India: Bakery industry witnesses a revolution

Hyderabad / IN. (eh) The bakery industry or for that matter all the businesses catering to bakery are witnessing a sort of revolution. With the quick food culture catching up (indicated by the growth of fast food outlets and cafeterias in the country), the demand for bakery products has increased tremendously. Gone are the days of small artisan bakeries. In an age where malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets have become the customer´s preferred destination, the concept of chain bakeries has come into its own – states the Indian «Express Hospitality».

The emergence of chain bakeries seems to be posing a serious threat to standalone bakeries. Mike Penney, group export manager, Moffat, feels that a stage will come when standalone bakeries will find it tough to survive. «The bakery industry has become more organised in the recent past. It is following the path of restaurants – as the industry has become more organised, chain restaurants have taken over the market and standalone restaurants have found it really tough to survive. I foresee a similar trend in the near future in the bakery sector as well».

Along with an increase in demand for the bakery products, the awareness about health is also on the rise. Bakeries are making sure that they come out with healthier products. «The awareness of the virtues of products like whole grain, health breads, cholesterol-free products and such other health products is growing in our country. We are constantly trying to come out with products, which are better and can be a part of healthy life style», says Binu Varghese, director (marketing + business development), South and West Asia, AB Mauri.

He continues, «We have recently introduced «Original Brown Bread» and «Multi Grain Bread», which are made from wheat grains and whole grains, respectively. MeadowLea, a cholesterol-free substitute for butter, is another product that we have introduced. We believe that these are great ways to incorporate healthy products in one´s diet». The company plans to constantly develop healthier products. «We are looking to cater to R+D requirements by setting up a centre in Bangalore. It will work on food-related research and enzymes that go into bakery products», informs Varghese.

An increasing demand and health awareness has resulted in the modernisation and upgradation of the equipment, which has led to a highly technological bakery industry. Bakeries are on the lookout for equipment that are safe to use, efficient, fuel-economical and environmentally-compatible. After extensive research, products like infrared burners have been introduced in the market, which use about 30 per cent less fuel than other ovens and also emit lesser pollution. Moreover, since the import duties have come down, it has become more affordable than in the past to import machines, which are designed to meet the needs of today´s professional bakers from other parts of the world.

For an unorganised industry, bakeries have come a long way to develop into an organised and technology-savvy one. Going by the trends in the recent past, its future promises a lot of growth and ultimately better products for the consumer (Source).