Jubilant FoodWorks to bring US-based fast food chain Popeyes to India

Source: Business Standard, Mar 24, 2021

New Delhi: Food services company Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd (JFL) on Wednesday announced to introduce American multinational chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants ‘Popeyes’, to India.

The company announced to enter into an exclusive master franchise and development agreement with PLK APAC Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc (RBI), said a joint statement.

It added that the pact has been signed “to develop, establish, own and operate” hundreds of Popeyes restaurants in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan in the coming years, said a joint statement.

JFL Chairman Shyam S Bhartia and Co-Chairman Hari S Bhartia said, “We are happy to announce the signing of a multi-country agreement to acquire the exclusive rights to operate and sub-license the iconic Popeyes brand in India and neighbouring countries.”

He added that chicken is one of the largest and fastest-growing categories in India and is expected to grow rapidly in years to come.

Popeyes will be an exciting addition to the JFL portfolio and is expected to become one of the key drivers of growth for us in the coming years, he added.

Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes has over 45 years of history and culinary tradition.

It is one of the world’s largest chicken quick service restaurants with over 3,400 restaurants in over 25 countries around the globe.

Since its acquisition by RBI, Popeyes has expanded successfully into Spain, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Sri Lanka and the Philippines in the past few years.

“Popeyes will also enter the United Kingdom and build its presence in Mexico starting in 2021, with plans to open several hundreds of restaurants across both countries,” it said.

Jubilant FoodWorks, part of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, already holds the master franchise rights for two international brands Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts. The company also launched its first homegrown brand, ‘Hong’s Kitchen’, in Chinese cuisine segment.

20 projects worth Rs 363.4 crore sanctioned for infrastructure and expansion of food processing

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 17, 2021

New Delhi: Twenty projects leveraging an investment of Rs 363.40 crore supported with a grant of Rs 102.81 crore under the scheme for creation for infrastructure for agro-processing cluster (APC) and the scheme for creation and expansion of food processing and preservation capacities (CEFPPC) under pradhan mantri kisan sampada yojana (PMKSY) were sanctioned by the Inter Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) chaired by Food Processing minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

The projects are likely to generate employment for nearly 11,960 people and benefit 42,800 farmers.

“The proposals for projects approved in the IMAC meetings are expected to increase the level of processing and value addition of horticultural and agricultural produce, which will result in increase in the income of the farmers and create employment at the local level,” Tomar said.

Under the CEFPPC, 11 proposals with total project cost of Rs 113.08 crore including grants-in-aid of Rs 36.30 crore will come in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Mizoram, and Gujarat. The scheme approved since 2017 promotes processing and preservation of agro food products and modernization and capacity enhancement of food processing.

This will help in increasing the level of processing and value addition thereby reducing the wastage of agro-produce.

Further, under the scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for APC will encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach. Under these nine proposals with a total project cost of Rs 250.32 crore including grants-in-aid of Rs 66.61 crore in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Rajasthan have been approved.

Food regulator FSSAI notifies regulations to limit trans fat in food items

Source: Business Standard, Feb 09, 2021

New Delhi: Food regulator FSSAI on Tuesday said regulations to limit the content of trans fat in all food items have been notified.

“With gazette of recent regulation to limit the content of trans fats in all food items, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) joins the league of several other nations globally having best practice policies for trans fat elimination,” the regulator said in a statement.

India joins the club of around 40 countries globally that have already enacted the best practice policies to eliminate trans fats and would be among the first countries in Asia after Thailand in achieving the best-practice policies in trans fat elimination, it said.

Under the regulation notified on December 29 last year, FSSAI said it has limited industrial TFA (trans fatty acids) to not more than 3 per cent in all fats and oils by January 2021 and not more than 2 per cent by January 2022.

The Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Second Amendment Regulations, 2021, has been notified earlier this month.

This regulation states that all food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient should not contain industrial trans fatty acids more than 2 per cent by mass of the total oils/fats present in the product, on and from January 1, 2022.

It also defines industrial trans fatty acids as: “All the geometrical isomers of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids having non-conjugated, interrupted by at least one methylene group, carbon-carbon double bonds in the trans configuration. It excludes trans-fatty acids from dairy, meat, fish and their products.”

Industrial trans fats are produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid, which increases their stability at room temperature and extends shelf life. Trans fats are largely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats/oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings. They are found in baked and fried foods.

“Research has shown that higher intakes of industrially produced trans fatty acids (more than 1 per cent of total energy intake) are associated with increased risk of high cholesterol and heart diseases,” FSSAI said.

According to 2017 estimates, every year more than 1.5 million deaths in India is attributed to coronary heart disease, of which nearly 5 per cent (71,000) are due to trans fats intake.

Elimination of industrial TFA has been recognized as one the modifiable risk factors to prevent heart diseaes.

“This is especially important in the present scenario, when COVID -19 is adding risk to people suffering from comorbidities like hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes etc,” it added. In 2018, the WHO called for elimination of industrially-produced trans fat from the food supply by 2023 and released an action package ‘REPLACE’ for the same.

Liquor retail gets high street makeover

Source: ETRetail.com, Feb 01, 2021

NEW DELHI: At a time when brick-and-mortar showrooms in several segments are shrinking in size, liquor retail in India is getting a premium makeover with large-format stores cropping up in every nook and cranny.

From the 15,000sqft Tonique in Hyderabad and North India’s largest booze shop – The Liquor Warehouse in Gurugram – to the 5,000sqft boutique liquor chain Madhuloka in Bengaluru and World of Wines in Mumbai, spirits retail has come a long way from the dingy desi thekas of yesteryear.

“Our store will give any luxury showroom in India a run for its money,” said Anith Reddy, the owner of Tonique. “We have in-house connoisseurs, sommeliers and even female bouncers because 30% of our customers are women.” With a 25,000sqft store in Bengaluru, Tonique rakes in more than Rs100 crore in sales from a store every year and has plans to expand to Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and smaller towns, which will have small-format stores. “We have plans to build a 40,000sqft store in Delhi and are watching the excise condition closely,” Reddy told TOI.

Lokesh Madhuloka, MD at Madhuloka, one of Bengaluru’s largest modern-retail format liquor chains, said, the trend has boomed in the last couple of years. “There are at least 450 similar stores in Bengaluru currently. The market is saturated,” he said. An increase in demand for premium spirits and the need to cater to a young swish clientele that prefers to avoid the jostling at local alcohol shops has given rise to more such stores.

“Companies are witnessing a strengthening of demand for premium spirits,” said Neeraj Kumar, MD at Beam Suntory. “With most consumption currently taking place at home, the wealthy consumer is willing to invest in luxury brands.” Large-format stores have also helped these spirits retailers rake in more moolah. The retailers’ ability to showcase a wider selection combined with the willingness of liquor companies to bring more global brands into India have led to growth in revenues.

Japan’s Kirin to invest $30 million in maker of Indian craft beer Bira

Source: Business Standard, Jan 04, 2021

NEW DELHI/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s beer maker Kirin Holdings will invest $30 million in New Delhi-based B9 Beverages, the companies said on Monday, as it seeks to secure a spot in India’s growing craft beer market amid falling sales at home.

The Japanese brewer will acquire a stake of under 10% in B9, the maker of India’s popular craft beer Bira, a Kirin spokesman and Bira CEO Ankur Jain told Reuters. They declined to give further financial details.

B9 had been in talks with international brewers – including Kirin – and other investors to sell a stake of up to 20% in the company, Reuters reported in August.

The investment would allow Bira, which has posted losses in recent years and has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, to break even in the 2022 fiscal year which starts in April 2021, Jain said.

“The companies will be exploring business synergies,” Jain said, adding that the investment would allow Bira to accelerate plans to launch its products in Japan later this year.

He expected the deal to be closed over “the next few days”.

While Bira, launched in 2015, is one of the smallest players in India’s broader beer industry, its craft beer offerings have become increasingly popular in recent years. Bira says it has a 5-10% share of the beer market in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Kirin meanwhile has historically shown interest in independent breweries and owns a minority stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.

But its M&A record overseas has been patchy, with the Japanese firm selling its unprofitable Brazilian unit in 2017 to Heineken after losing market share.

Its entry into Myanmar in 2015 has also come under scrutiny amid a probe into its local partner’s connections to the military. Data provider PitchBook estimates Bira was valued at $210 million in 2018. U.S.-based Sequoia Capital holds a roughly 45% stake in the company, while CEO Jain and his family own around 30%.

Swiggy partners govt to build ‘world’s largest’ street food vendor project

Source: Business Standard, Dec 10, 2020

Bengaluru: Food delivery and technology firm Swiggy is collaborating with the government for the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme to a programme it has in 125 cities.This follows a successful pilot that Swiggy initiated with the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in the cities of Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Chennai, Delhi and Indore. In the pilot stage, Swiggy has already onboarded over 300 street vendors on its platform.

The SVANidhi scheme has received loan applications from 147,000 street food vendors so far. From these, in the first phase alone, Swiggy will onboard about 36,000 vendors to whom the loan has been disbursed in 125 cities, potentially making this initiative by Swiggy and MoHUA the largest of its kind not just in India, but globally.

Vivek Sunder, chief operating officer of Swiggy, said there has been a long-term change in consumer behaviour regarding continued social distancing and heightened demand for online services like food delivery. Read the rest of this entry »

FSSAI revises draft Food Safety and Standards Amendment Regulations 2020

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 07, 2020

NEW DELHI: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Monday revised provisions related to certain food colours of draft Food Safety and Standards (Food products and standards and Food AdditivesAmendment Regulations 2020.

The food regulator has permitted use of food colour Allura to be used in alcoholic beverages (category Distilled Spiritous Beverages).

The move came after the authority’s scientific panel recommended the usage of the additive following a representation from stakeholders, according to the order uploaded on its website.

However, the usage is restricted to country liquor upto 100mg/kg. The authority has also restricted the usage of food colours in combination, the order said.

Food park inaugurated in Punjab to benefit 25000 farmers and create 5000 jobs

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 24, 2020

Food Processing minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated a mega food park (MFP) at Phagwara in Kapurthala district of Punjab that will benefit 25,000 farmers and create 5,000 jobs, an official statement said. “Punjab and Haryana have significant role in development of agriculture sector of India. This MFP built at project cost of Rs 107.83 crores and spread over 55 acres of land is expected to benefit about 25000 farmers,” he said. Till date, 37 MFPs have been sanctioned and 20 have already started functioning.

Tomar added that due to untiring efforts of farmers of these two states, India is not only self reliant in food grains but is food surplus. He said that Punjab has been ahead in production of rice and wheat however, due to reduced ground water levels, diversification of crops is required for which Punjab farmers have taken several steps.

“Food processing sector needs to be focussed upon so that farmers get fair prices and related sectors can also benefit,” he said in a statement. The Sukhjit mega food park is equipped with warehouses, silos ,cold storage, deep freezer and other related food processing facilities.

Tomar said that the government is continuously working for welfare of farmers under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A Rs 10,000 crore fund has been created under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, for development of food processing sector which will benefit farmers and create employment opportunities, he said. Rameswar Teli, MoS, food processing, said that latest technology and processing facilities will reduce wastage of food products and ensure fair prices for farmers.

Govt moves to revamp the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 02, 2020

NEW DELHI: The Centre has moved to revamp the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the prime regulatory authority for food safety in India, giving it more powers, extending its jurisdiction over animal feed, enhancing penalties imposed for violations and simplifying processes.

The ministry of health and family welfare has framed Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill 2020 and introduced 70 amendments in the 2006 Act to revamp FSSAI functioning and its jurisdiction. With the amendments, the government has proposed to bring regulation of animal feed industry under FSSAI. So far, the regulatory body had powers on food industry. In the 2006 Act, an amendment is proposed which would include, “It is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take under its control the food and animal feed industry.” The government has included a detailed definition of animal feed. Apart from animal feed industry, the government has also decided to specify standards for “food contact material”, which would mean specifying standards for food packaging material.

The government has also proposed to make the Act more stringent prescribing enhanced penalties for violations, including manufacture and sale of unsafe food, adulteration of food causing death, carrying out business without licence and repeat offences. The amendments propose enhancing maximum fine for manufacturing and sale of unsafe food from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. A new section has been introduced to define penalty for adulteration of food causing death or grievous hurt. In case unsafe food causes “harm to body which amounts to causing grievous hurt even if it does not cause actual injury”, the punishment could extend upto life imprisonment.

The move comes six years after the Modi government had withdrawn a similar Bill introduced by Congress-led UPA in Rajya Sabha in February 2014. The NDA government had withdrawn it after a Cabinet decision in December 2014 and decided to bring a more comprehensive Bill to address systemic issues and incorporate rulings of Supreme Court and Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court. The ministry of health and family welfare would now invite suggestions on the draft Bill.

The government has also proposed to appoint a chief executive officer at FSSAI as member secretary to oversee functions. So far, the role had not been defined. A big change proposed is the vesting of powers of appointment of members with Central government. Earlier the Act said that chairperson and members would be selected by the Centre on recommendations of the selection committee. Now, there would be no role of a selection committee in appointment of members.

The government also proposes to simplify the process of serving notices to a food business operator, who is running unsafe restaurants or any other establishment. A long winding process has been shortened.

Final approval given to 37 mega food parks: Ministry

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 15, 2020

New Delhi: The Food Processing Ministry on Tuesday said that so far it has given final approval to 37 mega food parks in 23 States and UTs and are under various stages of implementation.

In a written reply, the Ministry informed the Lok Sabha that 19 mega food parks out of the 37 are currently operational and that the government had envisaged a total of 42 mega food parks.

“This scheme is now a component of the new Central Sector Umbrella Scheme– Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). The Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS) aims at providing modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market,” it added.

As per the scheme guidelines, each fully operational mega food park will provide direct/indirect employment to 5,000 persons. The schemes aims to have a positive impact on increased realisation of farmers, reduction in wastage and creation of an efficient supply chain backed by collection centres, primary processing centres and logistic infrastructure, the Ministry added. The scheme provides for a capital grant at the rate of 50 per cent of the project cost (excluding land cost) in general areas and at the rate of 75 per cent of the project cost (excluding land cost) in difficult and hilly areas — North East Region including Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and ITDP notified areas of the States subject to a maximum of ₹50 crore per project.