INDIA – Cargill Foods India, a local unit of the largest closely held company in the US, is expanding its food retailing business in the country to include more edible oil brands, wheat derivatives, and vegetable proteins.
“We intend to introduce more products into fats, carbohydrates and proteins. These will serve the needs of a typical Indian household’s kitchen,” said Deoki Muchhal, MD, Cargill Foods India.
At present, the company markets wheat flour, edible oil, and food ingredients. It also trades in grain, oil seeds, cotton and animal feed.
Muchhal said that in the protein category, Cargill Foods may introduce a soya- or grain- or pulses-based product.
“In carbohydrates, we are already there with wheat flour and now we will look into derivatives with a health quotient, such as sooji or dalia,”he said.
The company also believes that there is space for a healthy brand of oil that would blend some essential fats.
“We are going to create edible oil products suited for local consumption. We are not a country where we eat a lot of salad with an oil topping.
We like to cook, so we will come with a formulation that enables housewives to cook, maintain health quotient and manage the taste,” said Muchhal.
Cargill currently mills 2,500 tonnes of edible oil a day and these are sold under the brand names of Nature Fresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo olive oil and Rath vanaspati.
Muchhal said that the annual consumption of edible oil in the country was growing by 4% to 5%, while packed edible oil consumption was increasing by 15% to 18%, demonstrating increasing consumer preference for packed varieties of cooking oil.
He added that with the food processing industry expanding at 12% to 15%, new product lines for consumers would be launched.
“With government intervention and transparency on product approvals, more products will roll out, benefiting consumer and industry,” he said.