Millet, HORECA and plant-based protein remain the focus of the IndusFood 2023

India needs to build more global food brands: Rajesh Agrawal, Addl secretary, Govt of India
Millet, HORECA and plant-based protein remain the focus of the IndusFood 2023
Photo - IndusFood

The largest integrated F&B trade show in South Asia and the biggest edition of IndusFood took place in Hitex Exhibition Center, Hyderabad from 8 to 10 January. The three-day event was inaugurated by Rajesh Agrawal, Indian administrative services, and Srikar K Reddy, additional secretary and joint secretaries of the department of commerce and industry, govt of India, in presence of members of exhibitors and buyers.

The first-ever edition in Telangana hosted 1,300+ world-class buyers from 80-plus countries interfacing with 600+ Indian exhibitors. The three-day event is expected to negotiate aggregate business deals worth US one billion dollars plus. Nearly 50 plus global food retail chain brands and their representatives are part of the exhibition.

Photo - IndusFood

Speaking on the occasion, delivering his keynote address Agrawal said, "Indus Show made tremendous progress in the past six years because of the entrepreneurial zeal of the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), who conceived the show. It is a unique show and a strong platform. We must make it big and the best in the world in the years to come. Though we are doing well on the Agri exports front, we are still far behind our true potential. Our Agri exports today stand at 50 billion US dollars, however, our share of processed food is less than 1% share, in exports of the processed food category. We must aspire to take up our share in the global market to 10%."

Speaking further, the union additional secretary, Agrawal said, "We are unable to create global brands in the F and B industry. Ideally we need to create 50 brands, then we will be able to do our job well. We must think globally and build brands. We must pay serious attention to how to promote Indian cuisine abroad. The UN General Assembly declared 2023 as the year of Millets at the instance of India. Our Prime Minister made a strong argument for this. Now we have a huge opportunity. India is the major producer of millet. Millets are a wonderful spice. Use this opportunity to showcase to the world Indian strengths in millets, its nutritious values, and taste. Package it well. It will open new doors of opportunities."

Another challenge is how to promote authentic Indian cuisine. He asked and added, "We don’t have chefs who are experts in authentic cuisines. So we must promote skill development. One authentic chef can do good to promote our native cuisines. Under the free trade agreement with Australia, we made sure that it gives 1880 annual visas to yoga teachers and chefs.

Photo - IndusFood

"Our role at Govt is to provide a level playing field for equitable market access globally. We entered bilateral agreements between various nations to help the industry. If you have any pain points or problem areas and need policy interventions, please let us know. We will do the needful, union additional secretary told the industry representatives," he shared. He told the trade promotion council of India to have a research hub in its systems to resolve any problems confronting the industry.

Srikar Reddy highlighted various initiatives of the government in helping the industry. The year 2022 was significant in terms of exports. The year 2020-2021 saw US 400 billion dollar worth of exports, and rose to 422 billion subsequently. The two bilateral agreements entered in the recent past with Australia and UAE augur good for the industry. The Government of India is supporting the promotion of ethnic food by way of setting up export clusters, he informed.

Giving his welcome address Mohit Singla, founder chairman, TPCI, said, "Over the past six years, IndusFood has become the sole catalyst for robust growth in India’s processed food exports by ensuring direct linkages for Indian F and B exporters with global buyers. It is the largest ever edition held so far. One of the major features of this year is the presence of mainstream buyers in large numbers, which has so far been a critical challenge for Indian exporters. Indusfood, has been able to bring institutional buyers from the remotest corners like French Guinea, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Reunion, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten, Syria, Togo, and Turkmenistan," he added.

"This year with exclusive focus is on millets. So, IndusFood is showcasing millet-based value-added products. India is globally regarded as the land of Vegetarian food with a huge variety of products. So, we have also been focusing on plant-based protein. India’s F&B exports were recorded at US 42 billion dollars in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% YoY since 2017. Correspondingly, processed food exports have grown at a particularly robust pace of over 20% during the period to reach US 8 billion dollars in 2021. During January-October, 2022, processed food product exports have further accelerated by 32% YoY to reach US 8.6 billion dollars. “We are positive that Indusfood 2023 will play a catalytic role in building on this strong growth momentum both internationally and in the domestic market,” Singla added.

Top global sourcing giants of the F and B industry registered such as: Mohamed Mustafa and Samsuddin Co Pte (Singapore), Shrijees Supermarket (Tanzania), Apna Bazar (US), Grand Hyper (UAE), Nesto (UAE), Choithrams (UAE), Lulu Group International (UAE), (UAE), City Centre Central Markets (Kuwait), Babasons WII (Bahrain) and many more will be visiting the show.

Indusfood 2023 is giving focused attention to domestic F and B opportunities, considering the strong growth potential in the Indian market. Several modern trade players, eCommerce firms, QSRs, airlines, and startups from India were present at the marquee event.

TPCI also inaugurated the Indus Knowledge Hub during the show. A novel initiative to fuel knowledge-driven collaboration, Indus Knowledge Hub involved a series of exciting seminars and panel discussions, wherein global leaders in the space shared best business practices, opportunities, challenges, and growth prospects for Indian F and B players.

Photo - IndusFood
Photo - IndusFood

Indusfood 2023, featured a variety of food & beverage products from India, including raw and processed, alcoholic/non-alcoholic, organic, healthy, plant-based, ready-to-eat, and ethnic, across over 16 zones. This year, an unprecedented number of promising F and B start-ups exhibited at the event. Furthermore, plant-based food, health food, organic, and dairy categories have seen participation.

Telangana state had a separate pavilion where over 11 MSMEs showcased their products. Rajesh Agrawal and Srikar Reddy also inaugurated the Telangana pavilion in the presence of Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Govt of Telangana.

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