Snapshots of Food Industry News
Coca-Cola to go healthy with coconut water
Coca-Cola is all set to launch their packaged coconut water Zico, in India as the demand for sugary drinks is on the decline. Zico is a US coconut water brand that Coca-Cola acquired in 2013. Packaged coconut water is one of the fasting growing categories in the beverage segment and Coca-Cola already has an edge in this market. Coca-Cola is importing the product which it is likely to launch in two Indian markets.
Zico has gained traction globally as it is advertised as ‘natural refreshment’ globally. The move will also enable Coca-Cola to hedge its bets as consumption of fizzy drinks is losing ground because of health reasons. Another reason for the switch could be the issue Coca-Cola is facing as some trade associations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are not willing to sell beverages that are causing depletion in ground water as these companies use a lot of water, which is becoming a scarce resource in drought ridden regions in these states.
Self-order kiosks and table service from McDonald’s
Standing in line for your McDonald’s order will no longer be required as the company is rolling out digital self-order kiosks. The interactive technology will enable consumers to place their order which will be served at the table. Besides self-kiosks McDonald’s is going in for a décor change in its outlets. In the next three years McDonald’s will transform about 30 percent of their stores starting with Mumbai. The new stores will be enabled with the interactive technology. McDonald’s is moving into ‘experience of the future’ with ordering through self-service kiosks, mobile payments and smart menu boards. The new stores are likely to cost about 15 percent more.
The McDonald’s signature bright red and yellow is likely to change to softer hues. It will also install smart hand-wash systems and power-saving LED lighting and will also introduce reusable cups and bio-degradable cutlery in these stores as a move towards sustainability. These strategic changes are being undertaken keeping in mind improved customer experience and convenience and to change its QRS image for the New Age consumer. McDonald’s has been moving towards a healthier menu offering low sodium fries and nuggets, lower calorie sauces, and preservative-free patties; so the move to add soups, salads and whole wholegrain and wheat wraps comes as no surprise but is a welcome addition for the health conscious consumers.
Danone plans on introducing 10 new products in India
In order to double its revenue by 2020 Danone India Pvt Ltd is planning to introduce about 10 new products in India in 2017. Danone is renowned for its yoghurts and therefore Danone India has introduced Greek yogurt here in India. Since the company has expertise in yoghurt they plan to build the category in India and establish the relevance for the category through the right product innovation. The dairy division will introduce further offerings as the dairy sector is poised for growth. The maker of Farex baby food and Protinex supplements will concentrate on expanding its existing baby food business also. They intend to focus on medical nutrition business and will be introducing new products in this category by June. Danone India has plans to also launch packaged drinking water in India which is already a part of its global portfolio.
Texas Chicken to enter the Indian QSR Market
According to a leading market study the organized food sector is growing rapidly and is likely to touch $33 billion by 2020. New global companies are entering the organised food sector and the latest to join the sector is Texas Chicken. Texas Chicken will join the Indian QSR market although it is based in Texas, USA. The brand is known for its southern style chicken, it serves southern specialties including fried okra, coleslaw, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn on the cob, Jalapeño Cheese Bombers and its unique Honey Butter Biscuits.
In USA it is known as Church’s Chicken but outside the US it goes by the name of Texas Chicken. It is a highly recognized brand name in the QSR sector and has outlets in 1,600 locations in 28 US states and 28 countries worldwide with the accumulated sales of $1.1 billion. In India the QRS market size stands at $15 billion and is growing with a strong CAGR of 17 per cent y-o-y basis. India already has brands like Dominos, Subway, McDonald’s, amongst others and Texas Chicken, which is the second-largest geographically located quick service chicken concept in the world, is likely to throw in some competition.
iD Fresh Food prepares to enter international markets
iD Fresh Food, the maker of ready-to-cook dosa and idli batter, is preparing to enter the US, United Kingdom and Singapore markets in 2017 to cater to the Indian diaspora in those countries. The company’s packaged batter, Indian breads and other foods are already popular in the United Arab Emirates, which has large populations of Indians. For this expansion iD Fresh has already raised Rs.150 crore from PremjiInvest, the private investment firm of Azim Premji. PremjiInvest has picked up a 25% stake in iD Fresh at a post-investment valuation of Rs.600 crore. Rahul Garg, partner at PremjiInvest, will join iD Fresh’s board. Helion Ventures, which invested about Rs.35 crore in iD Fresh in October 2014, holds another 25% stake in the company.
iD Fresh Food is sending a test container to the US but for the UK market they are likely to partner with a local manufacturer. For the Singapore market they intend to send their products from the Chennai facility. The investors feel that there is a billion-dollar opportunity in this space and iD Food has clear market leadership due to its first-mover advantage. The raised funds will also be used to upgrade existing facilities, for R&D, to establish new distribution networks and for marketing. The overseas units will be built small and scaled up based on market demand. The company is targeting a turnover of Rs.1, 000 crores by 2021.
Indian food industry could attract large scale investments
Speaking at the recently concluded three day ‘Tasting India Symposium’ CEO Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant, stated that the potential of Indian food and retail segment is enormous. It is projected to touch 482 billion by financial year 2020 from the present 250 billion. This is one sector that could attract investment in the next 4 to 5 years and also help to generate about 10 million jobs. A country like India has a huge diversity of regional cuisine and also has the potential to create its own brand value in the organic food sector. Concentrating on regional organic farming by including organic local produce in Government programmes, public distribution systems as well as mid-day meals will act as an impetus to the sector.
In India food is considered a spiritual experience and this should encourage India to focus on organic farming. Sikkim for example was declared 100 per cent organic by the Government last year. India also grows a great variety of crops and nutritional produce needs to be strengthened. India must give a boost to regional cuisine with its array of aroma, textures and colours which will also see growth in travel and tourism industry. Kant also launched the book “First Food: Culture of Taste” published by the Centre for Science and Environment. The book speaks of the natural factors that have contributed towards shaping India’s multi-cuisine culture.