India Ready To Mix Food

India’s Growing Ready To Mix Food Industry


The rapidly growing urbanization and changing busy lifestyles have opened up opportunities for the ready-to-mix food industry in India. With increased participation of women in the workforce and less time available for cooking, people are looking for convenient food options that can be prepared quickly. Ready-to-mix foods provide a perfect solution as they can be easily prepared within minutes by just adding water or some other ingredients.

Rising Demand

The demand for ready-to-mix foods is steadily rising across India. According to market research, the Indian ready-to-mix market is currently valued at around 5000 crores and is projected to reach 10,000 crores by 2025, growing at a CAGR of over 15%. Major factors driving this growth include rising disposable incomes, dual-income households, nuclear families and preference for convenience foods. Products like instant noodles, idlis & dosa mixes, pasta mixes, soup mixes etc. have seen immense popularity among urban consumers who desire tasty yet hassle-free homemade meals and snacks.

Evolution of product offerings

To tap the market potential, companies are increasingly innovating and expanding their ready-to-mix product portfolios. Earlier, the choices were mostly limited to basic mixes for idli, dosa, pasta etc. but now various regional and international cuisine inspired mixes have entered the market. For example, companies offer mixes for malpua, pani puri, pizza, pasta bake, lasagne etc. Flavor innovations have also allowed experimentation with tastes like Italian herb, schezwan, Mexican taco etc. Considering health consciousness, low-calorie, high-protein and organic variants have also been launched. Packaging sizes have reduced to serve individual needs.

Dominance of unorganized players

Despite strong growth, the India Ready To Mix Food still has a large unorganized sector. Several small-scale manufacturers producing regional and local snacks/meal mixes have a considerable presence. However, the organized sector is steadily expanding through major F&B companies and national brands. Companies like MTR Foods, id Fresh, Saffola, Kellogg’s etc. have established leadership in this category through wide distribution and promotional activities. While the unorganized players dominate entry-level price points, organized leaders are gaining market share in premium and new product segments through focus on quality, hygiene, marketing and expanding reach.

E-commerce on the rise

With rising internet and smartphone penetration in India, e-commerce has emerged as a major sales channel for ready-mix foods. Major e-tailers like BigBasket, Amazon Pantry and direct-to-consumer brands are engaging health-conscious urban consumers. They offer attractive deals and discounts along with the convenience of home delivery within 24-48 hours. Companies are actively partnering with e-retailers and utilizing digital marketing to promote products through social media campaigns, contextual listings, online promotions etc. Research shows 15-20% of total annual ready-mix food sales now come through online platforms and this share is expected to cross 30% in the next 5 years.

Regionalization of product offerings

To better understand and tap into local preferences, many ready-mix manufacturers are focusing on regionalized offerings. For example, in South India where idli-dosa are staples, Saffola and other brands have a huge variety of coconut, ragi and multi-grain dosa/idli mixes. In North and West India, upma, poha and khichdi mixes are popular. Demand for regional breakfast like puranpoli, vada pav and upma mixes is rising from cities like Mumbai and Pune. Some companies have also launched haldi doodh, masala chai and kulhad chai mixes for pan-India markets. This regional focus coupled with traditional recipes is helping brands strengthen their foothold locally.

Innovations and product development

Considering the competitive environment, continuous product innovations through R&D will be critical for ready-mix players going forward. Companies are investing in modernizing production facilities with latest technology and collaborating with universities for new product development. For example, major brands introduced low-calorie idli mixes using jowar, buckwheat and ragi flours. Flavor innovations like Peri Peri noodles, lemon pepper dosa etc. have also gained popularity among young consumers. Packaging modifications like zip lock pouches, easy-tear aluminum foil pouches are aimed at enhancing shelf life, portability and convenience. Going ahead, more nutritionally fortified, organic and healthy variants catering to specific dietary needs will be launched.

Marketing & brand building

To increase visibility and foster brand loyalty, ready-mix manufacturers are actively investing in marketing activities. Brand ambassadors, influencer marketing, TV & print campaigns highlighting convenience and recipes are becoming common. Food festivals, product demonstrations and sampling drives in malls and housing societies help connect with consumers. Social media promotions on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram promote homemade cooking using mixes. Premiumization through attractive packaging, recipes books and celebration offers is a crucial strategy. Companies also leverage strategic retail partnerships, product placements and in-store branding to establish themselves in this fragmented category.

India’s ready-to-mix food industry has huge untapped potential with evolving lifestyles and consumer needs. While organized players strive to scale up penetration nationally through value-added offerings, regionalization, marketing initiatives and innovation; the role of unorganized sector in mass consumption segments also remains vital. Going forward, strategic partnerships, branding competitiveness and expanding E-commerce reach will be key determinants of growth for established as well as new players in India’s exciting ready-to-mix foods landscape.

1.  Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it