25/02/2020 – Special Report / Ingredion / India / Innovation
Ingredion: Innovation in India
Fresh from appearing at Food ingredients India in New Delhi, Ingredion’s Business Director (India Food and Pharma) Sriprakash Krishna, and the firm’s VP and GM for ASEAN and India, Rishandran Pillay, reveal more about the ingredient giant’s strengthening presence across India, key innovations it’s bringing to market, and the firm’s strategy for continued growth.
Q. Could you please describe the origins of Ingredion’s presence in India?
A. “Ingredion has been in India for 10 years, and since then we have been building our customer loyalty and capabilities to become a partner that delivers beyond sales, in areas such as innovation, technical support and providing marketing insights to our customers.
“We have also been recognised for our innovative ingredient solutions. In 2018, we were awarded the Innovation award by the IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology) for fortifying native Indian favourite foods made using Sabudana Tapioca pearls with fibre from our NOVELOSE® 3490 resistant starches.
“We are always working to ensure a differentiated platform for customers to innovate and produce quality products that are sustainable, while also keeping up with the ever-changing dynamics of India. We are constantly expanding our product portfolio by understanding customer preferences and demands.”
Q. What are the company’s best-selling lines in India, and have there been any recently launched solutions you would like to highlight?
A. “Ingredion has managed to set up a differentiated platform to provide innovative science and technical expertise, as well as insights on market trends to support our customers. Over the years, we have expanded our portfolio beyond starches, to meet those constantly evolving market trends and consumer demands.
“We have dedicated resources to support the five growth platforms of Ingredion: plant-based proteins; sugar reduction & specialty sweeteners; food systems; clean & simple; and starch-based texturisers. These are the areas where we see high potential for growth in the India market too. As a growing market with changing consumer lifestyles and demands, we have also recently invested in a consumer study in India, to understand consumer behaviours and preferences too. This allows us to have a complete understanding of the market, so that we can innovate consumer-winning solutions for our customers.
“Since our acquisition of TIC Gums in 2017, we have received positive feedback and high demand for the products. When applied correctly, gums and starches can be complementary ingredients in many applications. This is an area within which we are expanding and innovating.
“We also see growth in segments such as bakery, savoury, beverage, emulsification and encapsulation, which can be supported by our portfolio of food systems, starches, sweeteners, plant-based proteins and GOS [galacto-oligosacchaides]. Together with our market knowledge, consumer studies and technical expertise, Ingredion can provide faster response time, create innovative concepts with our customers, and troubleshoot on the ground too.
Q. What resources does Ingredion draw upon in India to support its operations?
A. “Ingredion is a global ingredient company with offices all over the world. Our India office is in Mumbai, with local sales teams and dedicated technical experts to provide prompt support – from formulation troubleshooting to conceptualising ideas with our customers. We have a robust logistics network to supply across the country, and we currently import products from affiliates to either supply to our customers directly or through our distributors.”
Q. What factors have been most important to Ingredion’s success and expansion in India?
A. “India is a significant market for Ingredion. As a global company, Ingredion leverages on its science-based problem solving, market insights and technical expertise to provide innovative solutions to our customers. We adopt an ‘outside-in’ approach and put our customers’ needs first, working closely with them to help them overcome the challenges they face. We keep a pulse on local and regional market trends to understand end-consumers, and provide dedicated technical expertise to help our customers bring their ideas to shelves faster. This is how we differentiate ourselves from competitors. We have gathered a loyal and growing customer base that sees us not just as an ingredient company, but as a partner who they can innovate with and rely upon.”
Q. What key market trends, challenges or opportunities can you identify specifically in India today?
A. “India has the world’s second-largest population of 1.3 billion people, with changing consumer preferences, lifestyles and demands. Some key market trends we’ve observed include the rapid growth in health-conscious consumers, and the need for convenience.
Ingredion has a wide portfolio of ingredients and we can provide more options to Indian manufacturers such as food stabiliser systems, texturisers, sweeteners and plant-based proteins. With the familiarity and growing awareness of plant-based proteins, we are ready to support the market with our consumer research, concepts, applications and technical knowhow.
“To understand Indian consumers, Ingredion invested in a proprietary consumer study on plant-based proteins. We found out that: Indians are embracing new sources of proteins such as chickpeas, peas, broad beans and lentils; 82 per cent of consumers are already using plant-based protein sources in their diet; and that dairy, bakery and snacks are key applications for plant-based food in India. The study was also undertaken in Korea, Indonesia and Thailand.
“While we understand and address such key trends, we keep in mind that what remains key to consumers is delicious food and beverages that don’t compromise on taste and texture. They must also be affordable for the Indian market.”
Q. Could you tell me more about Ingredion’s participation at the recent Fi India expo, including specific solutions showcased?
A. “Fi India is a key event for the food and beverages market in India. Under the theme ‘Connect to Innovate Boldly’, we were proud to showcase our expanded portfolio, technical expertise and how our innovative solutions can help manufacturers overcome formulation challenges, such as: fortifying nutrients in food & beverages; and creating textures that consumers love. The show also allowed us to connect with existing customers, and meet new customers who we might not have otherwise had the chance to reach out to.
“At Fi India, we showcased six prototypes in dairy, beverage, confectionery and bakery applications. Key solutions included:
• VITESSENCE® Pulse 1803 pea protein isolate – providing plant-based protein that can support protein claims in applications.
• NOVELOSE® 3490 resistant starches – providing texture, fibre-rich content and reduced-calories in applications.
• Ticaloid® ULTRASMOOTH system – providing texture enhancement in applications.
“Each of those solutions was carefully selected with the India market in mind.”
Q. What plans does Ingredion have for the future in India?
A. “India will continue to be a key growing market for Ingredion. And we will carry on expanding our portfolio across our five growth platforms (sugar reduction and specialty sweeteners, food systems, starch-based texturisers, clean & simple, plant-based proteins), to provide innovative solutions catering to regional needs and challenges faced.”
For further information on Ingredion’s solutions, visit: www.ingredion.com