COVID-19 Impact on RTE Food in Food and Beverages Industry | DBMR

Posted by swarajya on April 21st, 2021

COVID-19 Impact on RTE Food in Food and Beverages Industry

The pandemic have impacted the food and beverages industry by pouring in their consumption globally. Whereas, due to the extended lockdown food service sector have been hugely impacted in Americas, Europe and all over world. However this lockdown have been made an opportunity to the ready to eat food owing to their demand because of high shelf life and time saving and attractive availability of products.

Before the pandemic, ready to eat food was considered as a comfort food by the consumers. However, the pandemic have changed the preference with the awareness of functional ingredients in diet and are shifting towards healthy ready to eat food. Hence, this pandemic has influenced on the demand for ready to eat food in positive manner which eventually provides health benefits. Though the COVID-19 lockdown has deprived many of business, it has created an opportunity and chances to grab the growth for few industries.

For instance,

  • Gurugram, India based ready-to-cook player claims to have grown 100% month on month during the lockdown. Company has sold over 500 thousand meals since launch from its single kitchen while bootstrapping.
  • According to Indian food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Basal, lockdown has created an new opportunities for food processing sector particularly for RTE food such as frozen food and superfood among others emerging as leading segment.

Raised sales of RTE food is mainly due to lucrative offers in combo packs, festive offers, flat discounts and coupon discounts by retailers. Further rapid urbanization and progressively hectic lifestyles are also driving the growth of the segment. There was a 40% increase in the demand for frozen, packaged and luxury food items. In addition, digitalization’s provides end to end information regarding food processing’s, precautions and safety measures that have been taken during food processing’s. Hence, it impacts on the demand for RTE food.

For instance,

  • MTR Foods, one of India's leading ready-to - eat food firms, claims to acquire approximately 20%, amid issues such as supply chain, manufacturing, market access.

A substantial increase in demand can be attributed to people who want a change from daily home-cooked food. Most customers buy fried cheese, pasta, ready to eat kebabs among other food products of this type. Class reported that the demand for their products, such as batters, instant mixes, desserts and frozen snacks, was growing. In retail demand for frozen snacks has risen from the pre-COVID-19 era by 25% to 30%.

For instance,

  • Haldiram’s a leading RTE food supplier providing its ready-to-eat products through Flipkart and Amazon and further, company has now tied up with Zomato and Swiggy to market its products.
  • According to the Food and Health Survey of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) 2020, 85% of Americans have made changes to the food they eat or how they prepare food due to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Due to the extended lockdown consumers have more dependent on the processed food including different type RTE food and others. Consumers preferably turns to RTE for their comfort, before COVID-19 have fuelled number of food and service sector. Due to the current scenario, consumers are looking for function food products with perspective of immunity booster with mental benefits and relaxation. Creating a new twist to old favorite food could be a good option for RTE manufacturers.

The RTE industry have shown a significant growth in purchasing in the month of March as consumers stocked up their food supplies to be prepared to stay at home as per the government orders. The potential increase in purchasing of the RTE food due the pandemic may have more lasting impact in fiscal year 2020.

The Food & Grocery market in India is the sixth largest in the world. Food & Grocery retail market in India further constitutes almost 65% of the total retail market in India. The industry engages approximately 1.85 million people in around 39,748 registered units with fixed capital of USD 32.75 billion and aggregate output of around USD 158.69 billion. Major industries constituting the Food processing industry are grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages and dairy products.

Growing preference of function RTE food and target of the consumers providing on e-commerce services have led the development and initiative by the manufacturers to enter in RTE market which will target consumers by using various channels and with the balanced quality and price. These steps taken by companies will boost the growth of overall RTE industry with the strong volume sales in 2020.


"Demand for frozen snacks in retail has increased by 25% to 30% when compared to the pre-Covid period. The demand is continuing to grow especially for high quality and trusted Indian brands." Read more…

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Joined: April 7th, 2021
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