Read full article By Vaishnavai Gupta Indian Retailer @Photo Credit: Vaishnavi Gupta
There is an increasing awareness among the consumers on the benefits of millet-based products and hence leading to the increase in demand for the product.
There are multiple factors that are currently driving millet consumption in India. The primary reason being the increasing urbanization levels which have led to changes in food consumption and lifestyle habits among consumers. Modern consumers are increasingly fitness-savvy and wanting to focus on health and wellness, especially in the current context. But the key is to give them healthy offerings like millets in a product form that they can easily integrate into their lifestyles.
Also, the rise in disposable income and acceleration of e-commerce is enabling consumers to experiment with their food choices opting for premium healthy food offerings. Millets come with a number of key health benefits. Apart from being sustainable and highly nutritive; they are 3-5 times nutritionally superior to rice and wheat; their high fibre content and low glycaemic index offer a number of health benefits.
The explosion of brands working with millet is to deliver nutrition and not just as a product. There is an increasing awareness among the consumers on the benefits of millet-based products and hence leading to the increase in demand for the product.
Millet products are targeted at convenience-seeking and health-conscious consumers who are seeking food options that fit in with their lifestyle. Right from a 6-months-old baby to a 60-year-old, millets consumption can benefit one’s health in several ways.
Prashant Parameswaran, MD & CEO, Tata Consumer Soulfull Pvt Ltd, stated, “Tata Consumer Soulfull’s products are targeted at convenience-seeking and health-conscious consumers who are seeking food options that fit in with their lifestyle. We focus on 2 consumer groups, Kids and Adults. We have targeted these groups basis the consumption of millets and where we expect the growth to be.”
Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, Co-Founders, Slurrp Farm, added, “Our target audience is health-conscious parents who want to make sure their family’s diet is free of maida, refined sugar, harmful additives, and preservatives.”
Prabhu Gandhikumar, Co-Founder of TABP Snacks and Beverages, said, “Most of the respondents were from the age group of 35 to 44 years (48 percent), followed by 30-34 years and 24-29 years respectively. We mainly concentrate on Tier -1 Tier -2 cities.”
Pandemic Increases the Demand for Millets
With growing concerns around health and immunity, traditional millet is starting to get its due as super grains. We’re definitely seeing a surge in the demand for products that are millets-based. People have become more health-conscious in this pandemic and there has been an increase in the consumption of millets this is one of the reasons like there is a demand and that has turned into a boon to farmers who have increased the sowing area for millets. This situation has brought a positive impact on people as they turn towards millets as they want to boost their immunity levels.
Prashant Parameswaran explained, “Post the pandemic, we have seen an acceleration in certain consumer trends. There has been a spike in products that offer health & wellness, and immunity benefits. This trend will continue to stay as people are understanding the importance of building immunity through lifestyle changes. This has in turn led to a heightened awareness of millets as a staple. There have been various reports that have shown the immunity-boosting benefits of millets and why they are an integral part of the Indian diet.”
Innovations Brought in Millet Products
Brands are having a continued focus on innovation. One way of making millets more attractive to consumers is to innovate products that incorporate them smartly without compromising on the taste and nutritional benefits.
Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik said, “In the last 18 months, we have launched more than a dozen new products, including cake mixes, superfoods, such as jaggery powder, and chia seeds, and coconut oil.”
Prabhu Gandhikumar stated, “We give our product, which is filled with nutrition, and taste and we also make the servings easier by providing per serving in individual pouches.”