India, as diverse it is, has a population that loves food and its varieties which is quite evident with each region having its special food preference from North to South and East to West. From the shift in the culture, there has been an adaption of the innovations or new trends which are viewed as enhancements to meet either new consumer needs or existing market needs.

The improved, convenient products, processes, services, technologies or business models that are readily available to markets are used to provide to the increasing numbers of working women, nuclear families and health-conscious groups.

So, meeting the high demand for ready-to-eat, frozen foods, premixes, fortified foods or health drinks, the trends and innovations are now also an effort to put India on the map with the 'Make in India' initiative launched in 2014.

So, the food processing industry in India comes into the picture today with the innovation being a key point which is dependent on technical innovation with social and cultural innovation. What the Indian food processing industry includes is a large number of products from fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products, beverages, grains, cereals and millets, bakery, confectionery, nutraceuticals and even RTE (ready to eat) applications.

The innovations and technology are useful to carter to the target audience that is highly influenced with western culture, through home delivery services making many Indian producers or the Food Companies In India to use of new technologies to increase production, meet quality standards and increase profitability.

Having talked about the innovations, when we talk about starting a business in the food processing industry in India, its current condition should be understood i.e. to a point where we can expect many innovations in the coming years. Active and intelligent packaging is an emerging trend in the preservation and packing of food, for safety, quality and convenience.

Food processing industry in India holds tremendous potential and the industry has these key factors to make sure of the same:

Consumer spending on food: Being the world's sixth-largest, with retail contributing to 70 per cent of the total sales. When it comes to average, Indians spend 31 per cent of their total earnings on food and grocery which is a great number when compared to consumers in the US who spend only 9 per cent, while in Brazil and China, the expenditure on food is 17 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.

Change in consumer taste and preference: Over the years, there have been various changes be it the growing awareness, better health consciousness, need for convenience, and improving lifestyles, the share of processed food is gradually and steadily increasing on consumer plates across the world. The reason for the same in India is rising per capita income, a large young population (60 per cent below 35 years of age), deeper retail penetration, and a growing number of nuclear families. India's demands for processed food is, therefore, expected to increase to about 8.5 per cent by the end of 2017.

Growth in food exports: When it comes to Indian processed food, the international markets have been raising demand of the same due to various factors. The factors like changing consumer tastes in foreign markets as approximately 30,843,419 16 people of Indian origin live abroad (Ministry of External Affairs, India).

Availability of cheap workforce: India is known for its relatively cheaper workforce that can be effectively utilized to set-up a low production base for the domestic and export market. Production costs in India are lower by about 40 per cent in comparison to most developed and developing countries.

The ideas for food processing companies in India that one can start are:

  1. Bakery Business
  2. Cashew Processing Business
  3. Diabetic Food Manufacturing Business
  4. Dairy Business
  5. Fruit Juice Processing Business
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste Processing Business
  7. Grape Wine Manufacturing Business
  8. Honey Processing Business
  9. Ice Cream Making Business
  10. Lemonade Making Business
  11. Mineral Water Processing Business
  12. Noodles Manufacturing Business
  13. Papad Making Business
  14. Pickle Manufacturing Business
  15. Potato Chips Manufacturing Business
  16. Rice Mill Business
  17. Spices Business
  18. Sunflower Oil Processing Business
  19. Tomato Processing Business
  20. Salted Snacks Namkeen Manufacturing Business

All of these business ideas cater to the different target audience and there manufacturing depends on various other factors like location temperature, age of the target consumer, the social status of them as all of them won't be concerned about diabetes-friendly food. So, it is essential to understand what are the factors available and can be exploited to ensure that one finds their space in the Indian food processing industry. During 2020, coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown as a result of the same has made people raise the demand for processed food more than ever.

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