Perspective on the India Flavor & Fragrance industry

I recently visited India for the first time and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I met many interesting and knowledgeable industry people and visited a number of F&F companies and came away with a very positive view on the Indian market, industry and its future.

I originally met Anubhab Satapathy on LinkedIn and when I visited Mumbai, Anubhab made the time to meet with me and I quickly learned that apart from being a very nice person he also had a very good insight into the Indian market. He is currently Head of Sales and Marketing at Aditi International Private Limited and has posted some very informative posts on LinkedIn which I have reproduced in part here on our blog.

Flavor Industry India – Taking a dimensional shift right now!

Are you feeling the heat? Our industry is taking a big-leap. The F & F industry in the Indian continent is rising and rising to touch the sky. Have a look below, we are going high and doing great.

  • Flavor market in India has grown at a CAGR of 9.9% during FY 2010 – FY 2015 – Ken Research

Consumers unwilling to comprise on taste, health or convenience make sure flavor and fragrance companies introduce the best and innovative products for the market. Demand of innovative flavors that are new and creative have been rising and flavorists are going head on with the new trend.

Comprising of dairy, bakery, confectionery, pharmaceutical, tobacco, beverages and other segments this market is growing in all segments. Starting from more companies to more flavors to different and new flavors that fulfills the need of the hour. Dairy is the third largest sector in the flavor market in India. This sector has witnessed a huge spike in revenues owing to higher demand of flavored milk especially among urban households. The demand for pharmaceutical products and tobacco have also expanded over the last five to six years says Ken Research.

India has always been a place of creativity when it comes to perfumery and fragrance. Scented papers were used in ancient times here in India. The story of Indian “Ittar” or “Attar” is as old as the Indian civilization. Knowledge of perfumery and essential oil distillation and usage was very typically passed from generation to generations in ancient India.

Natural ingredients which are created from essential oils and extracts of products available in nature like; oleo resins, fruits, leaves, barks of trees and several others and Synthetic flavors created in labs using Food grade ingredients has given the industry ample opportunity to create beautiful and tasty, tongue-licking flavors that mesmerize consumers. Having said this however, for now synthetic flavors have dominated the flavor market but natural flavors are increasing in importance.

Asia-Pacific has been leading the global specialty chemicals market followed by North-America and Europe and India is playing a leading role. Increasing industrial activities in India will surely give a boost to the flavor industry in India. Schemes like Make in India has been supportive to new flavor and fragrance houses to set up their units and start manufacturing new and tasty flavors.

As per research available on the internet, the Indian F & F industry is going to reach USD 1.4 billion by 2020. This is not only an inspiration for new comers to the market but also will be a great milestone achieved for this industry. Projected growth at an impressive rate of 14% per year till 2020 is something not very usual for many industries. This will be a dimensional shift in F & F industry in India. Giving a make-over to the industry in terms of being organized. This growth in long run will also be infused by rising urban population and growth in preferences towards a better lifestyle. The demand would also boosted by the rising demand for flavor and fragrance products from tier 2 and tier 3 cities due to an increased use of personal wellness products.

About Focus International:

We partner with SME companies in Flavor & Fragrance and Specialty Food Ingredients.

Our “global success system” encompasses market research and strategic planning through to M&A and business development and everything in between. Our on the ground experts bring their more than 25 years of experience and proven track record of success to our clients to develop international markets with less risk and higher returns.

Focus International can assist companies looking to enter the Indian market either through acquisition, developing strategic relationships or distribution networks. Focus also work with Indian companies looking to expand internationally.

Please contact Trevor Rahill at for a confidential discussion of your needs.



  1. Jaidev Merchant
    May 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    Hi Trevor,
    Liked your Article and that you enjoyed your trip to India. The growth of the F&F industry is also triggered by the success of the cosmetics industry especially the Mens Fairness products, modest growth in detergents, shampoos and more companies like even Patanjali entering the Indian Market segment. Detergents are also growing and I think the per capita will increase year by year. It is not surprising that the TOP 5 majors in F&F have their foothold in India. More JVs will be round the corner. Lots of opportunities for ingredients for exports-one drawback is that many raw materials are still imported.
    Anyway, good times are coming and we have always been optimistic about our market.

    • May 9, 2016 at 7:15 pm — Reply

      Thank you for your comments Jaidev. As long as there is plenty to share around and the Top 5 don't want it all themselves then that will be a good result. There are many family owned companies who embody the essence of the industry and I hope that they can survive and prosper as well. The issue for many of them is that they don't have the resources that the Top 5 take for granted which is why Focus International works with SME players to help them level the playing field. Best regards

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