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India’s growth is a massive opportunity for food firms

A new report co-written by India’s Yes Bank and Santander UK claimed that the country’s food and foodservices market were expected to grow from £305bn to £500bn ​by 2020. 

The food market in the country, according to the report, experiences both very high levels of wastage and low levels of processing. Additionally, only 25% of the sector is currently considered ‘organised’. The report stated that this presented trade and investment opportunities for UK companies in diverse areas. 

Major opportunities existed in tea, biscuits, condiments and organic sectors, it claimed. Food companies wanting to manufacture locally could be supported by the Indian government, which had put in place incentives for businesses. 


The report also highlighted opportunities to export the equipment, knowledge and expertise required to build a robust food processing infrastructure. 

It also exhorted UK food and drink firms (including supply chain) to capitalise on India’s status as one of the world’s largest producers of raw and processed food products to meet consumer demand in the UK. 

India produces more than 155Mt of milk per year and is now the world’s second-largest producer of fish products and has the world’s largest population of livestock. It is the second-largest cereal producer and the global leader in cereal exports, led by rice. 

India’s food exports​ 

The food industry accounts for 9% of India’s manufacturing GDP and is the largest employer in the country providing employment for nearly 1.5M people. The report reckoned India’s processed food exports were worth £11.24bn in 2016, led by onions, grapes, cucumbers, buffalo meat, groundnuts, guar gum and rice. 

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