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Ready to Eat : Indian processed and packaged foods >> Main Bazaar Section >> Ready to Eat

The Ready-to-eat industry of Indian foods is taking off, thanks in part to the demand from global Indians, NRIs and others looking for convenient food, (almost) authentic dishes and entrée on the go. This demand for ready-to-eat meals has captured a large amount of the food retail market in India and around the world. Walk in into any desi grocery shop in North America and one can find a wide assortment of emerging desi brands. Interestingly, the technology for this industry, at least for Indian players has taken off from the Defense Food Research Laboratory, Mysore -- Military Meals Ready a.k.a. MRE's, MREs -- that works towards getting "just-cooked" freshness to Indian soldiers!!

Featured on this page:

Major Players in the Global Indo (NRI / Indian) Ethnic Ready-to-Eat industry

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) is India's largest food products marketing organization. Apart from being known for its dairy products, Amul has ventured into the ready-to-eat industry and includes Processed Cheese, Pure Ghee, Shrikhand, Nutramul and Mithaee Gulab Jamuns among its offerings.

Gits Gits produces the selected range of popular ready to cook and instant foods that cover a range of ethnic Indian cuisine-and where the recipes have "Global pallete acceptance".
Haldirams The traditional Indian Sweet-Maker from a small set up has transformed into a full fledged processing food industry and taking its wares beyond the domestic frontiers to the Western World. Offers packaged Bhel puri chats such as Sev Puri, Chana Masala, Samosa, Pakoras, Alu Tikki, Pao Bhaji, Gol Gappa, Dhokla among others
House of Spices The product line for House of Spices includes its own brand name, Laxmi Brand. Under Laxmi Brand, House of Spices carries all types of daals, beans, nuts, spices, edible oils, flours, pickles, pastes, chutneys, frozen vegetables and frozen meals. Under Shamiana, House of Spices other brand, they carry sweets, snacks as well as ice cream.

Ethnic Kitchens

Offers packaged sweets,syrups,namkeens, cookies, pickles, aloo Masala, Bhujia, Bhelpuri, Chana Dal, Kajui Ladoo and many more items.

Kitchens Of India

ITC's Flagship brand 'Kitchens of India ' has begun to carry this exotic taste of Indian cuisine beyond the shores of India . Connoisseurs of Indian food in the US, UK, Switzerland, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Hongkong, Tanzania, Canada and Australia now have the opportunity to taste these delicious recipes.


Aashirvaad and Kitchens of India’ products from the ITC stable of India include a wide assortment of ready to cook foods and dishes ranging from Bukhara (Uzbek recepie) to Murgh Methi and other exoctic cuisines and includes "regular" Biryanis, Curry Pastes and dishes.


Amongst the top five processed food manufacturers in India, the company claims to "market and export a wide range of packaged foods to global markets" that include USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE and Oman. MTR foods currently comprises twenty-two delicious and completely authentic Indian curries, gravies and rice.


Priya has a range of popular traditional recipes starting from Dal Makhani, Navaratan Kurma to Palak Paneer, Paneer Butter Masala, Punjabi Chhole and Rajma Masala along with true southern delicacies like Andhra Veg Pulav, Mango Dal, Gongura Dal. Priya's products are available in USA, Canada, West Indies, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, U.K., New Zealand etc.

Rajbhog Foods Inc.
Specializing in Indian sweets and snacks in America, Rajbhog is capitalizing on this niche by franchising its model across the US and Canada, manufacturing and distributing sweets, snacks, savories, frozen foods, ice cream and beverages.
Exporters, manufacturers & suppliers of all types of Indian Frozen Vegetables, Meals & Snacks to USA and UK. They procure Frozen Vegetables, Meals, Fruits, Parathas, Punjabi Veg Curries, vegetables, fruits, pickles, pastes and Snacks.Reputed professionals from 5-star hotels. Supply of Indian Frozen Vegetables, Meals & Snacks foods. Products
Satnam Overseas Ltd
Kohinoor Heat & Eat Indian Curries are a range of ready - to - eat Indian delicacies. Kohinoor claims that "Heat & Eat range of curries use the well-established retort technology to offer extended shelf life to the products through steam sterilization."

Shana Frozen Foods specializes in ready to cook Ethnic foods. Shana is a popular brand in the frozen Asian Ethnic food segment in U.K. and Canadian market. Includes new South Indian Range of frozen Idlis, Vadas, Masala Dosas and Mini Uttapams.

Tasty Bite Tasty Bite has a range of entrées and Ready Meals. They have exceptional retort pouches which was developed for the Apollo space program. Tested to withstand extreme temperatures and heights from well below sea level to as high as the moon, this retort packaging has made Tasty Bite a favorite with campers, mountain climbers, sailing expeditions, desert safaris.

Exporters of Fresh Fruit Juice, ready to eat food products; kairameen Moliee(Pearl-spot fish), Motha Fish curry, see Fish Curry,Chilly Chicken (boneless).

Ashoka Ready to Eat

Ashoka is a Brand owned and managed by ADF Foods Limited (a BSE listed Company) in India. Ashoka is our Flagship Brand and the leading Ethnic Indian food brand made in India. It is among the widely distributed ethnic Indian brand. Its range includes ready-to-eat curries (Heat & Eat), Frozen Foods (Indian Breads & Snacks), pickles, condiment pastes, mango pulp/slices, chutneys, pappadums, IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) ready-to-cook vegetables, and Microwaveable rice.

Vimal Agro Products Vimal Agro Products with state of the infrastructural set up has the potential to manufacture more than 80 different food products ranging from canned vegetables, Fruit pulp and slices, Pickles, Chutney, papads and Ready to eat foods and supply products to the retail sectors in Canada, United Kingdom, United states of America under the brand name VIMAL and SWAD

If you fancy a change from nan breads then what about my favourite - parathas? I found a delicious range of frozen parathas at the Shana stand. They come in plain, onion and stuffed with mixed vegetables or aloo palak (potato and spinach). My favourite was the plain paratha which was light and flaky just like it should be.

Ready-to-eat segment whets NRI appetite

MADE in India. Sold in Sainsbury, Selfridges, Walmart and Safeway.

It's fast becoming a reality. For, even as the Rs 25-crore ready-to-eat packaged foods market faces challenges back home, the category is gathering momentum overseas.

From ITC's Kitchens of India and MTR Foods, to Tasty Bites Eatables and Satnam Overseas, everyone seems to be wanting a slice of the NRI's food pie.

ITC Foods has already had a test run of its Kitchens of India range of ready-to-serve packaged foods in Selfridges, UK. Mr Ravi Naware, Chief Executive, ITC Foods, said, "Retailing in the UK, other European countries and the US is very much on the agenda. Next year, we plan to begin retailing in supermarkets in the UK."

Or take the Rs 130-crore MTR Foods. "We plan to begin selling our ready-to-eat food range in Sainsbury, UK, within the next six months," said Mr Sadananda Maiya, Chairman & Managing Director, MTR Foods.

The company's presence on the global map - at roughly 8 per cent of its sales - is currently marked by exports to the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France and Japan, among other countries. MTR has projected exports to account for 20 per cent of its sales in five years.

The Pune-based Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd (TBEL) claims to be the largest-selling Indian food brand in the `natural foods' category in the US. Mr Ravi Nigam, Executive Director and President, TBEL, attributes the brand's performance in the US to "significant" investments on the distribution front. "We have decided to focus on our largest revenue generator — the Ready-To-Serve (RTS) or retort packaging category," Mr Nigam added.

Tasty Bite's portfolio also includes ready-to-cook (RTC) curry pastes — already popular in western markets.

Satnam Overseas Ltd, on the other hand, proposes to set up a rice mill in the UK. The purpose: to market its flagship brand, Kohinoor, at retail chains in Europe such as Walmart and Safeway to ensure timely supplies of products. Estimated investments in the facility are Rs 20 crore, which will be routed through Satnam Overseas' UK-based subsidiary, Indo-European Foods.

The Rs 100-crore Bikanervala Foods Pvt Ltd plans to set up manufacturing units for traditional Indian sweets and ethnic snack foods in Canada and Dubai, said Mr S.S. Aggarwal, the company's Managing Director. The first Bikanervala Indian fast food outlet-cum-sweet shop in the US is expected to take off in New Jersey in six to eight months.

Bikanervala's manufacturing facility in Canada — a joint venture with a Toronto-based NRI — will involve an initial investment of about Rs 2.2 crore. According to Mr Aggarwal, setting up an overseas production base would help the company maintain freshness and enhance product shelf life. - Ratna Bhushan, The Hindu

Interesting articles on the Ready-to-Eat industry in India

  • Ready-to-eat segment whets NRI appetite: - MADE in India. Sold in Sainsbury, Selfridges, Walmart and Safeway. It's fast becoming a reality. For, even as the Rs 25-crore ready-to-eat packaged foods market faces challenges back home, the category is gathering momentum overseas. From ITC's Kitchens of India and MTR Foods, to Tasty Bites Eatables and Satnam Overseas, everyone seems to be wanting a slice of the NRI's food pie. - Hindu Businessline
  • Hungry kya? Just heat and eat: If you can?t stand the heat in the kitchen, just get out... and stop at the nearest supermarket where there?s a range of ready-to-eat foods. From Dal Tadka to Chettinad Chicken there?s something for everyone, writes Tina Garg. - Deccan Herald
  • Slices of India in a pack: So, you want to experiment with non-local cuisine and don't have the time (or patience) for a three-course gourmet meal in a speciality restaurant? There's a simpler, and more delectable solution at hand and you don't even have to venture too far from home. When you go grocery shopping next time reach out for a readyto-eat pack for your dose of pongal, jodhpuri halwa, mirch ka salan. Thanks to a change in lifestyle (nuclear families, working couples, more disposable income and less time to cook), more and more people, are opting for ready-to-eat food in a big way. - The Financial Express
  • Cooking made convenient: Want to try out a new dish on your family? Just snip away at covers to bring home the tastes of India IT'S EIGHT in the evening, you're still in office, and some friends have invited themselves over for dinner. What will you do? Rush home, don the apron and rustle up something delectable? "Nah!" says Rohit, a self-confessed lover of cooking. The great stuff he churns out in the kitchen has many of his bachelor friends lining up for home-made food. What Rohit does now in moments of crisis is pick up ready-to-eat side dishes straight off the super market shelf and team them up with pre-packed parathas and rotis. For dessert, he chooses from any of the readymade ones on offer. His friends can't really make out the difference. - The Hindu
  • Here's $20m, just don't make me cook: It took a while to catch on, but as the country's 15-year-old globalization process brings about rapid changes in the lifestyles of urban Indians, ready-to-eat food is fast becoming a compelling proposition. Over the past two years, the ready-to-eat packed food market has grown from an almost insignificant number to become a US$20-million-revenue industry in 2004. Industry players say that, considering the current 35% growth rate, revenues in this sector can easily touch $50 million in the next three years. - By Indrajit Basu, Asia Times Online
  • General Mills exports atta and frozen flat breads to over six countries. The Pillsbury frozen flat breads include products such as ready-to-puff rotis, stuffed paratha and flavoured paratha. Besides, it also supplies the Betty Crocker range of dessert mixes to Europe. - The Hindu Business Line.

Other Links

Blog on Ready to Eat As for the consumer insights, it would be "impulse purchase" decisions for the latter and "home resemblence" for the former. This is more of a generic remark, since if you delve further into the purchase behavior, you would have to consider the demographics, the economic classes and the occupations to get an exhaustive pattern.


Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) is a self-contained meal in lightweight packaging produced by the United States for its soldiers in the battlefield where organized food facilities are not available. They replaced C-rations in the early 1980s, and were the successor to the so-called "Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol" (LRRP – pronounced "Lurp") developed by the U.S. Army for Special Forces and U.S. Army Ranger patrol units in Vietnam.





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