Dec 19: As many as 650 business-to-business meetings were held, 43 food startups were featured, and delegates from the US and Germany participated in the CII Food Summit which concluded Kochi on Wednesday.
Speakers at the Food Summit predicted a major opportunity for the processed foods sector in the country, and also highlighted the challenges related to food wastes.
“Food is always a sunrise sector in India, but we have miles to go in the sector”, said Anupam Dutta, former managing director of Kellog in Southern Africa region. He said processed foods made up only a fraction of the food consumption in India, and that even in urban areas processed foods accounted for only about 5 per cent of the total food consumption.
The Food Summit featured 53 speakers from India and abroad and had 900 delegates. The summit broke fresh ground by bringing together stakeholders across the food chain for the first time, including processing units, analysts, equipment makers, distributors and startups in the sector.
CII officials said the summit opened a window of opportunities for food sector
entrepreneurs who are aiming to tap national and global markets.
Vinod Manjila, managing director of Manjilas Food Tech said food wastage was becoming a problem of gigantic proportions in India, and that it also presented opportunities for entrepreneurs who could devise solutions to the problem.
Speakers at the summit, including Jabir Karat, founder of Green Worms, said waste auditing was the need of the hour and a number of ventures could be established for processing wastes. He said waste management was emerging into a $60 billion-plus industry.
A number of food sector startups presented their ideas at the summit, including Brahma Indic which makes nutritious and ethnic packaged food that are positioned to tackle junk food consumption, Ra Technical Services which gives consulting services for food sector equipment maintenance, In Business which provides data analytics solutions, Naturup which offers instant coconut water in powder form, and Pling, which offers mass market short eats priced at Rs 5 and Rs 10.