Chennai: Move over maida, Millets are coming in. The shelves in retail stores seem to be conveying the message these days.
Not only raw millet packs, one can now see ready-to-cook millet based food packets like upma, kichdi, idli, dosa and even noodles and pastas adorning the retail store shelves.
Their makers also loudly claim ‘No Maida’ in their products as their unique selling proposition (USP).
The millet food product industry is nascent now. But it is set for huge growth in the coming years and signs are already there with big groups entering or looking at it, industry players said.
The acquisition of about Rs 39 crore Kottaram Agro Foods Private Limited- makers of millet based items under Soulfull brand-by Tata Consumer Products Ltd for Rs 155.8 crore is one such sign, said industry officials.
“The maida based packet noodles market is about Rs 12,000 crore now. The millet based noodles segment is not even a drop of that, but it is growing as we see,” Vinod Kumar, Founder CEO, Satvika Bio-Foods Private Ltd said.
According to Kumar, as per market studies about seven billion cups of packet noodles are consumed yearly in India.
The Mumbai based Satvika with a turnover of about Rs 5 crore makes and sells noodles and pasta made with millets, wheat/red rice under the brand Naturally Yours since June 2020.
Satvika sells its noodles online and offline (about 200 stores) and also to some restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi in bulk. Queried about his noodles having 30 per cent of millet flour and 70 per cent wheat flour, Kumar said: “We tried different ratios including 50:50 wheat and millet flours. But the noodles break resulting in consumer complaints.” Industry officials said the big maida noodle players are now watching the space and when they enter the whole category will grow.