Are Made-in-India products increasingly coming with a tag that says no added preservatives or additives? So it seems if research by London-based market research agency Mintel is to be believed. The latter is a global supplier of consumer, product and media-related intelligence and is privately-held.
Mintel says that India tops the list of countries in Asia-Pacific for products carrying no additive and preservative claims in the food & drink category, accounting for 18% of new product development in the region, up from 14% in 2008. Australia comes next at 15%, followed by Thailand at 13% and China at 12% respectively. New Zealand and Taiwan trail behind the top at 4% and 6% respectively, the agency says.
Deepa Dsouza, trend and innovation consultant, India at Mintel, says, “Health claims are growing in importance for the Indian consumer and consumers are now much more aware about the ingredients in the food and drink products they choose and the benefits of choosing healthily. The primary driver for the increase in these claims in India is the consumer perception of added additives or preservatives in food being considered unsafe and concerns about food safety and long term toxicity of these chemicals on their future health.”
"A few years back the growing processed food industries - especially fruit products and the juice industry - triggered the growth of additives and preservative use in India, more to offer convenience to the Indian consumer. However, increased consumer awareness and government intervention to make cleaner and healthier products have compelled food manufacturers - not just the big multinationals but also the smaller local players - to adopt 'No Additives/Preservative' claims," she adds.
And it is not just additives and preservatives making an impact on the agenda of Indian food and drink manufacturers. Organic claims have also shown strong growth from 1% in 2008 to 2% in 2011 and already 3.4% in 2012, D'souza says. Furthermore, antioxidant claims in food and drink products have grown from 1% in 2008 to 2% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. Bone health claims have increased from 0.26% in 2008 to 1% in 2011 and 2% in 2012, while cardiovascular claims have increased from 1% in 2008 to 3% in 2011 and 2012 respectively.