“International Year of Millet” food companies launch new millet products
Stakeholders of several food companies, notably Britannia, Wholsum Foods, and Symega Food Ingredients, are taking advantage of the International Year of Millet in 2023 by either adding new product lines or upgrading their existing millet products.
Shauravi Malik, Co-founder of Wholsum Foods Pvt Ltd, which owns the millet-based food brands Slurrp Farm and Millé, there will be many new items this year.
‘We aim to add millet-based snacks, ragi biscuits, and other goods under our kids’ brand Slurrp Farm,’ she explained. Millé’s goal is to ‘bring millets to the forefront of people’s plates; the goal is to make millet a ubiquitous ingredient.’
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‘A higher level of awareness about consuming millets, the need for both nutrition and food security, and the need to have food that we can grow without a lot of water, pesticides, or fertilizer has contributed to the growth and appeal of millet-based goods,’ Malik added.
Britannia, which offers millets-based goods under the NutriChoice brand, said it would develop the brand further through product innovation.
‘We are experimenting on functional ingredients and foods by adding more super grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits with whole grains and processing technologies,’ stated Sudhir Nema, Chief Development & Quality Officer, Britannia Industries Limited. We are also working with our partners to find acceptable opportunities in this changing area.’
According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India produced 12,490 million tonnes of millets in 2020, accounting for 41% of global production.
‘Millets are considered superfoods since they are gluten-free and high in micronutrients. Millets also have a lot of fiber and resistant starch, which acts as food for good bacteria. In fact, people are willing to pay a premium, typically more than 50%, in their conscious pursuit of optimum nutrition,’ Nema added.
According to him, the worldwide superfoods industry was worth $172 billion in 2020 and is predicted to grow to $287 billion by 2027.
Symega Food Ingredients, which manufactures and markets natural colours, flavours, and savoury blends, has added alternative milk made from diverse grains and millets.
‘As this year is the International Year of Millets, we see a lot of momentum on millet-based goods. Indeed, we have created milk from millets such as Jowar, Bajra, Barley, and others,’ stated Santosh Stephen, Managing Director of Symega Food Ingredients.
It sells its products by working with other companies and start-ups to develop and make them under their label.
Tata Consumer Soulfull Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Consumer Products Limited, also sells millet-based food products under the Tata Soulfull brand.
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Prashant Parameswaran, MD, and CEO of Tata Consumer Soulfull, said at the fourth edition of Millets & Organics-International Trade Fair 2023 in Bengaluru, ‘We expect millets to gradually evolve to become a mainstream category, and with 2023 being celebrated as the International Year of Millets, consumer acceptance for this grain will significantly grow.’
‘Our product line, which includes snacking, micro meals, and breakfast cereal, is positioned to appeal to the trend,’ said Parameswaran, adding, ‘and we look forward to making our products available to more people across the country.’