Seafood market scenario of India

The retail market of perishables including meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs and such other items is valued at Rs. 2,84,688 crores (USD 44.5 billion) in 2017. In the wake of growing non-vegetarianism in India, the perishables market is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 15.2 per cent to reach Rs 4,35,238 crores (USD 68 billion) in 2020. Currently, 57 per cent of the perishables market is rural. The demand for perishable foods in the urban market seems to have grown over the years since the urban share in total market has increased from 41 per cent (2014) to 43 per cent (2017). Almost 65 per cent of the combined market share is held by south, east and north-east regions with north contributing the least among all regions.

(Source: India Food Report, 2018)

frozen/processed seafood in modern trade

Equipped with freezer capacities, modem retailers provide consumers with an option to buy appealing frozen seafood. Packaged and frozen seafood provide a quick and convenient meal option. An added advantage of frozen seafood is the shelf life of the product. Many of the frozen seafood packs come with an average shelf life of one year.

Processed seafood and meats are among the important segments of large packaged food industry in India. Busy lifestyles and convenience of food have supported the growth of processed seafood and meat categoiy. Frozen processed seafood is the fastest glowing categoiy. However, sufficient availability of flesh meat & affordable pricing across India make it difficult for companies to convert the mind of the consumer for buying processed seafood & meat at greater level. Domestic brands have shown dominance in the categoiy with negligible presence from international arena. Processed seafood and meat is forecasted to see a constant value CAGR of 11% over 2016-2021. Fresh chilled salmon commodity though negligible is emerging with presence at many of the hypermarkets in metropolitan cities. Breaded fish fillets, fish fingers, prawns, rolls form the major sales in processed seafood categoiy.

Trend is shifting towards use of flexible plastic in frozen processed meat. Major players are targeting family as a customer rather than individual and hence offering packs of 250 gms and upward. Flexible plastic option for packing is slowly increasing in frozen processed seafood. 200 gms flexible plastic packs in frozen processed seafood saw notable growth of 18% whereas 500 gms packs saw strongest growth of more than 25% in 2016. 1 Kg packs of frozen processed seafood have also seen quite good growth in 2016. With good disposable incomes and time constraints of consumer, it is projected to record growth of more than 30% in 1 kg packs in frozen processed seafood continuously for next five years. Zip/press closure flexible plastic could be seen as offering greater convenience to consumers and may be the rising of more gourmet products with this packaging. Top brands in frozen seafood in modem retail include Gadre Marine, Cambay Tiger, Big Sams, Empire, Sumeru, IFB, Buffet etc.

(Source: Economic Profile India, Doing Business 2020)

Seafood in an online segment

The E-commerce market is expected to reach US $ 200 billion by 2026 from US S 38.5 billion in 2017. The total internet subscriber base in India stood at 636.73 million subscribers in FY 19. India’s internet economy is expected to double from US S 125 billion as of April 2017 to US S 250 billion by 2020; majorly backed by e-commerce. In India, 100% FDI is permitted in B2B e-commerce. As per new FDI policy, online entities through foreign investments cannot offer the products which are sold by retailers in which they hold the equity stake. As per new guidelines on FDI in e-commerce, 100 percent FDI under automatic route is permitted in marketplace model of E-commerce.

The online retail market in India is estimated to be worth US S 17.8 billion in terms of GMY as of 2017. E-retail market is expected to continue its strong growth, by registering a CAGR of over 35% and to reach Rs 1.8 trillion by FY 20. There are lots of opportunities for e-retailers in India to capitalize upon gradually glowing internet penetration in India. As of 2016-17, online retail is made up of 1.5% of overall retail market in India and is expected to contribute 5% in 2020.

Inventory-based Model

Inventory led models are those shopping websites where online buyers choose from among the products owned by the online shopping company or shopping website that take care of whole process end-to-end, starting with product purchase, warehousing and ending with product dispatch. Seafood is one of the new entrants in an online categoiy in India. It is challenging to manage the operations for seafood categoiy online. This segment with its additional sendees and convenience is expected to grow very rapidly in coming years. Big basket is one of the companies which sells almost all major categories of food through its online platform. On the other hand, Licious or Fresh to home are exclusive companies who sell fresh non- veg of all types including seafood. Jalongi is one of the online platforms who dedicatedly sell fresh seafood of all kinds besides some other new entrants.

Operationally, few of the major online players have their own warehouse and processing facilities. The major challenge with online players is to fulfil the requirement in shortest possible time as customers place orders on an online platform for their convenience. One of the major differences between modem trade and online segment is that almost all the online companies provide the seafood in clean and packed maimer in the form of fillets or steaks or curry cuts or cubs or portions but not the whole fish. The percentage of returns is an area of concern for few of the online players. Due to improvements in the lifestyle, awareness towards eating hygienic and cleaned seafood, saving on time, increase in spending power, people are attracted towards placing the orders online instead of physically visiting the stores.

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