Saturday, April 28, 2012: 06:15:37 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Healthy, organic foods have a long way to go

Survey reveals that customers think that there is not enough penetration of health foods and organic foods in the market

As more and more consumers go health conscious and consumption of health foods and organic products increases, question still remains about the viability and penetration of these foods in the Indian market. Importantly, the pricing of these products makes them accessible for a niche set of consumers.

A recent survey by FoodProcessing360 made evident the mixed response towards the penetration and reach of health and organic food products in the Indian market. Voters were equally split (50%-50%) regarding the reach of the foods, which makes it evident that the concentration of the product is skewed.
Reasons for low penetration
According to Divya Sanglikar, corporate nutritionist at Healthji, a leading health portal, “Health foods in India are yet to take off completely in India. This is mainly due to the lack of bulk processing technologies in the semi-urban and rural areas.”
Another factor that has contributed to the slow uptake of processed health foods in India is the high prices set by domestic and international players. While the overseas players enjoys a significant presence in the metros and have gradually started establishing their processing units in the country, domestic producers of health and organic products are yet to produce these foods in a more cost-effective manner.
Homemaker Mili Talwar explains, “I think the lack of availability of products such as oat-meal, fibre-rich biscuits and fat free ice-creams is also a reason for the low penetration of health and organic foods. We usually buy them from shopping malls and rarely see these products in the convenient stores. The middle class family is becoming health conscious and I see no reason why the products would not be successful if marketed well.”
While some experts also feel that processed health foods have their own share of health risks and some claims by the companies might be too tall, the concept is a rapidly growing one in the Indian food industry and is likely to be a dominant force in the future.
Tias Chakraborty

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