Before the late-80s, wheat flour (atta) was mainly home grinded or milled through local chakki mills in India. The homemakers used to buy raw wheat in bulk, clean it by hand, store it, and milled it using traditional hand driven chakki or bring some quantity of wheat every week to the local mill or chakki to grind for meeting their daily needs. Although, the wheat flour market largely dominated by local chakki mills in India; the branded packaged wheat flour is emerging rapidly in the country and breaking these old age traditions. The introduction of new product variants such as multi-grain atta, fortified atta by the national/regional players is capitalizing on hygiene and convenience factors.
According to IKON’s estimate, the packaged wheat flour market in India is growing at whooping CAGR of almost 19% since past three years. If the growth trajectory remains the same, market may likely to touch the new height of more than Rs 7,500 Cr in current fiscal (2015-16) itself. The various micro and macroeconomic factors are paving the ways for the market to grow. However, packaged wheat flour remained an urban phenomenon with urban market occupying more than 90% of the total market. But with widening market penetration by the leading market players; the rural market would also see the steady growth in demand of packaged wheat flour in India.
Malls, Supermarket and Grocery/Kirana stores are the key retail sales points for packaged wheat flour in India. However, with growing technological advancement and easy access to the internet; the online retailing trend is also on upswing.
The players dominating the packaged wheat flour market in India are few national players,with a market leader like Aashirvaad, Pillsbury, Nature Fresh, Annapurna Shakti Bhog and more than 500 regional brands and private labels brands together forming the organized market. A large number of players having distinctive brands and product quality created intensified competition in the market.
Though, a market experiencing keen competition and facing challenges, it reflects potential to grow in coming years. The growth opportunities in Indian packaged wheat flour market would attribute to growing urbanization and associated convenience factors. In addition, the growing numbers of working women and their inclination towards the convenient food products; will enhance the future demands of packaged wheat flour in India. According to the IKON’s estimates, if the growth trajectory remains the same, the market of packaged wheat flour may likely to be more than double the current size by the end of the current decade.
However, due to varied geographical taste preferences and beliefs, to satisfy Indian consumer with standard offering remain the biggest challenge for marketers and so as the case with packaged wheat flour.The marketer needs to come up with new and innovative product packaging and product proposition for differentiating themselves and for sustainable long-term growth. It also expected that the consumers would eventually give more importance toits origin of ingredient (wheat) and related convenience factors in case of Packaged Wheat Flour.