Packaged food divide Rural areas lag far behind cities

There is a large divide between urban, semi-urban and rural consumers - the urban demand accounts for 80% of all packaged food, as per ASSOCHAM study
Packaged food divide Rural areas lag far behind cities

Growing at a CAGR of 35 per cent, the packaged food industry is expected to reach USD 50 billion by 2017 from the present level of USD 32 billion, according to an ASSOCHAM survey. The key drivers for packaged food market in India are includes changing demographics, increase in income, urbanization, growth in organized retail, increase in freezer facilities, among others.

Average rate of annual spending on packaged food by Indian households has increased by 32.5 per cent during the years 2010 to 2015 while the growth is expected to touch around 35 per cent in the coming years, it said.

The survey highlighted that 76 per cent of parents, mostly both working, with children under five year in the big cities are serving these easy-to-prepare meals at least 10-12 times per month in some form or the other.

DS Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, the consumption of packaged food is much higher in the urban areas, especially metros, where life is fast-paced, attracting lot more companies to launch new types of products and variants.

The paper also points out that there is a large divide between urban, semi-urban and rural consumers. The urban demand accounts for 80 per cent of all packaged food.

About 76 per cent of the nuclear family feels that they have less less time to spend in the kitchen. It is in this background that home delivery business model for cooked food has grown multi-fold.

Nearly 79 per cent of unmarried people prefer the convenience food. The main categories of packaged food are bakery products, canned/dried processed food, frozen processed food, ready-to-eat meals, dairy products, diet snacks, processed meat and health products and drinks, points the survey.

Food manufacturers have also started concentrating on manufacturing new innovative food products and ready to eat processed food so that it can keep up with the speed of ever changing taste of the consumers.

There has been a major shift in food habits in the metropolitan cities, about 79 per cent of households prefer to have instant food due to steep rise in dual income level and standard of living and convenience.


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