INDIA-ITC Ltd has announced an initiative to promote millets in food as part of its steps to ensure food and nutritional security in the wake of challenges from climate change.

ITC is a diversified entity with a presence across industries such as FMCG, hotels, software, packaging, paperboards, specialty papers, and agribusiness. It has 13 businesses in 5 segments and exports its products to 90 countries globally.

The Indian conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata has said that the move to include millet in the packaged food merchandise is an effort to ensure the cereal commodity has entered the mainstream just like wheat and rice.

According to Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director for ITC, this is a perfect plan to cushion the food and nutritional security adversely affected by climate change.

With the UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, Puri said ITC has also “decided that we will bring all our enterprise strengths together and we will collectively put our shoulder to it and give a big push in this area.”

The company plans to be part of the ‘Mission Millet’ technique which it’ll additionally roll out as a branding effort in all merchandise that could have millets in them.

ITC plans to introduce millets as an additive or roll out 100% millet merchandise throughout classes like snacks, confectionery, cereals, able-to-eat vary, biscuits, and on-the-spot noodles.

To achieve its objective, the conglomerate will boost millet production to over 7,000 acres to align the manufacturing to the offtake.

This will be achieved through developing farmer demonstrations and coaching and several initiatives to empower farmers, educate and encourage customers by advertising.

The company is also working to increase millet consumption by developing a ‘tasty’ category to make millet more palatable and tastier by sharing healthy recipes, tips, and hacks.

According to ITC, the potential is large, and including millets is a chance for 80% of the Rs 5 lakh crore (US$ 613,429) addressable market (TAM) where ITC operates.

The company sees the opportunity as “a virgin territory proper now and all of it is dependent upon how gamers like us and start-ups create an ecosystem with authorities’ intervention that would progressively turn out to be mainstream and as attention-grabbing,” said Puri.

Additionally, the company is entering into millets as a part of its Subsequent technique crafted by Puri which is all about scaling up mega manufacturers, driving penetration and constructing adjacencies, and investing in classes of the future.

ITC has already introduced several millet-based products under the Aashirvaad Nature Superfoods brand, including ragi flour, gluten-free atta, and multi-millet mix.

It is further developing a comprehensive millets-based portfolio under popular brand names and in familiar formats to enable easier adoption.

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