According to the research company, there were over 200 packaged rice launches in 2012 compared to around 100 in 2011.
Furthermore, India was the most active country in terms of new product development, accounting for half of all packaged rice introductions in Asia. Vietnam and Thailand took silver and bronze with 10% and 8% respectively, followed by Malaysia with 7% and Australia with 6%.
Overall, the Indian retail rice market stood at Rs122bn (US$2.24bn) in value and 2m kilograms in volume in 2012, up from Rs75.56bn (US$1.39) and 1.2m kilograms in 2010. Mintel expects the market to grow even further to reach an estimated Rs333bn (US$6.11bn) and 4m kilograms by 2016—an increase of 175%.
“Packaged rice is becoming increasingly popular in India, especially in urban areas due to its convenience,” said Ranjana Sundaresan, Mintel India’s food and drink analyst.
“Time-saving convenience is one that is being appreciated across India as an increasing number of women join the workforce and are looking for quick and easy ways to reduce the time they spend in the kitchen, and can now afford to pay a little bit extra for the convenience.” Ranjana continues.
Changing lifestyles could also lead to further opportunities for India’s rice market, with labelling claims addressing specific consumer needs, such as “convenient or fast-cooking” or nutritional benefits. Indeed, in terms of convenience, 60% of all microwaveable packaged rice variants in Asia were launched in India and a further 23% carried a time or speed claim.
“Cooking is increasingly driven by convenience with growing exposure to Western food and easier cooking methods and rice products have tapped into the convenience trend. Microwaveable pouch rice products have begun to appear on the market and there is room for further expansion of convenience rice products, specifically tapping into affluent consumers’ preferences.” Added Sundaresan.