Bakery industry to grow at 13-15%
Bakery products are flour-based food baked in an oven such as bread, cakes, pastries and pies. Bakery products are an item of mass consumption in view of its low price and with rapid growth and changing eating habits of people, bakery products have gained popularity among masses.
According to report by Research and Markets, the bakery industry has achieved third position in generating revenue among the processed food sector. The market size for the industry is pegged at US$ 4.7 billion in 2010 and is expected reach US$7.6 billion by 2015. It also mentions that the shining star of the sector remains the biscuits industry, which is expected to outperform the growth of the sector overall.
The per capita consumption of bakery products in India, as it stands today, is one to two kg per annum, which is comparatively lower than the advanced countries where consumption is between 10 and 50 kg per annum. The growth rate of bakery products has been tremendous in both urban and rural areas. “The sector has indicated promising growth prospects and has been making rapid progress,” adds the report.
Whereas, Rajiv Subramanian, principal, consumer & retail, Tata Strategic Management Group, has to say, “The Indian bakery sector consists of some of the large food categories like breads, biscuits, cakes etc. The branded packaged segment in this sector had a size of Rs 17,000 crore in FY2012 and is expected to grow at 13-15% in the next 3-4 years. Within biscuits, 3-4 large-sized players viz. Britannia, Parle, ITC, Cadburys comprise three-fourths of the market. The breads and cakes market is much more fragmented with multiple regional and local players. Britannia is the only national player straddling across the bakery segment. International players like United Biscuits, Unibic have gained prominence in the last few years in their specific product segments. Going ahead, the sector is expected to see some more of the international brands entering the Indian market.”
Bunty Mahajan, owner and pastry chef, feels, “The segment has matured to a great extent in the past 3-4 years. This has happened due to two reasons. Firstly, due to the availability of better ingredients from chocolate, toppings, fillings, flavours etc. Secondly, education abroad has brought in many new players striving to produce products of international standard rather than products of mediocre quality. Number of players is increasing slowly. More and more people are starting to take this up as a profession from the house, after doing short/long courses at premier institutes like Le Cordon Bleu. In the years to come, we will see many of these newcomers expanding their horizons into the retail segment.”
Vijay Rathi, director, Devashree Foods Pvt. Ltd, states, “There are very few organised players in the country and the whole industry is fragmented in stand-alone and every city has its own culture for bakery and eating habits of Indians are also diversified.” He added that the industry was driven by owner managers and there was lack of trained staff. “Large players don't have nation wide presence. Bakery industry is a sunrise industry and there is good scope. Manufacturers should use good ingredients in their products, so that it will help them to grow the business,” he said.
Innovations and R&D
Health and wellness as a trend is seen playing out in bakery like in most categories, with players bringing out healthier product options. Britannia's Nutrichoice has introduced its range of ragi, oats and 5 grain biscuits. In breads also, the whole wheat/brown bread segment is seeing an upswing. “At the other end, players are also focussing on the indulgence segment with Cadburys Oreo and Sunfeast's Dark Fantasy Chocolate filled biscuits entering the shelves,” said Subramanian of Tata Strategic.
Rathi of Devashree said that manufacturers nowadays were looking for development in the mechanisms for bakery products as well as good ingredients.
While talking about new trends in the industry, Subramanian of Tata Strategic said that the broader food trends were also playing out here which included unbranded to branded, rural adoption, premiumisation, health & wellness and convenience. “These trends have manifested themselves in the various new launches/introductions that we have seen in the past few years by leading players be it Britannia's Nutrichoice range, smaller packs of Good Day, ITC dark fantasy, Parle's Happy Happy and Parle-G Gold,” he said.
Chef Mahajan states, “Indians have always had a sweet tooth. With more travel and exposure to the worldwide market, people have now started appreciating good quality products, good quality ingredients, exquisite finishing and are willing to pay the extra buck. Growth rate of cake shops is directly related to the spending power. People are less hesitant on spending money, leading to the possibility of higher prices, leading to the possibility of better products.”
According to Rathi of Devashree, convenience food is the need of the hour, as there is increase in number of middle class people and husband and wife both are working, so they opt for ready to eat food available in the market.
Factors for Growth
Recently, a lot of bakers have gotten into three dimensional cakes and theme cakes. Cutting off from the regularity, bakers are now looking at experimenting with many more ingredients like rice treats, and inculcating them into cake designs. Some bakers even make use of wooden planks for support. There is also something as sugar crystal sculptures, where they try and use them as per the theme of the cake, according to chef Mahajan.
“The biscuit category is expected to continue its growth trajectory of 15% going ahead. Growth in bread would be relatively slower,” informs Subramanian of Tata Strategic.
The challenges would be category-specific. The biscuits category has seen rapid growth in the last few years. Implementation of packaging standardisation norms appears to be the big challenge. Volatility in input costs is expected to remain and this would add to the woes. In bread, profitability has remained the focal point for some time. Players have been looking to increase share of value-added products while focussing on operational efficiencies linked to daily distribution. The challenge for cakes would be to expand the consumption of packaged cakes. In fact, this challenge is also a significant opportunity for this particular segment. “With the right enablers from product and supply chain, this is a category waiting to explode,” adds Subramanian.
Chef Mahajan feels, “The cake business is not a very high revenue-generating business. With commercial property rates so high, it is very difficult to sustain and have profitable retail outlets. It is also very expensive in cities like Mumbai to expand the production unit due to the same reason.”
Rathi is of the opinion that quality of flour and supply chain were key challenges for the bakery industry. Bakery manufacturers have to deal with quality of flour and other ingredients. Whereas opportunities are immense in this industry as disposable income has increased among the people.
Speaking on regulatory aspects, Subramanian of Tata Strategic said, “FSSA is an important regulation for bakery. While FSSA is a step in the right direction, greater clarity on the execution mechanism would need to be built. The implications of the packaging norms being proposed by the ministry of consumer affairs could be far reaching with many players already having indicated an implication on pricing. Maintaining the popular price points seem to be unsustainable and could impact demand.”
“Overseas experiences in terms of training and courses are eye-opening. The level of perfection they strive to achieve, the amazing systems they follow for smooth operations of the production unit, and the level of professionalism are all great learning experiences. There is much to learn from the international market,” concludes chef Mahajan.
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