Snapshots of Food Industry News
Amazon to expand groceries business: launches ready-to-cook meals
Amazon has begun the sale of ready-to-cook meal packages in a bid to expand its groceries business. A number of meal kit service companies could feel the heat especially Blue Apron which has recently been listed on the share market. Amazon has registered the trademark for its new meal kit services and is targeting busy households with the tagline “We do the prep. You are the chef.”
Amazon meal kits will be available only through the AmazonFresh delivery system. The ready-to-cook meal kits would cost around US$ 16-20 for a two meal serving. Amazon has planned a menu of around 17 different meals which will cater to all taste types. The meal kits have also been made up of a variety of ingredients. Those interested in getting the meal kit will have to register with the AmazonFresh grocery delivery service which would cost US $15 a month and an additional cost of US$ 99 for the Prime membership. Delivery of less than US$40 would attract an additional cost of US$10 per order.
Flipkart launches grocery service pilot programme
With an eye on the grocery segment, Flipkart has launched a grocery service pilot programme in Bengaluru. After a successful launch here they may expand it to other places across the country. The full-fledged service is likely to open shortly through the e-commerce player has not given a definite timeframe. Flipkart says that they have a very innovative groceries’ service and have propositions for Indian consumers which are not available in India as yet. They could also launch pilot programmes in other Indian cities.
The homegrown e-commerce platform has a base of over 100 million users and is working to procure 500 million customers in the coming few years. The online market platform has also recently set up a new warehouse for large appliances. They are also confident that the new GST will not affect them much as most of their vendors have already migrated to the new tax system. Flipkart has the biggest and fastest growing market in the south in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together and cities like Hyderabad Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Nellore, Guntur, and Tirupati are the top-performing cities.
Saraf Foods to invest Rs 60 crore in new manufacturing unit
Saraf Foods Limited, a Vadodara-based freeze dried specialist food processing company aims to diversify into air drying, adding capacities in freeze drying and strengthening backward integration. They, therefore plan to invest Rs 60 crore to set up a new manufacturing unit at Waghodia in Vadodara district. The investment fund has been created with an equal mix of debt and equity and they also have an approval for Rs. 10 crores as cold chain subsidy from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The company is likely to roll out the air drying operations by end of November. The site is being developed presently and the building construction is expected to begin any day. The Individual Quick Freeze (IQF) is expected to start functioning by January 2018 and the new freeze-drying unit will begin operations by April 2018.
Get a taste of Tata Chemical’s future food supplements
The Tata Chemicals Innovation Centre in Pune allows visitors to have a taste of their future food supplements and snack foods that have not yet launched. The tidbits they provide for visitors to nibble on are healthy, have no sugar, very little oil and moreover some of them are even helpful in growing beneficial bacteria in your intestines. Tata Chemicals is working on building a food business around health foods but with the definition of healthy food continuously changing they have their work cut out for them.
Tata Chemicals long aim is to provide the right kind of products based on the understanding of the effect diet has on the microorganisms in the body. Reducing oils and sugar is considered good but recent research has shown it is somewhat more complicated. The role of microorganisms in disease has now provided views about what really happens in our bodies giving rise to the new sophisticated field of the microbiome. Tata Chemicals is trying to build a business based on microbiome which is actually a collective name for all the microorganisms present in the human body. The Tata Chemicals Innovative Centre does not just have food scientists but other scientists as well so they can look at food science from many angles. One of the studies that are carried out here is on prebiotics which is becoming a form of dietary supplement. Prebiotics are different form probiotics as the former provides food for bacteria and encourages the growth of the good bacteria.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Market worth billions in India
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has urged UK companies to take part in India’s food processing value chain as there is scope for a $600 billion in the retail market here. She made this statement while speaking at the first-ever World Food Summit round-table in New Delhi. She was urging British companies to finalize their entry and collaboration plans as in the next five years Indians will be spending 50 percent more on food. Badal hoped that India and UK would take the food diplomacy to a new level with World Food India. The Minister also cited Amazon’s $500 million commitment as an example and also talked of a number of incentives being offered by the Indian government like mega food parks and cold chain schemes. She also said that India is geographically closer to food importing countries like the UAE and Japan, has highly skilled but cheap labor and also a fast-growing economy.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII is likely to hold a summit in November (3 and 5, 2017) which is being floated as a biennial conference which will bring together Indian states so they can showcase their business opportunities as well as their local cuisine as part of ‘Food Street.’ This will later be replicated in the UK to give that country a peep into India’s food culture and opportunities to invest in this huge consumer market.
Gourmet Investments to revamp Pizza Express brand
Bharti family promoted Gourmet Investments plans to revamp the Pizza Express outlets in India. Gourmet Investments had brought the UK food brand to India in 2012 through a partnership arrangement. Gourmet Investment would now like to revamp the brand for a more hyperlocal experience. Gourmet Investments would like to rewrite the journey of the brand and make it an international brand for India. In India, there are nine Pizza Express outlets and the company intends to launch another eight in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. The investment per outlet is likely to be in the range of Rs.4 to 5 crores per outlet with formats ranging from 1800 square feet to the flagship outlets measuring 6000 square feet, like in Mumbai. Pizza Express has 400 restaurants in the UK, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.
India to have Asia’s largest milk production facility
GEA, Global equipment, and process technology provider, has stated that it has received an order from AmulFed Dairy to build a milk production facility in Gandhinagar in Gujarat. AmulFed already has two milk powder plants in the same location which have also been supplied by GEA. The new turnkey dairy plant will produce 150 tonnes per day of skim milk, 120 tonnes per day of dairy whitener and baby food. According to GEA, the investment will amount to a ‘lower double-digit number’ in Euro. The milk plant will begin production in 2018 sometime. The plant will be hygienically superior and will deliver peak performance and besides being the largest in Asia it will also be environmentally friendly. The plant will process around 90,000 liters of milk per hour and will manufacture multiple value-added products.