‘Emerging opportunities beyond liquid milk’
The market for dairy delicacies in India is growing annually by Rs 5,000 crore every year as mechanisation takes root.
The market for this largest and fastest growing segment of Indian dairying is estimated at Rs 50,000 crore. The growth of this sector is impressive at Rs 5,000 crore per year, covering products such as dahi, paneer, gulabjamun, rasogolla and shrikhand.
The dairy industry needs to recognise the importance of indigenous products to sustain its overall growth. Also, enough attention and investments are necessary to raise the status of this product category from a dominantly non-organised to the organised and allow it to emerge as a mature segment of the industry.
Major market for Indian milk-based sweets is emerging overseas. In North America alone, the market is estimated at $ 500 million. In order to make an enduring presence in the world food market, production of ethnic products has to meet the international standards.
The way forward would be the development of appropriate packaging systems, consistent with the international standards, that will help establish national and international marketing network for mithais. In-depth studies are needed on the biochemical and microbiological changes during storage affecting the product shelf life.
The indigenous dairy products are India’s largest selling and most profitable segment and account for 50 per cent of milk produced. Significant headway has been made in the industrial production of traditional sweets such as shrikhand, gulabjamun, peda and burfi.
India’s dairy market is multi-layered, shaped like a pyramid, with the base made up of the vast market for low-cost, liquid, raw milk. The narrow tip at the top is a small but affluent market, largely for western-type and fresh packaged dairy products.
The expected rise in the purchasing power of growing urban population would give an added boost. New emerging dairy markets would focus on food service institutional market, which is growing at double the rate of consumer market.
Defence market is also important growing market for quality products at reasonable prices. A boom is forecast in the market of dairy products used as raw material in pharmaceutical and allied industries.
The increasing ‘away-from-home’ consumption trend opens new vistas for ready-to-serve dairy products, which would ride piggyback on the fast food revolution sweeping urban India.