A circular signed by the Deputy Secretary, Ziley Singh Vical states that from 24 June 2019 biscuits will no longer be dispensed from the Departmental Canteen in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Further, the circular outlines the instructions about serving healthy snacks. It states that the Hon’ble HFM has desired that only healthy snacks are to be served at official meetings and biscuits must be avoided. Henceforth, biscuits will no longer be dispensed through the Departmental Canteen. Only healthy snacks like Lahiya channa, khajoor, Bhuna Channa, badam and Akhrot will be served at official meetings in the Department.
The circular also states, that the earlier order issued by the Administration Division of not using plastic water bottles, must also be implemented in letter and spirit.
Government initiatives like the above almost always help to spread awareness among consumers about healthy eating habits and reducing plastic use.
Lending Support to FSSAI’s Eat Right Movement
Through this initiative, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also lent support to FSSAI’s ‘The Eat Right Movement’ which was launched on 10th July 2018. The FSSAI launched ‘The Eat Right Movement’ to improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases. The Eat Right Movement is based on a holistic and collaborative approach where both consumers and suppliers can make a difference.
- On the demand side, the Eat Right Movement focuses on empowering citizens to make the right food choices.
- On the supply side, it nudges food businesses to reformulate their products, provide better nutritional information to consumers and make investments in healthy food as responsible food businesses.
Healthy Snacks Market
The trends in healthy snacking and reducing use of plastic can clearly be seen in the circular from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In fact, the shifts in dietary patterns have come about because of increasing health consciousness. Consumers globally have realised the importance of adopting a preventive lifestyle, which also dictates the healthier food choices consumers are making by choosing cholesterol-free or low-fat products over unhealthy snacks.
According to a new RNCOS report titled “Indian Snacks Market Forecast to 2023”, snacks have always been a part of Indian food habits. It is estimated that almost 1,000 snack items and 300 types of savouries are sold across India as well as some which are made in the unorganised sector.
The tendency to snack has not changed as consumers love to snack while working, at home or on the go. However, what is changing now is the demand for healthy snacks like dried fruits, seeds, etc. It is this demand which could provide a great opportunity for brands to bring healthy and nutritious snacks to cater to this need.
According to RNCOS analysis reports, healthy snacks segment holds very small share in the total snacks market but strong opportunities can be seen in fat-free and guilt-free snacks. Health consciousness among consumers is also likely to increase the demand for healthy snacks in the coming years.