Friday, September 16, 2011: 10:14:44 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Diet food concept yet to take off in India

In spite of consumption patterns favouring growth of the diet foods and colas in India, the market is still uncertain for the products due to complex factors

As the Indian population gets more health conscious by the day, the concept of diet foods and colas witness an emerging market. However, in spite of the consumption patterns showing a clear demand for these food products, the diet food market in India is still in its nascent stages. Going by public opinion, the market is likely to require some more time to take off.

 
Among the factors responsible for the slow growth of diet food or cola market in India is the perception of the common people that diet food/cola tastes bad. According to management professional and foodie Prinsu Jain, based out of Mumbai, “I would rather eat high-calorie junk food than eat or drink diet stuff.”
 
Not the right market?
 
Food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (Mysore), VH Potty says, “The food industry has an obligation to fulfil the demand for products with low calorie load to meet such emerging needs in the market. A vexing issue that bothers both the industry as well as the industry is which sweetener is best for use.”
 
Kolkata based IT professional Chandni Talwar also shares a negative opinion regarding diet food, “I do not like it because they do not taste good and are anyway not easily available.”
 
A recent poll by FoodProcessing360 saw majority (67%) of voters feeling that the diet food concept is yet to take off in India. However, remaining 33% respondents felt that diet foods did enter the Indian household. It is important to consider that a large number of upper class consumers rely on diet foods and colas and they even constitute a significant portion of their daily consumption. With majority of these consumers shopping for grocery from high end retailers, the availability of these food and beverage items is also not a deterrent.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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