to small and medium bakers.