India's food and beverage industry currently stands at US$ 40.3 billion and is expected to touch US$ 66.3 billion by 2018, registering a growth of 18 per cent.
With a huge agriculture sector, abundant livestock, and cost competitiveness, India is fast emerging as a sourcing hub for processed food. Estimated to be worth US$ 121 billion in 2012, the Indian food processing sector is poised for excellent growth in the coming years. It is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports.
Anticipating the future growth, many big international players are entering the Indian market by partnering with the domestic players. There are tremendous opportunities for large investments in food and food processing technologies, skills and equipment, especially in the areas of canning, dairy and food processing, specialty processing, packaging, frozen food/refrigeration and thermo processing.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is making all efforts to encourage investments in the sector, incentives for cold chain development and also grant-in-aid for setting up laboratories that are equipped for testing food products.
The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country's total food market. Currently growing at more than 10 per cent per annum, it is expected to touch US$ 194 billion by 2015 from a value of US$ 121 billion in 2012, according to Mr Swapan Dutta, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The packaged food sector in India is likely to double by 2015 to touch US$ 30 billion from the current US$ 15 billion, owing to the rise in income, changing urban lifestyle and modern retail trade. Residents in urban areas are the largest consumers of processed food, consuming 78 per cent of all packaged food in 2011.
The share of food processing export in total exports from India is 12 per cent. Indian agricultural and processed food exports in the period April 2013–October 2013 stood at US$ 12,797.65 million as compared to US$ 11,827.50 million during the same period last year, according to data released by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
The food processing industries in India attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 3,776.57 million during the period April 2000–September 2013, according to the latest data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).