Premium food and beverage to India

There are opportunities for premium Australian products in India’s food and beverage sector.

Opportunities

Expanding consumer tastes

Indian consumers are becoming more exposed to global food trends and tastes. This has led to:

  • many new restaurants and wine bars opening
  • consumers experimenting with new flavours and food experiences
  • a preference for healthier food options.

Long-term potential

India provides long-term opportunities for Australian companies to develop loyal customers. This is due to India’s median age being 29 years. This is much lower than the United States of America (USA) or China.

Gourmet stores

Modern gourmet retail is developing rapidly in India. This is due to rapid urbanisation across the country. Brands such as Foodhall, Le Marche, Nature’s Basket and Modern Bazaar have stores in upscale areas of metro cities in India. They offer fresh, prepared, and packaged food in a modern environment.

E-commerce platforms with national delivery

E-commerce in India is booming, and local deliveries are widespread. Indian consumers can now easily access a wide range of products. The sector has strong competition between national operators such as Amazon, Flipkart and Big Basket and regional or city specific operators such as MilkBasket, Grofer and Peppertap.

Challenges

The main challenges of the Indian market include:

  • distinct taste preferences in different regions
  • underdeveloped distribution channels
  • strong competition from established local brands
  • import tariffs.

However, the potential of the Indian market may offset these challenges. For example, the number of Indian consumers who are in the market for premium products is estimated at around 30 to 50 million people.

Indian consumers

Consumers in India who regularly spend on international food and beverages are typically:

  • ‘digital generation’ professionals
  • high income households
  • those who have travelled internationally.

They are concentrated in the country’s largest cities including:

  • Chandigarh
  • National Capital Region
  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata.

Indian consumers’ perception of Australia

Many Indian consumers have a positive impression of Australia’s food and beverage offerings. They perceive Australian products to be safe and reliably available.

Distribution channels

Modern retail

The retail landscape in India is changing quickly. Modern retail formats are increasing in the larger cities.
High-end consumers prefer modern shopping environments and a wider choice of products than is available in traditional stores.

E-commerce

India has more than half a billion internet users, and e-commerce is growing. 

Food retailers and companies are making it easier for India’s online shoppers to access new products.

Strategies for success

Maximizing ‘country of origin’ value

Goods from overseas are more expensive compared to local products. However, businesses that actively promote and communicate Australian origin report a positive impact on sales.

Localising

Localising can be a powerful strategy when competing in India’s market. Ways to localise include:

  • catering to the Indian palate by customising internationally accepted recipes to Indian taste preferences
  • exporting your products in bulk and employing a local Indian company to package and label them. This tends to reduce export and labour costs and helps you stay competitive
  • using a labelling or branding style that’s familiar to Indian consumers. This can increase your product’s appeal.

Co-branding

Co-branding can give instant credibility to a product, as consumers trust the brand they know.

New product trials

Collaborating with India’s modern premium and luxury supermarkets to trial new products can drive uptake of new lines.

Australian success stories

Read about the experiences of Australian businesses exporting premium food to India.

Increasing demand and retail sophistication are key to San Remo’s growth plans for its pasta and specialty range in India.  

Consumer interest in vegan and gluten-free products has driven SalDoce Fine Foods to develop a comprehensive range of vegetarian and vegan gluten-free products for Indian consumers.

How Austrade can help

Austrade is the Australian Government’s agency for promoting trade and investment in and out of Australia We have a dedicated team in major Indian cities.

Our specialists can help Australian businesses understand, enter and succeed in this market.

Call us on 13 28 78.

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.

Contact details

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:

  • develop international markets
  • win productive foreign direct investment
  • promote international education
  • strengthen Australia's tourism industry
  • seek consular and passport services.

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.

Markets

Subscribe to Export Update

The latest in export news and events, success stories, plus information to help Australian exporters do business around the world.

Subscribe

Success stories

Austrade has profiled over 100 companies from a range of industries and markets, all over Australia.

Find out more...