Domestic food retail to cross Rs 61 lakh crore by 2020: are we prepared for the rural market?


The domestic food retail market is expected to witness a phenomenal growth and set to cross Rs 61 lakh crore by 2020 from the present Rs 25 lakh crore. Indian retail food market has the potential to not only double but triple in the next 4-5 years, helped by the government's initiative to bring in systemic change, despite resistance, Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge) V K Singh said in Mumbai.

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At the India Food Forum 2016, Singh said, "Next 4-5 years are going to see a phenomenal growth that will make a difference to the economic health of the country. India will be a growth story of the world five years from now as the risks for the investors will be lesser than the gains." Singh released the India Food Report 2016, that has projected Indian food retail market to cross Rs 35.60 lakh crore by 2017 and Rs 61 lakh crore by 2020. In 2014, the then market size was estimated at Rs 25.12 lakh crore.

Of the current market size of over Rs 25 lakh crore, food and grocery retail is worth over Rs 23 lakh crore, while food service market accounts for the balance. Food retail pie, dry food grocery that includes, cereals, grains, grams, pulses, sugar, edible oil and dry fruits constitute 34.7 per cent while milk and dairy products account for 16 per cent of the food market. Spices at Rs 1,50,000 crore, fresh produce at Rs 3,90,000 crore and perishables like fish, poultry and sea food at Rs 2,00,000 crore are the other food categories other than processed foods.

Singh also called upon the retail entrepreneurs to go beyond the urban market to the semi-urban and rural market to ensure that their retail business is successful, if they strategise in all the three markets. The Minister also called upon the retail investors to join the government initiative of 'Make in India' and take the market and the 8 million kirana stores along with them as they are part of the value chain.

According to the report, there is an evolution dietary habit along with the rising demand for food and its growing consumption in India. Indians are becoming more welcoming towards processed, western food options like noodles, corn flakes, juices and oats - something, which was very nascent until 10 year ago. Singh also assured the delegates that the government will do everything possible to respond to the retail industry's demand to reduce the existing number of 46 licenses required to operate a retail store.


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