Top export sector for India market

Did you know?

It is said that makers and sellers of ready-to-eat food are touchy about their recipes. But US fast-food giant, Macdonalds, has fundamentally changed its recipe of the 'Big Mac' exclusively for India.

Food processing and packaging equipment

(in US$ million)

Food processing and packaging equipment 1995 1996 1997*
Total market size




Locally manufactured 415 505 655
Total exports 28 30 35
Total imports 140 164 204
Exchange rate: US$1 = Rs. 32.75 34.95 35.00
Source: Independent studies
*1997 figures are estimates

Promising sub-sectors

1997* market size (US$ mn)

Food-processing equipment


Fruit/vegetable processing equipment


Food-packaging equipment


Food preservation machinery


Points to be noted:

  • The government has delicenced the food-processing sector and foreign companies can automatically open plants with 50 per cent equity. No approvals are required.

  • The food-processing industry is being nurtured not only to cater to increasing domestic demand but also to add to India's exports.

  • Demand for processed food is growing because of changing demographics, lifestyles, breakdown of the joint-family system, increasing number of working women and a fast-food culture imported through urban-oriented and immensely popular TV soap operas.

  • India is also an exporter of both processed food and food-processing machinery. To improve the quality of its exports, superior technology, equipment and machinery are needed and this is possible only through imports and foreign investments.