The ready-to-eat and convenience food market has literally exploded over the past 3-4 months. Major players in the ready-to-eat space expect revenues to double year-on-year if this growth trajectory continues.
"We see this market doubling by December next year. The first two weeks were all about essentials. Following that we have seen growth rates for this category at about 100 percent in kirana stores," said Sachid Madan, CEO, F&V and Frozen Foods at ITC, who expanded their offerings in the frozen foods space to over 102 cities in India.
MTR Foods has also seen a stellar growth rate over the last few months and expects growth to be in the range of 15-18 percent going forward. "We needed to ensure that capacity had to be ramped up. We have seen a growth of 200% in e-commerce and it is now 5% of our business," said Sanjay Sharma, CEO, MTR Foods.
A huge demand has been seen in the frozen parathas, idli batter and the packaged mithai categories. ID Fresh Food, which makes idli & dosa batter, malabar parotas and filter coffee, expects business to double month-on-month, going forward.
"If business continues like this then we will should be a Rs 1,000 crore company in 3 years," said PC Musthafa, CEO & co-founder, ID Fresh Food.
Red Seer Consulting estimated the ready-to-cook market to be valued at Rs 2,100 crore in 2019 and expects that it will reach Rs 4,800 crore by 2024. However, these numbers may be achieved sooner owing to the accelerated growth rates that players are seeing now.
However, Kantar Worldpanel CEO K Ramakrishnan said, "The true test with regards to the growth of the RTE market lies when out of home consumption begins to take off."
With the ready-to-eats and ready-to-cook space booming, players have been working on pushing new products into the market so as to avoid food fatigue.