Food processing is one of the evergreen businesses with demand throughout the year. The market of food processing companies remains largely unaffected by the socio-economic conditions of people. So, food processing is one of the sunrise sectors with more and entrepreneurs foraying into the industry.
Food processing in India is also the most viable sector for MSMEs, considering the extent of the sector with many sub-sectors and the investment required to start the business. While there exist many well-established large scale companies in the Indian food processing business, the sector is majorly dominated by the presence of a large number of small, medium and micro scale enterprises.
Helping new entrepreneurs planning to enter into the food industry, we are presenting a compilation of top-performing segments in the food industry along with trending business ideas in the respective segments, identified and shortlisted by a panel of food experts following a thorough research.
1. Nutraceutical Foods
As health awareness among people is increasing, the nutraceutical foods segment has emerged as one of the rapidly growing sectors these days. The covid-19 pandemic also caused a shift in the focus of the people towards nutritional and fortified foods. With growing health concerns among people of all ages, the demand for nutraceutical foods is only going to increase in the country. Hence, nutraceutical food manufacturing is seen as the best food business idea for new entrepreneurs.
Here are some of the profitable food business ideas in the nutraceutical foods segment:
1. Immunity booster
2. Baby weaning foods
3. Dietary supplements
4. Functional foods
5. Low calorie, GI and sugar free foods
2. Vegan and Plant-based Foods
The trend of veganism is growing in India and in the world. As people are becoming are more aware about the animal killings, they are moving towards the plant-based, animal and dairy free vegan food. Many celebrities in India has given the dairy products, creating the vegan food boom in the country. The trend is only going to continue with changing preferences of the people.
Here are some of the trending food business ideas in the vegan and plant-based food segment:
1. Plant based Milk (Oat, soy, coconut, almond, cashew, rice, hazelnut etc.)
2. Nut Butters (peanut, cashew, almond), vegan ghee
3. Vegan products milk powder, tofu, cheese
4. Vegan spreads (sauces, mayo)
5. Instant vegan coffee and tea premix
6. Plant based meat
3. Millet-based Foods
Millets have high nutritional value. These are one of the products that must be an essential part of a healthy and wholesome diet. Conventionally, the usage of millets has been confined to people in rural areas and people with low income for various reasons. However, with growing awareness about the nutritional value of millets, the usage of millet-based products is increasing in urban areas as well.
Here are some of the top food business ideas in the millet-based food segment:
1. Millet pasta, noodles & vermicelli
2. Millet Ready to cook breakfast (Idly, dosa, upma, khicdhi )
3. Millet flakes
4. Millet snacks
5. Millet breads, roti, chapathi
4. Dairy Industry
India is the largest producer of milk and is one of the largest producers and consumers of dairy and dairy products in the world. Dairy processing is one of the major segments of the food industry in India. While there exist some government-regulated enterprises in the dairy processing industry which contribute to a significant portion, the industry is dominated by private players who account for more than 60% share of dairy processing. Dairy processing offers tremendous business opportunities for small entrepreneurs in the country.
Here are some of the best food business ideas in the dairy industry:
1. Fortified and flavoured milk
2. Probiotic curd
3. Flavoured and fruit yoghurt
4. Paneer and cheese manufacturing
5. Sweets manufacturing
5. RTE & RTC Food
RTE & RTC foods segment is perhaps the fast-growing sector in the Indian food processing industry. India is also one of the largest RTE & RTC food markets in the world. As the number of people working in white-collar jobs is increasing in the country, the shift towards the ready to eat and ready to cook foods is also increasing. This has led to a tremendous increase in demand for these food products in the country, opening up opportunities for new entrepreneurs. So, RTE & RTC foods manufacturing is one of the viable food business ideas for budding entrepreneurs in India.
Here are some of the best food business ideas in the RTE & RTC segment:
1. Ready to cook curry and base gravy
2. RTC Idly and dosa batter
3. RTC breakfast mix
4. RTE lunch packs
5. Snacks, sweets mix and soups
6. Bakery and Confectionery Industry
With the growing urban population in the country, bakery and confectioneries are becoming very popular. Not just in the urban areas, these are proliferating in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country as well. In India, the bakery and confectioneries sector is largely unorganized comprising of small bakery units, cottages and household processing units that account for more than 60% the production.
Here are some of the food business ideas in the bakery and confectionery segment:
1. Instant cake premix
2. Vacuum fried chips
3. Fruit powders for flavouring
4. Gluten free products
5. Artisan breads, organic cookies & candy bars
7. Cereals and Pulses Industry
Cereals contain very high levels of carbohydrates. They are also a rich source of Vitamins like Vitamin A, B6, B12 and Calcium, Phosphorous, etc. Pulses are also a good source of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and many other minerals. Given their rich nutritional value, organic and natural products of cereals and pulses are highly preferred by people. Processed foods with cereals and pulses as ingredients have very good demand in the urban areas.
Here are some of the top food business ideas in the cereals and pulses segment:
1. Organic and natural products
2. Health mix
3. Weaning products
4. Diabetic rice
5. Sprouted millet flours
8. Spices & Nuts Processing
The Indian subcontinent is well known for spices and nuts across the world. Indian spices hold special recognition worldwide for their texture, taste and medicinal value. Processed spice powders from India have huge demand in South Asia and across the world. Nut processing also has great scope in the country, considering the growing demand for nuts.
Here are some of the trending business ideas in the spices & nuts segment:
1. Nut protein & energy bars
2. Essential oil extraction
3. Nut butter and spreads
4. Flavoured nuts (peanut, badam, cashew, pista)
5. Curry powder
6. All-purpose food seasoning
9. Plant-based Chemical Extracts
Plants contain different kinds of essential chemicals. These chemical extracts are used in food products, cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, and medicines including ayurvedic and allopathy. Chemicals are extracted from plants using various techniques.
Here are some of the trending business ideas related to natural chemical extracts:
1. Pectin processing
2. Curcumin processing
3. Phyto nutraceuticals
10. Frozen Food Industry
Frozen foods are products preserved using the freezing technique. Freezing is one of the most widely used food preservation techniques in the world today. The consumption of frozen food has been increasing in India over the past few years. An increase in the number of customers looking for food convenience, growing awareness and acceptance of frozen food among all categories of people have led to increased demand for frozen food in the country.
Here are some of the top business ideas in the frozen food segment:
1. Frozen snacks and pastry and pizza base
2. Frozen vegetables and fruits
3. Frozen ready to cook products
4. Meat and fish
5. Cold chain and warehouse setup (convention freezing, IQF, cryogenic freezing)
11. Meat & Poultry Industry
Poultry with advanced infrastructure is a well-developed sector in India. India is one of the largest producers of eggs in the world. India has the world’s largest population of livestock which serves as the base for the meat processing industry. The demand for hygienic meat is growing across the world, which is a good sign for the meat processing and poultry industry in India. India primarily exports meat and poultry products to Egypt, Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Here are some of the business ideas in the meat & poultry segment:
2. Meat processing
3. Animal and poultry feed
12. Marine & Fisheries Industry
India, with more than 7 thousand kilometres of coastal line and several river systems, is the second-largest producer of fisheries and marine products in the world. India is also one of the major exporters of marine products to other countries. But most of the exports are frozen products. So, there exists huge scope for processed marine foods in the form of value added products in the country. Accordingly, the industry is also transforming by adopting the latest technologies to cater to the needs of foreign markets.
Here are some of the best business ideas in the marine & fisheries segment:
1. Fish processing
2. Fish oil processing
3. Fish food manufacturing
13. Beverages Industry
The beverages sector in India is one of the most diversified sectors with different types of soft drinks, hot drinks and others due to India’s diverse climatic conditions and geographies. India offers a huge domestic market for beverages industries of all sizes. Given India’s fast-growing young population, the country is one of the top consumers of alcoholic beverages in the world. Apart from alcoholic beverages, the non-alcoholic beverages segment which is suitable for MSMEs is also growing at a rapid pace in the country.
Here are some of the trending business ideas in the beverages segment:
1. Probiotic and prebiotic drink
2. Immunity boosting and energy drinks
3. Instant coffee and tea premix
4. Traditional health drinks
5. Weight loss drinks, muscle gain drinks
6. Cold pressed juices
14. Fruits and Vegetables Industry
India is the second-largest country in the production of fruits and vegetables in the world, only next to China. The Indian fruits and vegetables sector is highly fragmented and unorganized. There is a huge opportunity for fruits and vegetables processing in the country, given the abundant availability of fruits and vegetables in the country. Therefore, fruits and vegetables processing is a profitable business idea for budding entrepreneurs.
Here are some of the top business ideas in the fruits and vegetables segment:
1. Fruit pulp processing (jams, marmalade, banana, etc.)
2. Cold pressed juices
3. Fruit powders (pineapple, mango, Jackfruit, etc.)
4. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
5. Sauces, pickles and snacks
15. Other Food-related Business Ideas
Apart from above-stated food business, there are some other business ideas related to the food industry such as:
1. Mushroom for vegan leather
2. Hemp clothing and garments
3. Plant-based meat processing
Are you a new entrepreneur planning to start food processing business or an existing industry planning to diversify into the food industry? Are you looking for the best food business ideas that can guarantee you profits in the future? Do you want to know how to start food business in India? If yes, then kindly register with SolutionBuggy and get the most profitable food business ideas in India from experts in the food industry. Our experts also help you in setting up the food processing industry by addressing your requirements right from food product identification, food processing unit project report, plant setup, production to approvals, marketing, sales, supply chain management, etc.
Considering the growing population in the country, opportunities for the food processing industry in India are huge. Increasing urban population, and rising in the standards of living of people in rural areas are driving the food processing industry market in India.
Food processing is a sector with many sub sectors. Some of the best food processing businesses include RTE & RTC food manufacturing, fruits & vegetable processing, dairy processing, etc.
The minimum investment required to start a food business in India ranges from 20-30 lakhs.
Starting a food industry involves many steps such as identifying the product, market research, plant setup, machinery installation, product development, marketing and sales, etc. It is better to consult an expert if you want to start food industry.
As far as the type of food industry you want to start, it depends on various factors like location of the plant, raw material availability, your areas of interest, budget, etc. A food industry expert can help you in deciding the type of food industry to start.