The rising demand for home dining in the post-Covid situation has encouraged Symega Food Ingredients -- part of the Kochi-based Synthite Group -- to expand its culinary division.
Managing Director of Symega Food Ingredients Ltd, Santhosh Stephen, said the company is rapidly expanding its culinary products capabilities with a strategic interest in the food solutions space for the FMCG retail, QSR and HORECA segments, both in the domestic as well as overseas markets. “We have already invested around Rs 15 crore and would be investing over Rs 30 crore in phases over the next couple of months,” he told BusinessLine .
The company has appointed Chef Naresh Guglani as Vice-President to spearhead the R&D of its fast-growing culinary products division that provides solutions in the ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook space, offering a range of sauces, gravies, marinades, chutneys and spreads. Prior to joining Symega, Chef Naresh was the R&D Director for McCormick India and brings with him 25 years of experience in the new product development function, Stephen said.
The after-effects of the pandemic and lockdowns have worked in favour of the culinary products division. The choice for home cooked, takeaway or delivered in-home dining has driven up the demand for cooking pastes, ready-to-cook sauces, and instant gravies from the retail and food service quarters. The company has been quick to respond to this shift by expanding its culinary products facility by increasing the installed capacity by three times. Addition of a new line to process, manufacture, pack and store chilled and frozen products is underway, while techno-economic evaluation of a new retorting line for export markets is also in progress, Stephen said.
Symega has also set up a specialty foods division specifically to offer solutions in the globally rampant plant-based food space. The primary focus area is plant-based foods covering the meat, eggs, milk and other dairy alternatives. The range primarily targets packaged food brand owners (start-ups/ incumbents) and food service chains, and aims to cater to the growing consumer demand for plant-based meat and milk alternatives.
The company caters to the whole spectrum of the food and beverage industry, right from processing, manufacturing, retail and food service, with a comprehensive basket of solutions that include natural colours, flavours, spice blends and seasonings, culinary products, and specialty ingredients.
The manufacturing operations of Symega are based out the Synthite Taste Park near Kochi and its R&D facilities are located at Kochi, Bengaluru and Gurgaon. Warehouses with sales offices located at Gurgaon and Indore cater to the northern and western parts of the country. It also caters to overseas markets, mainly South-East Asia, West Asia and Africa, through agents and representatives.