For all the brouhaha around healthy foods and healthy eating, India clocks one of the highest growth rates for ultraprocessed food and beverages — items high in added sugar, salt and additives. Euromonitor sales data reveal that the retail value of packaged junk food and soft drinks in India jumped 42X in just 13 years — from 2006 to 2019.
Various consumer interest advocacy groups and industry associations have prayed in aid of introducing statutory regulations by the government to address the nation’s concerns on food safety, nutrition and health. Read our story on page 52-54: India’s Food Processing Industry Bets on FOPL… on how adopting a global best-practice Front-of-Pack Labelling (FOPL) on all packaged foods is the need of the hour for protecting the long-term interests of both India’s processed food market and Indian consumers.
In another riveting cover story in this issue, on page 24-33, we train the spotlight on a new-age start-up retailer that seems to have struck gelt by opening modern grocery stores in the retail deserts of India — places like Sukhiapokhri, Islampur, Ramganj, Chopra, Phulbari, Naxalbari and Khoribari in north Bengal, Kishanganj, Thakurganj in Bihar, and other such places.
The Siliguri, north Bengal-based, grocer 9to10 is busy turning these sleepy decrepit towns into piñatas for profitable grocery business by deploying the right strategies for store formats, product assortment and customer centricity. By setting up stores in places that usually fly under the radar of big retailers, it has held up the bar for successfully demonstrating how independent retailers can make modern, convenience grocery retail thrive and flourish in the underserved markets of India.