The bakery industry, one of the largest food processing segments worth about $ 6.70 billion in 2020 is, according to EMR (Expert Market Research), estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2021 and 2026 to reach a value of $ 12.39 billion by 2026. The Indian bakery market is being driven by the increasing population and advanced technology.
There can, however, be no doubt that if the industry wants to keep its pace of growth; it will need to undergo various changes, due to the pandemic. When done right, without compromising on quality or quantity, the bakery business is easy to scale from your first location or home-setup to multiple outlets.
According to a research by Mintel, almost three out of four Indians have cited healthy eating as a higher priority, due to the pandemic. Thus the bakery industry would have to lay stress on their products being healthy. The bakery industry, to continue with its growth graph, has to introduce products which consist of multi-grains, nuts and other healthy ingredients.
To satisfy the consumer demand for products which are nutritious, healthy, fresh with more complex flavour profiles, the companies are expected to use lesser known grains like millet and ragi. The trend is, for the baking companies, to use flour of these grains for their baked products.
The consumption pattern of bread, according to Mintel, is expected to see a major shift from the white breads towards more multigrain, wholegrain, specialty, ethnic and seeded breads. This is mainly due to consumers’ desire for nutritious and healthier products due to the pandemic. Several companies have already started production of multigrain and whole wheat breads, which are finding an increasing preference among the consumers.
Bread is only one of the products that the bakers are concentrating on converting into a healthier product. The biscuits and cookies industry, which accounts for nearly 72% of the sales of Indian bakery products, also is also turning its attention to making these items healthier. It may be mentioned that India is the second largest producer of biscuits in the world. However, it is the world’s largest biscuit consuming nation. Bread and biscuits form the major baked foods accounting for over four-fifths of total bakery products produced in the country.
Besides this, many companies have also started manufacturing handcrafted granola bars which are gluten-free, full of nuts and seeds, and well-sweetened with locally sourced organic honey. The trend towards nutritional and healthier bakery items has grown to a new level.
Corona virus has also made it necessary for bakeries to maintain a hygienic environment inside the factory. Proper maintenance of the machines as well ensuring proper hygiene within the premises has become essential as the customers have become more demanding as far as hygiene in production of merchandise is concerned. There is a need for transparency and the companies have to convince the customers that all the equipment is sanitized and a proper audit is done. It has been observed that several hazards can be avoided with proper implementation of pest control, waste control and cleaning programmes.
To fight the pandemic, bakery industry has to concentrate on hygiene not only in the production of the merchandise but also the personal hygiene of the people employed in the bakery. Sanitation has always been important in bakeries and other food service establishments. But now, due to the COVID 19 peril the stakes are even higher.
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