Baked goods find a niche market

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| Update:
December 28, 2021 10:02:38 p.m.


It is indeed a pleasant surprise that the country’s baking industry has grown well to meet nearly one hundred percent of local demand. More so, this food subsector already exports, and although not in large volumes, there are a number of units that regularly export their bakery products, particularly biscuits, and are well positioned to expand markets internationally. ‘foreigner.

The growth of the baking industry is a story of a silent revolution, to say the least. This has been possible largely due to the expansion of capacity of some of the well-known local brands, supported by a shift to automation and maintaining quality standards, this too with the aid of sophisticated technology. . However, although the industry has developed for a range of products, it is mainly biscuits that make up the bulk of the industry. A recent report in the FE indicates that the biscuit segment of the industry is currently worth 70 billion taka ($824 million), with an annual output of around 0.51 million tons. According to the report, 97-98% of the product is consumed locally and the remaining 2.0-3.0% is exported.

Industry insiders have attributed the growth of the industry to changes in eating habits with rising incomes and better quality of today’s products. Available data shows that the demand for biscuits and biscuits jumped 22-25% during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the industry’s previous steady growth of 10-12% for several years. Apart from the increase in local consumption, exports also increased significantly in fiscal year 2020-21 (FY21) to $55 million. This indicates a huge potential for the industry to grab a good chunk of the huge global market.

Local businesses have emerged with traditional biscuits, special toasts, dry cakes, sweet toasts, cream milk biscuits, coconut biscuits, low sugar biscuits, chocolate biscuits , buttermilk biscuits, tea time biscuits, nut biscuits, cheese biscuits and other varieties of products. According to relevant trade associations, it was the large conglomerates that ventured into the sector with their automated factories that helped the industry grow faster. About 110 automated biscuit factories with their various products now dominate the industry. They represent 65% of the total market of more than 0.51 million tonnes of production. Certainly, the increasing share of automated factories and their huge investments in marketing gradually led to the closure of hundreds of manual factories as they could hardly survive in a highly competitive market. According to observers, this had to happen under the essential rule of competition in the market.

According to industry insiders, the biscuit market has been growing rapidly amid growing demand for safe packet snacks and the growth may continue over the next decade. Local businesses have been able to gain consumer confidence by improving food quality and keeping prices at reasonable levels. As a result, producers were able to maintain their market position and weaken the dominance of imported products from India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Bangladesh’s biscuit exports rose to $55 million in FY21 from well under $10 million a decade ago. The main export destinations are Saudi Arabia, Oman, the Philippines, Malaysia and India.

Experts say local companies should now focus on new formulations for low-fat, gluten-free, low-carb, organic and high-fiber cookies to attract more consumers, both domestically and internationally. ‘abroad. Currently, the global biscuit export market is worth around $9.0 billion, which is expected to increase significantly in the coming years amid the rapid change in food pattern as a result of the pandemic, while Asian countries will contribute significantly to growth. However, consumer tastes and preferences – which tend to change over time – will be integral to understanding market behavior while trying to gain significant market share overseas.

Currently, the biscuit industry in the country is facing critical challenges, according to industry sources. High commodity prices are a persistent problem. Local manufacturers source ingredients, most of which are imported. There would reportedly be an additional 20% duty on powdered milk, butter and other dairy oils and spreads, which would increase the cost of goods sold and negatively impact on the results of the producers. Another significant challenge facing the industry is the R&D facility which, far from being adequate, hampers product growth and diversification by increasing production or meeting growing export demand in overseas markets. . In addition, the country’s food testing laboratories have not yet acquired the required capacity to meet the compliance needs of various foreign markets. Naturally, these are some of the fundamental issues the industry wants to see resolved so that it can continue to thrive at a much faster rate than it has in recent years.

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