Ingredients Companies Must Capitalise on Indian Appetite for Sweet and Savoury Snacks

Ingredients companies should increase their presence in India to better understand local trends and capitalise on the popularity of sweet and savoury snacks. Between 2008 and 2013, sweet and savoury snacks delivered a retail value CAGR of 26%. This contributed to the volume consumption of speciality ingredients in India growing by 13%. While other packaged foods also led to this growth, ingredients companies should recognise the superior potential of sweet and savoury snacks in India and take steps to ensure they are getting the most out of sweet and savoury snacks’ success.

Speciality ingredients influenced by sweet and savoury snacks

From 2008 to 2013, volume consumption of polysaccharides and oligosaccharides in India increased by 17%, while volume consumption of flavour enhancers increased by 14%. Sweet and savoury snacks accounted for 57% and 20% of polysaccharides and oligosaccharides and flavour enhancers use respectively, in India in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, polysaccharides and oligosaccharides and flavour enhancers are forecast to be the speciality Ingredients companies should take note of the role of sweet and savoury snacks in this growth.

Better outlook for sweet and savoury snacks

Compared with 2008-2013, sweet and savoury snacks in India is forecast to have a smaller but still strong retail value CAGR of 15% from 2013 to 2018, keeping it amongst the fastest growing packaged foods. Longer term, a lack of storage or cooking issues means sweet and savoury snacks can easily reach the 68% of people comprising India’s rural population, while other packaged foods cannot. Additionally, sweet and savoury snacks are reducing pack sizes and price points. This allows poorer Indian people and children to purchase them as indulgent impulses.

The importance of being local

So how can ingredients companies capitalise on sweet and savoury snacks in India? The answer is to better understand local tastes. In 2013, 63% of flavours used in Indian sweet and savoury snacks were used in other. This category is dominated by native Indian snacks, such as Moong Dal, Bhujia Sev and Aloo Bhujia and accounted for 32% of sweet and savoury snacks’ retail value in 2013. Ingredients companies also need to build relationships with domestic Indian snack producers, who have consistently taken value share from PepsiCo, the dominant multinational, since 2006.

Indian sweet and savoury snacks is still a developing market. In 2013, consumption was only 0.4kg per capita compared to 11.1kg in the US, while only 28% of retail value came from rural India. This market has a huge capacity for growth and this could lead to massive growth for speciality ingredients. To guarantee this, ingredients companies must increase their presence in India, as Givaudan did by opening its Mumbai innovation centre in March 2013. This would allow both easier distribution and a greater understanding of the ingredients wanted by local sweet and savoury snack producers and local people.