Before the late-90s, wheat flour (atta) was mainly home ground or milled through local chakki mills in India. The housewives 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 emerged rapidly in the country in the past five years and breaking the old age traditions. The introduction of new product variants such as multi-grain atta, fortified atta by the national/regional players are 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 21%. If the growth trajectory remains the same, the market may likely to touch the new height of Rs 20,000 Cr by the end of the current fiscal (2020-21) itself. The various micro and macroeconomic factors are paving the way for the market to grow. However, still packaged wheat flour remained an urban phenomenon with the 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 E-Commerce aka online retailing trend is also contributing significantly.
The players dominating the packaged wheat flour market in India are national players, with a market leaders like Aashirvaad, Pillsbury, Nature Fresh, Annapurna, Shakti Bhog, Patanjali, Fortune etc. and more than 500 regional brands and private label brands together forming the organized market. A large number of players having distinctive brands and product quality created intensified competition in the market.
Though, the market experiencing keen competition and facing challenges, it still 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 FY 2024-25 itself.
However, due to varied geographical taste preferences and beliefs, to satisfy Indian consumer with standard offering remains 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 is also expected that the Indian consumers would continue to give more importance to its origin of ingredient (wheat), availability and related convenience factors in case of Packaged Wheat Flour.