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Packaged food market to touch $50 bn by 2017: Study

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New Delhi :Country’s packaged food market is set to witness a quantum jump to USD 50 billion by 2017 from USD 32 billion at present due to increasing popularity of ready-to-eat items, says a survey.

“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, standard of living and convenience,” said a survey by industry body Assocham.

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

“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,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

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

The survey noted that about 76 per cent nuclear families feel they have less less time to spend in the kitchen, while nearly 79 per cent bachelors prefer convenience food. It is in this background that home delivery business model for cooked food has grown multi-fold, it said.

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, health products and drinks.

Food manufacturers have also started concentrating on manufacturing new innovative food products and ready-to-eat processed food to keep up with the ever changing tastes of consumers.

PTI