The International Year Of Millets Opens Up New Innovation Opportunities For Food Manufacturers in India

Millets, a group of small-seeded grasses, have been a staple food in many parts of the world for centuries. Millets have traditionally been an important part of the Indian diet for thousands of years. However, in recent times, with the advent of modern food processing and a shift towards a more Westernized diet, millets have been largely replaced by rice and wheat.

But that is changing, and 2023 is being touted as the “International Year of Millets” with the Indian government’s aim to promote and popularize millets as a healthy, sustainable, and affordable alternative to rice and wheat. This move is significant because millets are not only good for health, but also for the environment. They require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides as compared to other cereal grains, making them an ideal crop for sustainable farming.

Furthermore, a parallel global movement supporting gluten-free diets is also gaining traction. This ties in perfectly with the millet movement, because millets are a delicious, gluten-free alternative to wheat. Some manufacturers, taking advantage of the rise in popularity of millets, have already started marketing a variety of interesting millet-based products.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Indian millet products, snacks, and beverage brands that are making a mark in the market, and the opportunities they offer for food manufacturing in changing consumer eating patterns.

1. Millet Products:

Millet flour, grains, and flakes are now widely available in supermarkets and online stores across India. Companies like Conscious Food, 24 Mantra and Just Organik offer a range of organic millet products that include millet flour, millet flakes (poha) and millet semolina.

Brands like Gramiyum, Naturally Yours and Slurrp Farm even offer millet noodles. In April this year, Britannia became the first company in the organised segment to introduce a maida-free multi-millet bread in the FMCG sector. Pristine Organics offers a range of ready-to-eat multi-millet meals like Millet Upma, Khichdi and Bisibele Bath. These products are not only gluten-free or low in gluten, but also rich in fiber, protein, and micronutrients, making them an excellent alternative to refined flour products.

2. Millet Snacks: Millet-based snacks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Companies like Snackible, Slurrp Farm, and Fab Box offer a range of millet-based snacks that are not only delicious but also healthy. From millet cookies and bars to millet chips and puffs, these snacks are a great alternative to conventional potato chips and fried snacks.

3. Millet Beverages:

Millet-based beverages have gained popularity in recent years, with companies like Soulfull, Nutriplato, and Habbit offering a range of millet-based drinks, including millet-based energy drinks, smoothies, and shakes. These beverages are tasty and nutritious, providing a range of micronutrients and antioxidants. Symega now offers a range of millet and multi-millet beverages in the B2B segment that can be customised according to your brand’s requirements. They are not only delicious and high in protein, but also gluten-free with fortification options specific to the targeted consumer segments like children, women, athletes or even health-conscious consumers.

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4. Opportunities for Food Manufacturing:

With the growing demand for millet products, there are ample opportunities for food manufacturing companies to enter this market. The production of millet-based snacks, beverages, and other products requires specialized know-how, making it an ideal space for innovation and experimentation. Our experienced R&D team is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation, developing exciting new concepts with millets. We incorporate these nutritious grains in various forms, both individually and in blends, across our extensive product portfolio. From wholesome breakfast and smoothie mixes to delectable spreads, indulgent ice creams, refreshing beverages, and much more, we strive to offer a diverse range of millet-based options. With a strong focus on health and taste, we aim to bring the goodness of millets into everyday foods while continuing to provide a delightful culinary experience.

The Year of Millets is a significant step towards promoting sustainable and healthy food choices. Millets offer a range of health benefits, are environmentally sustainable, and have the potential to create new business opportunities for food manufacturers. As consumers become increasingly health-conscious and environmentally aware, millets are poised to become an integral part of the global food landscape.

If you have an idea for a millet-based snack, beverage or even an entirely new product category, Symega can help you in product development as well as in gauging its market viability. Reach out to us at for co-developing and co-manufacturing solutions.

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