Shelf-stable seafood snacks aimed at upping domestic consumption in India
India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority has called on the country’s shrimp and fish producers to add value to its marine foods in an effort to increase domestic seafood consumption.
MPEDA is also looking to create a stronger national seafood brand, according to the organization’s domestic marketing director T. Dola Shankar. Shankar said MPEDA is now offering financial incentives to companies that use its brand.
"The authority is offering INR 2.5 million (USD 40,000, EUR 33,000) subsidy for any producer or exporters that use our brand,” Shankar told SeafoodSource.
Shankar said MPEDA said it is hoping to put its brand on more Indian seafood products – not just shrimp and fish, but also crab, shellfish, lobster, and other aquatic species. Shankar said that the subsidy would only be offered for one year, and that the goal of the subsidies is to encourage both domestic industry and consumer identity with national brands. He added the MPEDA label available to seafood producers and exporters at no cost.
“Our aim is to push young farmers into aquaculture and explain the people on protein values and vitamins available in fish, shrimp and other seafood products, which are good for health,” Shankar said.
MPEDA is planning to spawn the creation of a wider range of “instant,” shelf-stable seafood snacks sold under “an attractive brand name,” Shankar said. He said MPEDA is looking for nationwide distribution, with products in food stalls, bakeries, hotels, eateries, and pan shops across India.
MPEDA is also looking to grow exports of Indian seafood, Shankar told SeafoodSource. The group is “drawing up strategies to enhance the area of cultivation along the sea coast and capture the full market potential of India’s marine resources,” Shankar said.
In 2016-17, India exported approximately USD 5.7 billion (EUR 4.91 billion) worth of marine products. The country has announced plans to increase its exports to USD 15.35 billion (EUR 13.25 billion) by 2022, though the plan faces difficulty in light of discussions in the EU to ban Indian seafood imports.
"We are [currently] exporting marine products to the U.S., the European Union (EU), Southeast Asian countries and we are making plans to increase marketing in the Middle East,” Shankar said.