India Focus: Slurrp Farm, Skippi healthier popsicles, stricter recycled plastic rules and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Slurrp Farm, Skippi healthier popsicles, stricter recycled plastic rules and more feature in this edition of India Focus. ©Getty Images
Slurrp Farm, Skippi healthier popsicles, stricter recycled plastic rules and more feature in this edition of India Focus. ©Getty Images

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Slurrp Farm, Skippi healthier popsicles, stricter recycled plastic rules and more feature in this edition of India Focus.

Organic growth: Indian children’s food firm Slurrp Farm highlights retail focus for UAE

India-based organic children’s food firm Slurrp Farm is targeting retail expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a market which it believes is key to achieving major growth.

Slurrp Farm specialises in making organic food products for toddlers and children, encompassing many categories from cereals to noodles to baked goods, with a focus on using nutrient dense superfoods such as millet, oats, amaranth, ragi and more.

Having achieved initial national success in home turf India, the firm has also moved to focus on the UAE as a major growth market, citing demographic and consumer trends are very much propelling the children’s products sector along.

“The UAE is an extremely exciting market for children’s products, largely due to the presence of a melting pot of people from different cultures that are very health conscious and knowledgeable, thus looking for the best possible products for their children,” ​Slurrp Farm Co-Founder Shauravi Malik told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Ice cold nostalgia: India’s Skippi revamps popsicle category with healthy ingredients

India’s first ice popsicle brand Skippi has revamped the traditional local category with the use of healthier ingredients and national exposure via the popular reality show Shark Tank, vowing to achieve nationwide penetration within the next six months.

Ice popsicles have been available in India for several decades, but the traditional form of the frosty snack is generally not branded and made from artificial colourings, flavours and ingredients, in addition to water that is not usually up to safety and quality standards.

“We realised that there was essentially nothing happening within the ice pops sector in India, no brands being established and certainly no better options being developed, especially for kids,” ​Skippi Co-Founder Ravi Kabra told FoodNavigator-Asia.

For a cleaner India: Food safety authority tightens proposals for recycled plastic packaging after pushback

The Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI) has issued new, stricter standards to govern the use of recycled plastic for food packaging after facing pushback from a group of concerned scientific experts.

Previously all use of recycled plastics to package, store, carry or dispense any food items was prohibited in India under its Plastic Waste Management Rules. But in September last year, FSSAI released draft plastic waste management guidelines proposing to allow the use of recycled plastic for ready-to-eat or drink products.

According to FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal, this revision was designed as a positive move towards more efficient management of the country’s massive plastic waste, reported by a 2021 Minderoo Foundation report to stand at some 5.58 million tonnes annually.

“We are in the process of setting standards for recycled plastics, [and] as soon as that is done I think all of us can move towards reducing the plastic load of food industry in the country,"​ he said.

Investment potential: The countries ripe for foodtech and ag-tech funding in Asia, ME revealed

India, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been tipped as foodtech and ag-tech investment hotspots by regional experts, while Vietnam and the Philippines are said to be among the next wave of opportunities available.

That’s the view of Isabelle Decitre and Vandana Dhaul from investment and advisory firm ID Capital, the organisers of the Future Food Asia Awards.

Dhaul told us there was a groundswell of start-up activity in India, but much of it was stemming from the public sector, mentioning one initiative that has nurtured 120 start-ups and filed over 100 patents.

Double opportunity: Why both affordability and premiumisation are providing plant-based promise in APAC

Innovating at both ends of the price spectrum can fuel Asia’s booming plant-based sector for the long term, say regional experts, who believe that the sector is now at the tipping point of achieving sustained mainstream success.

In this edition of the FNA Deep Dive, we take a look at the latest ongoing updates in the APAC plant-based sector from both ends of the spectrum, and how local food and beverage firms, both large and small, are innovating plant-based products to cater to various segments of APAC society.

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