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Why India’s Meat and Seafood Retailing Offers Palatable Profits

Why India’s Meat and Seafood Retailing Offers Palatable Profits

India’s non-vegetarians population is 70%. According to the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16, over 40% of Indian women and nearly 50% of men consume poultry and meat every week. India consumes meat worth US$ 30 billion each year. In general, more people eat fish than chicken/meat.  The average per capita fish consumption in India is 9 kilograms (kg) per annum.

Though the broader non-veg food market is largely unorganized, the entry of retail startups is set to change the way people buy and consume meat and seafood. Companies like Licious, Fipola, Tendercuts, and Meatigo are delivering meat and seafood in a variety of formats (such as ready-to-cook/ ready-to-eat, do-it-yourself, grilled, and marinated) at doorsteps with vertically integrated supply chains. These formats are ideal for urban, young, working consumers. 

They have also raised the bars on quality, safety, and hygiene parameters. The meat they sell is cleaned, tested for microbial counts, and are free of bloodstains, and odors - and are packed in vacuum containers to ensure maximum safety and freshness. 

As the pain points of consumers are removed one after another, the market is set to attract more customers across India. The startups, especially in direct-to-consumer companies, keep expanding their network in tier II and III cities with the support of franchise partners. The scope is also vast for investors to be a part of retail chains with physical stores. 

Food and grocery retail in India are about US$ 300 billion, which represents 16% of India's GDP. However, the room for growth is huge as food retail comprises 97% of unorganized and 3% of the organized market. Non-veg consumption increases with increasing household income. With the economy looking up post-COVID-19 and the government policies trying to double per capita consumption of protein-rich meat and fish consumption, the retail sector for meat and seafood is expected to grow in double digits in the near future. 

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