Food processing technology: The sunrise opportunity

The global food processing technology sector is witnessing an unprecedented surge, marked by technological innovations, evolving consumer demands, and a burgeoning market landscape. As the shelves of supermarkets and online platforms brim with an ever-expanding array of processed food products, the pivotal role of advanced food processing technology becomes unmistakably evident.

The food processing technology sector in India anticipates a steady growth at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2021 to 2027. Manufacturing firms in India specialize in food processing machinery across key segments, and are witnessing robust demand in the domestic as well as international market.

As one of the four benchmark trade shows under the newly envisioned Indusfood Manufacturing, Indusfood Tech 2025 emerges as the catalyst for industry transformation, offering an unparalleled platform for global stakeholders to converge, collaborate, and capitalize on the vast opportunities this sector presents. With over 15,000 industry professionals in attendance, this event transcends the scope of the traditional trade fair, serving as a dynamic nexus for networking, knowledge exchange, and business expansion.

Food processing technology_TPCI

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Have you observed the extensive and continuously expanding array of processed food products dominating the shelves of supermarkets, local kirana stores, and online delivery platforms? This proliferation, while commonplace, owes its existence to the dynamic evolution and integration of the value chain spanning from agricultural production to consumer consumption. Undoubtedly, the pivotal role of advanced food processing technology in facilitating the production of high-quality processed food products at scale cannot be overstated.

The food processing technology sector encompasses a broad range of techniques and technologies that are utilised to transform raw agricultural products into consumable goods. This includes processes such as canning, freezing, drying, fermenting, and packaging, among others. Advancements in this sector have led to increased efficiency, improved food safety, extended shelf life, and enhanced nutritional value of food products. In addition, innovations like AI, automation, robotics, and data analytics are revolutionizing the food processing sector, making operations more precise and sustainable.

With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and people increasingly adapting to urban lifestyles, the demand for processed food products is poised to rise substantially. Thus, this sector holds immense potential for addressing food security challenges, reducing food waste, and meeting the evolving dietary preferences of consumers worldwide.

Why India?

The Indian food processing technology industry has emerged as a promising sector, benefiting from a robust food ecosystem that presents substantial investment prospects. It is also driven by favourable economic policies, growing capacities, appealing fiscal incentives and robust market demand.

According to a report by Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MOFPI), the Indian food industry output is anticipated to reach a size of US$ 535 billion by FY 2025-26. Presently, it commands a 10.4% share in exports and employs 11.6% of the workforce, with the unregistered segment providing livelihoods to 5.1 million individuals. Foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflows amounted to US$ 12.5 billion from April 2000 to December 2023, accounting for 1.87% of total FDI equity flows.

The sector’s growth is underpinned by the expanding consumption of processed food that now extends to Tier-II and Tier-III cities, mirroring trends observed in metropolitan areas. Key sectors within this domain include grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages, and dairy products (Coinmen Consultants, 2019).

Industry performance

India has one of the world’s largest food processing industries. Gross value added of the industry has grown from Rs 1.79 lakh crore (US$21.5 billion) in 2016-17 to Rs 2.37 lakh crore (US$ 28.5 billion) in 2020-21, growing at a CAGR of 7.2%.  The sector directly employs over 2 million individuals and contribute to 8.9% of the manufacturing value added (MVA), encompassing food and beverage sectors (UNIDO IAP, 2023). The sector has received around Rs 7,126 crore (US$ 857.7 million) worth of investments by the end of 2023 under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Food Processing.

As Indian food processing technology industry grows in size and sophistication, it is also increasingly showing potential for expansion into the international market. Exports* of processed food machinery reached US$ 3.1 billion in 2023, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 8%. Top export markets for India include the US, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Nigeria, UAE and Bangladesh.

The burgeoning food processing sector in the country also provides immense opportunity to global technology players  for trade, investment and business collaboration. Imports* of these technologies have reached a value of US$ 5.5 billion in 2023, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 6%. Top supplying countries include China, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Japan and the US.

Key growth drivers of the Indian food processing technology sector

  • The country has a robust agricultural production base, being among the world’s largest producers of various agricultural commodities including cereals, dairy, fruits & vegetables, marine products, spices, tea, coffee, etc.
  • By 2030, India’s household consumption is expected to quadruple, making it the 5th largest consumer market in the world. The country has a growing F&B market, with estimated retail size of US$ 504.92 billion by 2027 (Inc42).
  • Government support through liberalised FDI regime and supportive policies including Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme and PLI Scheme for Food Processing.
  • Technological advancements fuelled by market demand are ushering in a revolution in the food processing technology sector across segments.
  • Notably, India’s processed food exports (HS 16-22) have grown at a 5-year CAGR of 17.1% to reach US$ 8.9 billion in 2023, showing robust trade prospects.
  • Food processing infrastructure is coming up at a brisk pace. Twenty four mega food projects are now operational out of 41 projects envisaged under the Mega Food Park Scheme. Similarly, cold storage capacity of 8.4 lakh metric tonnes has been created as of December 2022. 
  • India’s workforce represents a formidable asset, poised to drive economic growth, innovation, and competitiveness on both domestic and international fronts. 

  • The country has built and nurtured a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, that is catalysing innovation and growth in its food processing industry.
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Opportunities for investors/entrepreneurs

The food processing technology industry offers a range of opportunities for entrepreneurs/investors. Some of the key segments of opportunity are as follows:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Preserved, candied, glazed and crystallized fruits and vegetables, juices, jams, jellies, purees, soups, powders, dehydrated vegetables, flakes, shreds and ready-to-eat curries.
  • Food preservation by fermentation: wine, beer, vinegar, yeast preparation, alcoholic beverages. fruit- and cereal-based beverages.
  • Dairy: Liquid milk, curd, flavored yogurt, processed cheese, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, blue cheese, ice cream, milk-based sweets.
  • Food additives and nutraceuticals: Preservatives, colourants, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers, stabilizers, antioxidants, sweeteners, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, herbal extracts, amino acids, fiber supplements, etc.
  • Confectionery and bakery: Cookies and crackers, biscuits, bread, cakes and frozen dough.
  • Meat and poultry: Eggs, egg powder, cut meats, sausages and other value-added products. Fish, seafood and fish processing – processing and freezing units.
  • Grain processing – Rice, pulse milling and flour milling sectors.
  • Food preservation and packaging: Metal cans, aseptic packs.
  • Food processing equipment: Canning, dairy and food processing, specialty processing, packaging, frozen food/refrigeration and thermo-processing.
  • Consumer food: Packaged food, aerated soft drinks and packaged drinking water. Spice pastes.

Indusfood Tech 2025

Indusfood Tech is India’s premier international F&B Technology Show organised by the Trade Promotion Council of India. It provides this futuristic industry with unparalleled opportunities to network, build new connections, boost brand visibility, access cutting edge market insights, expand business and explore avenues for sourcing & investment. It also serves as a platform for industry stakeholders to explore the latest and most cutting-edge innovations.

IndusfoodTech Show figures_TPCI

Indusfood Tech 2024 witnessed a remarkable response with:

  • 8,000 Sqm gross occupied area
  • 150 exhibitors
  • 10,000 trade visitors
  • 250 international visitors
  • 40 technical sessions
  • 300+ international hosted buyers

Food processing technology exhibitor profile_TPCI

Through meticulously organized networking events, participants find themselves amidst in a dynamic community of key industry players, facilitating collaborations that propel them towards success. Suppliers can seamlessly engage with leading F&B manufacturers, processors, and top decision-makers including CEOs, MDs, VPs, and GMs.

Food processing technology Visitor graph_TPCI

Why Attend?

Indusfood Tech 2025 brings a far more comprehensive platform for the food processing technology industry, building over success of its previous editions. As an integral component of the newly envisioned Indusfood Manufacturing, it will be part of a comprehensive trade show featuring four co-located events:

  • Indusfood Tech

  • Indusfood Ingredients

  • Indusfood Packaging

  • Indusfood Hospitality

This integrated approach offers participants unparalleled access to latest advancements, while facilitating networking opportunities with leading providers of high-quality ingredients, advanced hospitality technologies, and innovative packaging solutions.

Following are the key benefits of participation in Indusfood Tech 2025:

• Connect with over 15,000 industry experts, explore new clients and partners and strengthen business relationships.
• Leverage the platform to source, invest, promote your brand and expand your businesses.
• Showcase innovative food technology solutions, fostering new projects, and leveraging access to a truly international marketplace.
• Engage in exclusive knowledge sessions by industry experts to gain invaluable insights into industry trends, opportunities and growth strategies.

Indusfood Tech 2025 will also feature two exclusive events:

  1. Indusfood Tech Innovation Awards: Elevate your brand’s stature with our prestigious awards ceremony, recognizing excellence in food technology. Nominate your brand to stand out in your category and blaze a new trail of success.
  2. Indusfood Tech Innovation Summit: Join industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators from around the globe for a transformative summit like no other. Delve into key discussions shaping the future of food processing technology, with insights from top global buyers. Don’t miss this elite gathering where ideas converge and opportunities abound.

Long Term Vision

As one of the largest producers and exporters of raw as well as processed/value added F&B products, India is a highly attractive destination for the food processing technology sector. The country is at the forefront of driving growth, entrepreneurial dynamism and cutting edge innovation in this sector, backed by its inherent economic drivers, rapidly growing market and supportive policy environment.

The global food processing equipment market is expected to reach US$ 69.2 billion in 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2023-31 (Transparency Market Research). The sector’s growth is driven by increasing consumer preferences for safe and hygienic processed foods that also offer high convenience and choice. Given the dynamic, and innovation-driven nature of this technology intensive sector, the ability to assess market demands and serve them in timely manner forms a key success factor.

Furthermore, AI and ML are critical interventions in the food processing technology industry. They provide opportunities to enhance efficiency, quality, safety, and sustainability throughout the entire production process and also drive innovation. The industry needs to play its role in addressing growing environment concerns such as reducing waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption.

Indusfood Tech 2025 stands as the cornerstone event for the food processing technology sector, offering a platform where innovation converges with opportunity. With over 15,000 industry professionals in attendance, it’s not just a trade fair; it’s a nexus for networking and insights into cutting-edge solutions. From predictive analytics to sustainable practices, the event showcases the future of food processing. Be part of the conversation, explore new partnerships, and uncover growth strategies. Join us at Indusfood Tech 2025 to redefine the trajectory of the industry and chart a course towards unparalleled success.

Indusfood Manufacturing 2025 is being organised by the Trade Promotion Council of India on January 9-11, 2025 at Yashobhoomi. For further details on exhibition and participation options, please connect with Sandeep Kumar at +91 88854 69323 or email at

*Trade data calculated is an approximation. It is based on data for HS codes: ‘8418, ‘8422, ‘8437, ‘8438, ‘8433, ‘8434, ‘8435, ‘8428, ‘8419 & ‘8479.

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