India Focus: Hindustan Unilever India, Nestle India millet innovation, FSSAI food safety platform and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Hindustan Unilever India, Nestle India millet innovation, FSSAI food safety platform and more feature in this edition of India Focus.©Getty Images
Hindustan Unilever India, Nestle India millet innovation, FSSAI food safety platform and more feature in this edition of India Focus.©Getty Images

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Hindustan Unilever India, Nestle India millet innovation, FSSAI food safety platform and more feature in this edition of India Focus.

Tea-ing up the competition: Unilever India predicts strong challenges from smaller players in the coming year

Hindustan Unilever India (HUL) believes that strong market competition is on the way in the tea category from smaller players in the country, despite having successfully maintained profitability in the third quarter of the year.

HUL recently released its Q3FY2023 financial results, reporting 4% year-on-year increase in underlying sales growth to hit a turnover of INR150.3bn (US$1.81bn) and also 4% year-on-year increase in net profits to INR27.2mn (US$326,740).

According to the firm’s CEO Rohit Jawa, the turnover is a ‘milestone’ for the firm, but expectations need to be tampered with caution as there are multiple challenges still expected ahead.

Ancient grains, new formats: Nestle India puts millets at the centre of new product innovation efforts

Nestle India has launched a variety of new products focused on millets as a key ingredient this year, in an effort to increase consumer acceptance and awareness via familiar product formats while also aligning with the Indian government’s International Year of Millets’ campaign.

The firm’s local R&D centre has partnered with the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) to work on improving the millet supply chain as well as in terms of innovation.

As of November 2023, Nestle India has launched several new millet-based product innovation ranges from the porridge to instant noodle categories, incorporating these into well-known brands such as Koko Krunch and MAGGI.

Going local: India’s new local language food safety platform hoped to boost compliance among domestic food firms

The Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI) has launched a new version of its food safety platform in the local Hindi language in an effort to increase domestic food firm understanding and compliance of local regulations.

India has long been facing challenges with food safety compliance​ in the local food sector, with products such as alcohol​ and dairy often ranking high on the local most-adulterated products list. 

Local food safety authority FSSAI launched a food safety portal dubbed Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) several years back, but this has primarily been operated in English, and smaller domestic businesses have had trouble navigating as a result. 

FSSAI has recently launched a version of the FoSCoS in Hindi, hoping to attract more local food firms to utilise the portal. 

Hitting the sweet spot: India’s The Brooklyn Creamery winning over Middle East consumers with better-for-you options and novel flavours

India-based The Brooklyn Creamery is making headway in the Middle East by catering to the buying behaviours and eating habits of consumers in the region, including healthier options and innovative flavours.

Originated from Brooklyn, the brand was acquired by India-based Graviss Good Foods, a part of The Graviss Group, in late 2019.

It was then revamped into a better-for-you ice cream brand, establishing a sizeable online presence in India during the pandemic. Soon after borders reopened, the brand ventured into the Middle East, a region where the brand is now actively expanding in.

Hemp for active nutrition: Regulatory support and debunking of myths ‘crucial’ to unlock potential

Stronger government regulatory support and the ‘debunking’ of myths surrounding hemp are still at a ‘crucial’ stage in Asia, the success of which is key to unlocking its active nutrition potential.

The United States is the market best-known to have cannabis/marijuana legalised for recreational usage in several states, which has resulted in a strong association between the plant and its industrial variant hemp with negative psychoactive effects.

This is a misconception, as the content of key psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in hemp is generally far too low to induce such effects.

However, the widespread effect of this perception in Asia remains a major challenge for hemp product manufacturers looking to utilise this in more food and beverage categories such as active nutrition, according to industry leader Hemp Horizons.

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