Food and agribusiness to India

Australia’s ‘clean, green’ foods have a great brand reputation in India. There are also improved prospects for finding new customers, with an increase in e-commerce channels and supermarkets.

Opportunities

Agriculture commodities

Pulses and grains dominated Australian agri-exports in the past. However, consumer spending and market deregulation is now creating fresh demand and new ways of going to market.

Opportunities include:

  • Indian food-processing companies are looking for partners to deliver high-quality produce.
  • Tight regulation on wholesale markets is being relaxed. This is creating opportunities in logistics and warehousing.
  • India is becoming more receptive to Australian agtech, especially grain-tech.  
  • Agriculture policy reform is triggering opportunities in research, warehousing and logistics.

Read our Agtech to India export market profile.

Horticulture

India’s emerging middle class has a taste for imported fruit and vegetables. The value of food imports tripled in the last decade, from A$2.4 billion in 2009 to A$7.5 billion in 2019 (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, An Indian Economic Strategy to 2035, Agribusiness Sector, 2018).

Opportunities include:

  • growing demand for year-round fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Australian exporters can get fresh produce to market in 21–26 days, faster than 40 days from competitors in the United States of America (USA)  
  • Austrade is working with peak bodies to build exports of stone fruits. This includes peaches, plums and cherries
  • e-commerce is expanding demand for imported fruit, and creating new distribution channels.

Read our Grains to India export market profile.

Health and beauty

Indian consumers appreciate Australian health and beauty products, and their reliable manufacturing standards.

Opportunities include:

  • demand for nutritional supplements triggered by lifestyle changes
  • rapid growth of e-commerce is enabling brands to connect directly with consumers.
  • natural products account for close to one-third of the personal care category
  • Australian brands have a strong reputation among India consumers, who trust Australian standards.

Lamb

Lamb is a large opportunity in India, where beef is not consumed.

Opportunities include:

  • lamb is becoming popular in hotels and restaurants as customers try new cuisines
  • Australian lamb is mostly sold via food service channels, where lamb racks are popular
  • lamb sales are expected to grow as more Indians increasingly dine out
  • growing demand for imported carcasses for processing.

Wine

The Indian wine market is growing. India imported 5.2 million litres of wine at a value of A$40 million in 2018 (Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service, India Wine Production and Trade Update, 2019).

Opportunities include:

  • there is increased wine consumption due to culture change, tourism, returned students and rapidly changing demographics
  • Australian winemakers can engage at a mid-tier price level.
  • imported wine is a status product because of high tariffs and the perceived quality of domestic wines
  • online wine sales in major cities provide a major new route to market
  • sales via hospitality venues will likely increase quickly post-COVID-19.

Read our Wine to India export market profile.

Processed foods

There is demand for international foodstuffs among India’s large middle class.

Opportunities include:

  • egulations on imported foods have eased. Logistics have improved
  • demand for gourmet produce is rising. This includes via chains such as Foodhall, Le Marche and Spencer Natures Basket
  • wealthy consumers are turning to health foods. This includes gluten-free, sugar-free and plant-based products.

Dairy

Demand for dairy goods is growing, despite tariffs and regulation. Australian dairy has a great reputation. This is due to Australia’s safe and reliable manufacturing standards.

Opportunities include:

  • growing demand for cheese and cream in hospitality, food service and retail sectors
  • Australia continues to export skimmed milk powder within government quotas. This restricts imports from private Indian players and is often based on shortages in the market
  • there will be opportunities for value-added dairy products as demand for healthier products grow. This includes fortified milk or A2 milk from Australia
  • imports to India currently include milk powder, fats and oils, casein, butter, whey, cheese, lactose.

Challenges

There are tariff barriers for most food and wines. Regulatory barriers and distribution can also be difficult. For example:

  • average tariffs for processed food, pulses and grains are high
  • there is a lack of cold chain, however logistics have recently improved
  • Most retailers prefer a shelf-stable product from Australia
  • there is strong competition from USA and European Union producers
  • there is strong price competition from domestic suppliers. Imports need to compete on quality.

Success stories

Many Australian companies have discovered new paths to India’s food and beverage markets in the past two years. Read their stories:

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

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The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

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Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.

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Success stories

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