India is a growing market for Westpro’s Whey Protein Concentrate where whey protein is used widely as an egg replacer and in nutritional products. Our sales team visited India recently and found that in line with other parts of the world, India is experiencing strong consumer demand for high protein products from its growing population.

We have recently started selling our protein products to India as an opportunity for more New Zealand supply has arisen. Westpro’s Whey Protein Concentrate, a proven quality egg replacer from a functional perspective, is definitely the right product for us to market in India, an evolving market due to its growth, changing retail environment and modernisation.

Culturally as a market only 23% of the population eat eggs. The lacto-vegetarian diet favoured by many Hindus, the main religion in India, includes milk-based foods and other non-animal derived foods, but excludes meat and eggs. Hence the high use of eggs replacers in products such as cake mixes and UHT products for domestic use.

India is different from other markets, but there seems to be drive for growth and modernisation, particularly in cities such as Delhi where the streets are beautiful. As a country, it is early in its evolution of organised retail shopping, but significant effort is going into the growth of organised retail chains. For example, Starbucks plans to open 1000 new stores in tea-loving India which equates to one new store every three days. This retail growth is providing employment, particularly for young people giving them a sense of independence and wealth.

Considerable research into new food products is accompanying this modernisation. There is a real commitment to innovation which involves pilot laboratories and test kitchens. Products are being developed in laboratories using precision fermentation which is being used in a variety of ways by both the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Our visit involved meeting with some key customers and contacts and to meet in person our new customers. We visited distributors, end users and the team from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to give us the best possible view on what the future could be in India for Westpro and dairy products in general, from New Zealand.

We believe there is bright future of our products in the rapidly evolving Indian market. Customers we met like having a choice of suppliers, and products from New Zealand have strong appeal.