Natasha Kumar
Natasha is Mintel's Food & Drink Analyst based in Mumbai. She is responsible for analysing and providing insights on India’s food and drink market.

While primarily still a ‘follower market’ when it comes to food and drink launches, more and more companies in India are speeding up their innovation activity – catering to consumers in India who are now increasingly aware of what is happening in other markets. It is interesting to see that many of these companies are not only staying on top of global trends, but are also incorporating local elements in their launches so that they are rooted in familiarity.

Here, we highlight 10 of the most exciting food and drink products spotted in India in 2018:

Zen Tiger Kombucha Hibiscus and Kokum Flavoured Fermented Iced Tea
India will see significant interest in food and drink that aid digestive health, with a particular focus on fermented foods. This dairy-free fermented beverage claims to have health benefits, such as detoxifying and weight loss properties, thanks to its naturally occurring acids and antioxidants. It claims to be a perfect alternative to unhealthy sodas.

TBH Gourmet Crispy Beetroot Chips with Mediterranean Sea Salt
Mintel research indicates that Indians are interested in increasing their vegetable intake. Brands can help this goal by launching vegetable snacks that bring together taste and health. These vegetable chips by TBH are said to be vacuum fried and claim to contain 50% less oil than regular chips to retain all the nutritional quality and enhanced colour.

iD Traditional Filter Coffee Decoction
With busier lifestyles, Indians are looking for products in convenient formats and food products with authentic taste. iD Fresh Foods’ ready-to-use filter coffee decoction is said to offer an authentic taste for people who prefer filter coffee over instant, but don’t have the time or know-how to make the decoction.

Te-A-Me Ice Brews Freeze Lychee Tea
This cold brew tea range can be brewed in minutes using cold water with no boiling required. This tea is said to be free from added sugar, GMOs, gluten and artificial colours. Mintel research indicates that iced tea consumption in India is quite low, but the product is especially popular with young Indian men. New formats such as ice brews are emerging as they are quick to make and contain no sugar.

Auric Body Defence Drink
The use of food ingredients in the beauty and personal care category is now an established trend. It is now time for food products to play up its beauty benefits. This drink is said to contain Indian ginseng, moringa, Indian gooseberry, Centella, turmeric and coconut water, and is free from preservatives and low in calories. This ayurvedic ready-to-serve drink claims to detox, vitalise mind, body and skin, and restore immunity.

Banshi Organic Vedic A2 Gir Cow Ghee
Digestive health is slated to become a key focus area in India, and a growing number of companies are promoting A2 milk as an alternative to deal with digestion and allergy-related problems. The artisanal ghee is said to be handmade and claims to retain all the essential nutrients. It also claims to be from local, grass-fed cow’s milk and has A2 beta casein protein which is linked to digestive health.

Inner Being Jowar Idly
Traditional Indian grains like millets have made quite the comeback in the last two years and are now increasingly becoming part of mainstream foods. This idly mix is made with jowar and claims to be rich in fibre as well as essential minerals. It is said to be made from ancient grains and is free from gluten, and is high in fibre, calcium and iron with plant protein.

Sofit Raisin and Flax Seeds Protein Cookies
The whole wheat cookies with oats and soya claim to be enriched with protein to help in building muscles, omega-3 and multivitamins to help stay active. It is also said to contain fibre to help with digestive health. Biscuits are practically a staple in India and offering high-protein variants makes the macronutrient more accessible to the common man.

Evexia Forti Flakes+ Strawberry Flavoured Fortified Corn Flakes for Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy
Nutrition for expectant and new mothers are under the spotlight in India with an increasing number of companies launching products aimed at helping this consumer group to keep up with their nutritional requirements. These cornflakes by Evexia are designed for women during pregnancy and post-pregnancy and is said to have desiccated fruits, which are rich in natural antioxidants and fortified with nutrients that are beneficial for expecting mothers.

HealthKart 100% Vegan Protein with Cafe Mocha Flavour
Vegan diets have been a fringe trend in India, but this can be expected to change in the coming year as celebrity influencers go vegan. This cafe mocha flavoured drink mix is said to offer 50% protein per serving derived from pea and rice protein, and has no added sugar. It claims to have nine essential amino acids and 27 added vitamins and minerals for complete nutrition.