The week-long trip was organised by the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) in association with Santander and the Department for International Trade and was the first of its kind.
Firms that attended the trip included Amber Glen Scotch Whisky Co, Delamere Dairy, Provenance Brands, The English Cheesecake Company, Greene King and Iceland Foods.
The initiative was part of Santander UK’s series of international trade missions, aimed at helping UK businesses export and capitalise on overseas trade opportunities.
Manufacturers visited the Indian Food Forum in Mumbai – one of the country’s largest trade shows – to showcase their products, setting up more than 100 buyer meetings.
Significant period of growth
Andrew Williams, head of food and drink at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said the Indian food and drink sector was at the start of a significant period of growth, presenting UK manufacturers with incredible opportunities.
“We are confident that the 12 firms that attended the trade mission will benefit from this growth,” said Williams.
“India is one of world’s fastest-growing markets, with 1.3bn consumers and improving disposable income levels, increasing numbers of middle-class consumers and demand for high-quality food products from the UK.”
India saw gross domestic product growth of 7% in 2016 and has become one of the world’s most dynamic, fast-growth economies, identified as a key export opportunity for UK businesses, said Santander.
India as a priority market
The UK government has identified India as a priority market in its latest food and drink export action plan, targeting additional UK exports of £349M over the next five years.
FDF director general Ian Wright added: “India is at the cusp of a revolution in food consumption and processing, and the Indian government is investing heavily in the sector and infrastructure to support a fast-growth market.
“We are seeing diverse companies tapping into areas of interest to take advantage of these opportunities, and the hope is that the UK will become a primary trading partner for India.”
Meanwhile, last month, food manufacturers from Yorkshire and Humber were set to boost exports to the US, following a trade mission to San Francisco.