Commodity Innovation Series - Snapshot of Opportunities in India's Pulse Sector
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Commodity-based information and opportunities for Canadian agri-food businesses in international markets.
Quick facts (2015)
India is the largest consumer and importer of pulses in the world
- Pulses are a primary source of protein and are widely used in daily cooking
- Pulse ingredients (pea protein and pea starch) are increasingly used in packaged foods
- There is a heavy reliance on pulse imports due to insufficient domestic supply
- Population growth, growing urbanisation, and busier lives are increasing preference for easy-to-prepare nutritional products that supply protein & carbohydrates.
Canada is the number one supplier of pulses in India
- Canada accounted for 38% market share of India's pulse imports, worth US$1.4 billion
- India's import from Canada had an average annual growth of 20% from 2010 to 2015
Source: Global Trade Tracker
Pulses in Bulk
Sales are expected to grow by a rate of 4% from 2015 to 2020
- Dried peas, lentils and other pulses are expected to perform the strongest with volume sales forecasted to grow at an average rate of 4%.
Total volume sales grew by 4% in 2015
- Pulses were widely sold unpackaged
- Traditional retailers accounted for 77% of the total volume sales, while foodservices accounted for 23%.
- Sales volume increased by 28.6 million tonnes from 2010 to 2015.
In 2015 Canada accounted for 9% of India's total volume sales
- India imported 2.5 million tonnes of pulses from Canada
Source: Global Trade Tracker
Pulses as an ingredient (2010-2015)
India accounted for 30% of the world's pulse product launches
- India launched nearly 2,000 products using pulses as an ingredient.
- Top product launch categories were baked goods, snacks & desserts, sauces & seasoning.
- Major companies in India launched pulse products in 10 different product categories
MRT Foods launched the most pulse products under its MRT Daily Favourites brand.
Health and wellness are growing claims for new products containing pulses
- Low/No/Reduced Cholesterol
- No Additives/Preservatives
- Low/No/Reduced Transfat
Top growing claims:
- Low/No/Reduced Fat
- Convenient Packaging
- Low/No/Reduced Calorie
- Ethical - Charity
- No Animal Ingredients
- Low/No/Reduced Lactose
- High/Added Fiber
Flexible packages are the leading packaging type for products containing pulses as an ingredient
Top packaging types:
- Flexible sachet
- Flexible stand-up pouch
Top packaging materials:
- Plastic unspecified
- Metallised Film
- Multi laminate
Top packaging combinations:
- Flexible, Plastic unspecified
- Flexible, Metallised Film
- Flexible sachet, Plastic unspecified
India is rated excellent in innovative pulse products
- India is a world leader for pulse innovation in new product launches, re-launches, and in product line diversity.
Top innovative pulse markets
|Innovation Criteria||India||United States||United Kingdom||Germany||Canada||Australia||France||Spain||Italy||Ireland|
|Product line diversity||12||11||9||9||9||6||7||6||5||5|
|Health & wellness claims||19||19||17||14||14||17||14||15||13||13|
Rating scale: Excellent (20-17), Very good (16-13), Good (12-9), Fair (8-5), Low (4-0)
Factors for consideration
- Mature pulse trade between Canada & India
- Established relationships & numerous players exist
- Bulk trade is the norm
- Food safety regulations
- High difficulty for new entrants in the raw pulse trade
- High retail margins & listing fees for direct retail products
- Price volatility is high leading to risks in trade
Recommendations for entry
- Understand the market and culture
- Understand the industry and players
- Participate in Trade Shows
- Find an import partner
How can we help
We offer multiple programs and services to help you achieve your international business goals, such as the Agri-Food Trade Service, AgriMarketing Program, and Canada Brand.
International Trade Commissioners are also an excellent point of contact for export advice and can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions, and local business contacts.
Have we piqued your interest?
For more information on opportunities in India or to join our distribution list, make suggestions, or request a report, contact the single window at MAS-SAM@agr.gc.ca.
Find out about our programs, services and tools to support your exporting efforts. Exporting from Canada
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