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INTERVIEW

“Poultry is most organised, worth Rs 1 lakh cr”
Monday, 28 January, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ranjana Sharma, Mumbai


FnbNews: 45678Tarun-Gupta HenFruit is a group of dedicated producers and suppliers of Double Yolk Eggs, Jumbo Eggs, No-hatch Herbal Eggs, Organic Eggs, Brown Eggs and White Eggs, which is committed towards delivering the best and creating a healthier world.

Tarun Gupta, co-founder, HenFruit, in an e-mail interaction with Ranjana Sharma, highlights the different types of eggs processed by them and the current scenario in the egg processing industry. Excerpts:


What is the current scenario of the Indian egg processing industry?
Within a span of 25 years, the egg production has gone up to 70 billion from few millions and the broiler production has gone to 3.8 million tonne from nowhere. Poultry is the most organised sector in animal agriculture, worth Rs 1 lakh crore. The growth is 6-8% in layers and 10-12% in broilers per year against the growth of agriculture as a whole which is around 2.5%.

Although new factories have started coming up again but egg processing has very less local demand as consumer prefers fresh economical cheaper eggs. Also, processed eggs have a restriction that they cannot be used to make all egg dishes. For example liquid egg cannot be used as a replacement of boiled egg, which by far is the most popular way people consume eggs. Majorly processed egg is used by institutions and commercial kitchens. Processed egg is also exported from India to various countries.

How much is India’s egg production? How many egg processing units are there in the country?
India’s egg production is close to 28 billion eggs and grows by roughly 7% a year. Today estimate - a total of 40-50 egg processing plants are present in India. It is hard to say since most of them are not registered. However, there is only one fully automatic egg processing unit - HenFruit egg processing unit and it is located in Punjab.

What is the size of the vegan egg market in India?
Vegan egg market is huge and trending. It is hard to say about the size of the market.

FSSAI has issued egg safety guidelines. What are your views on the same? What are the myths about plastic eggs?
I highly appreciate FSSAI step towards issuing guidelines towards egg handling and processing. Although there is a gap in implementation as I feel not even 5% of poultry farmers have registered for the FSSAI licence. Also, there needs to be a guideline towards sanitising the egg shells as it can house more bacteria than a toilet seat. It is a standard practice in USA and Europe to ensure clean eggs. Plastic eggs are just a hoax for India I would say as egg in India is cheaper than what would cost to manufacture it. However if there is a doubt, one should buy from a company that has gone for DNA testing, which is the only way to know if the egg you are eating is that of a chicken or not. Also one must ensure that the lab issuing the certificate is a trusted lab for example we have our eggs regularly tested from TUV international lab.

What are your views about the recent report which stated that manufacturers are focussing on producing egg powder or dried egg products? What is the impact of producing egg powder or dried egg products on the egg market?
Again the egg processing industry is a growing industry and currently its use can only be found in commercial kitchens and for export purposes. As of date, there is a minimal impact as the majority of the egg sold is direct to consumer.

What are the products offered by you? What makes you different from other players?
We offer a variety of eggs ranging from Pullet eggs, Cage Free, Humpty Dumpty with high moisture content, Cornfed eggs, Protein Max eggs etc. We are extremely conscious about hygiene, health and quality and we don’t just say it we live by it. We have India’s one and only fully automatic egg grading/sorting and sanitising machine. This allows us to maintain a zero human touch hygienic packing process. We are so confident on our product that we have our co-founder’s number as the consumer support number on each packet.

What is the outreach of the products offered by HenFruit? How much is the online presence and are they available at all retail stores?
HenFruit produces more than 4 lakh eggs a day. With major market capitalisation in Delhi NCR online, we will reach out to more than 350 modern retail stores offline in Delhi NCR and Punjab.  

What are your expansion plans?
Currently looking to capitalise on the online and modern retail market in north India before we seek pan-India expansion.

Any plans to enter new segments? If yes, give us some details on the same?
As of now we are keeping it tight to scale this vertical before venturing out into other verticals but we do have some innovating distribution strategies coming up which we are testing at the moment along with a few utensils and kitchenware which can be used to curate a variety of egg recipes. We shall share details around the launch. Currently, we are planning to deliver our consumers with fresh farm eggs at their doorstep within 24 hours.
 
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