Selling curry to India: Japan's Otsuka Foods opens Bengaluru factory as part of expansion drive

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

"Bon Curry 50" was launched this year to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
"Bon Curry 50" was launched this year to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Related tags Curry

Otsuka Foods will launch “Bon Curry” a Japanese curry paste that has been around in the domestic market for 50 years to the India market.

To do so, Otsuka has opened a factory in Bengaluru for manufacturing and marketing of products.

The venture into India’s curry market took place at a capital cost of 172.5 million rupees (approximately US$2.5 million).    

Although India is known as the “home of curry”​, Otsuka is confident that it is the best springboard to introduce the Japanese “Bon Curry”​ worldwide.

“India is the suitable country to achieve the mission of unveiling our ‘Bon Curry’ brand to the world,” ​the firm’s spokeswoman told FoodNavigator-Asia.

With a population of 1.3 billion and rapid economic growth in recent years, dietary habits in India have changed greatly.

The venture into India is can thus tap into the populous market, and to provide food that is delicious and safe for consumption by using Otsuka’s technological know-how in food innovation, materialising the firm’s philosophy of “creating new products for better health worldwide,” ​the spokeswoman added. 

In fact, this is not the first time Otsuka is selling curry products overseas; it started its business in China five years ago. 

The product will be available in India in around October, and Otsuka will hire local research and development staffs to improve its product lineup, including those for the vegetarian consumers.

Launched in 1968, “Bon Curry”​ is the world’s first commercial retort pouch food product. 

To commemorate its 50th​ anniversary, Otsuka came out with "Bon Curry 50"​ earlier this year, which preserved the savoury taste of yellow onions but added more vegetables and meat into the recipe.

“Bon Curry” ​which contains curry paste in a retort pouch, can be eaten once the sauce is heated up.

Besides curry, Otsuka Foods will also manufacture and sell beverages in India.

Healthier curry

In terms of healthy product innovation, Otsuka Foods has started to sell curry with functional claims since March last year.

Known as “European style curry for people concerned about blood sugar level”​, the product that is only available in pharmacies, is the first retort curry to be accepted as a Food with Function Claims.

It claims to reduce sugar level due to the addition of dextrin, a dietary fibre which can suppress the absorption of dietary carbohydrates, in turn controlling blood sugar level.

Another product which is known as “Bon Curry for Children”​, also claimed to be a source of calcium, containing calcium equivalent to 200 ml of milk and one-quarter of the recommended daily amount of protein for young children aged 3 to 5 years old. 

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