Stanley Mathews, general manager-marketing for Synthite, told FoodNavigator-Asia at the Food Ingredients India exhibition in Mumbai earlier this month that the Indian RTE segment was booming and in turn driving business for Synthite.
Synthite Industries claims to be the largest oleoresin extraction firm in the world, and a majority exporter of its 500 odd products that include fresh & dried spices to oleoresins.
Mathews said that over that past decade, there has been a rise in the Indian middle class segment in urban areas, a population segment that typically does not have the time or inclination towards making and consuming home cooked food.
“This segment has also seen income levels rise substantially over the same period, which also means that they are ready to spend to more on food. But this is an educated and aware segment, which means they also want the food to be tasty, healthy and natural. Quality RTE foods solve these problems,” he commented.
Mathews added that the company is currently supplying many food companies in the RTE segment like ITC and MTR Foods, and that he expects this business to grow exponentially along with their growth.
Commodity trading helping Synthite
He also revealed that Synthite has benefitted from spices becoming a tradable commodity in India. In India, coriander, pepper, turmeric, chilli, jeera, and cardamom are now traded on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India and the National Commodity & Derivative Exchange.
“Speculative trading of spices has meant that the prices have been volatile, and often spiking up to become very unfeasible for food processors,” said Matthews.
This is particularly true of RTE foods companies who are looking for stable, cost effective solutions for their products, which companies like Synthite are able to provide, he said.
Mathews explained that oleoresins have a shelf life of about two years, as compared to spices, which only have a shelf life of six months at the very maximum in India.
“This means that Synthite can indulge in volume buying of spices when the costs are low and then offer the finished spice oleoresins to food processors during their time of need when market rates for spices may be high,” he explained.
“We are able to pass on this advantage to food processor, which is then able to pass this advantage on to the consumer, who is looking for cost effectiveness in his RTE foods,” aid Mathews.