Food processing sector is one of the largest sectors in India in terms of production, growth, consumption, and export. India's food processing sector covers fruit and vegetables; spices; meat and poultry; milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, soya-based products, mineral water, high protein foods etc. Since liberalization in Aug'91 proposals for projects of have been proposed in various segments of the food and agro-processing industry. Besides this, Govt. has also approved proposals for joint ventures; foreign collaboration, industrial licenses and 100% export oriented units envisaging an investment. Out of this, foreign investment is over Rs.10,000 crores.
India's exports of Processed Food was Rs. 26,067.64 Crores in 2015-16, which including the share of products like Mango Pulp (Rs. 796.17Crores), Dried and Preserved Vegetable (Rs. 914.21 Crores), Other Processed Fruit and Vegetable (Rs. 2,900.33 Crores), Pulses (Rs. 1,603.22 Crores), Groundnuts (Rs. 4,046.05 Crores), Guargum (Rs. 3,233.87 Crores), Jaggery & Confectionary (Rs. 1,289.26 Crores), Cocoa Products (Rs. 1,266.99 Crores), Cereal Preparations (Rs. 3,341.31 Crores), Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (Rs. 2,005.13 Crores) and Miscellaneous Preparations (Rs. 2,593.49 Crores).
The Indian food processing industry is primarily export orient. India's geographical situation gives it the unique advantage of connectivity to Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. One such example indicating India's location advantage is the value of trade in agriculture and processed food between India and Gulf region.
Retail, one of the largest sectors in the global economy (USD 7 Trillion), is going through a transition phase in India. One of the prime factors for non-competitiveness of the food processing industry is because of the cost and quality of marketing channels. Globally more than 72% of food sales occur through super stores. India presents a huge opportunity and is all set for a big retail revolution. India is the least saturated of global markets with a small organized retail and also the least competitive of all global markets.