India’s agriculture-related imports grew 14% between 2013 and 2019, from US$22 billion in 2013 to $25 billion in 2019, according to USDA/FAS data. Its main imported agrifood products are tree nuts, fresh fruits, and prepared foods, 20% if which comes from the US. These imports are being driven by millennials, affluent professionals, brand-oriented importers, modern retail outlets, e-commerce channels, mobile e-commerce and trend-setting restaurants. Imported packaged and consumer ready foods are becoming widespread in gourmet stores, in small neighbourhood stores and on e-commerce platforms. India’s food processing sector continues to expand and is increasingly seeking high-value ingredients for new, innovative product lines. The hospitality sector is also growing, driven by consumer demand for a greater variety of high-quality foods and beverages
Covid-19 has had a dramatic effect on India’s food retail sector, leading to greater industry consolidation. India’s largest food retailer, Reliance, has teamed up with WhatsApp to expand its presence in the e-commerce market, connecting its Kirana stores to its online platform and supply chain. Recent media reports indicate that Reliance is close to acquiring Future Group’s retail business, which would further solidify its place as India’s dominant food retailer.