When it comes to French fries, most people might think of fast-food chains like McDonald’s or Burger King. However, the true capital of French fries might surprise you – it’s not in the United States or Europe, but in the Indian state of Gujarat. Despite producing only a fraction of India’s total potato output, Gujarat has managed to become the country’s largest exporter of French fries. In this article, we will explore how this transformation took place, the key players involved, and the impact it has had on the global French fries market.
From Importer to Exporter
A decade ago, India imported 6,000 metric tonnes of French fries. Fast forward to 2019, and the country exported 30,000 metric tonnes of frozen potatoes, with fries accounting for 95% of the total exports. This remarkable shift from importer to exporter can be largely attributed to the efforts of companies and farmers in the state of Gujarat.
A Driving Force
Gujarat is home to the processing plants of three major companies – McCain Foods, Iscon Balaji Foods, and HyFun Foods. These firms are not only leading exporters of frozen potato products in India but also the biggest suppliers to prominent burger quick-serve restaurant (QSR) chains within the country. Their presence in the state has played a crucial role in turning Gujarat into a hub for French fries production and export.
A Favorable Agroclimatic Environment
One of the main reasons these companies chose Gujarat as their base is the state’s favorable agroclimatic conditions. Processing varieties of potatoes thrive in Gujarat’s climate, making it an ideal location for producing high-quality French fries. In addition, the state’s farmers have embraced contract farming, which has allowed them to grow the specific varieties of potatoes needed for French fries production.
The Global Market Impact
As India’s French fries exports have grown, so too has the country’s share of the global frozen potato products market. In 2020, the Indian frozen potato products market was valued at nearly USD 1.10 billion, with Gujarat playing a significant role in this growth. This market is expected to continue growing, with projections suggesting it could reach USD 2.82 billion by 2026.
Meeting International Demand
The growth of Gujarat’s French fries exports has been driven in part by rising global demand, particularly from Asian countries that do not cultivate potatoes. These countries have traditionally relied on imports from Europe and the United States, but India’s emergence as a major player in the French fries market has given them a new, more geographically convenient source for this popular snack.
The Role of Fast-Food Chains
Another major factor in the growth of the Indian frozen potato fries products market has been the expansion of fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, Burger King, and Dominos. These companies have tapped into India’s love for food, and in the process, have significantly contributed to the development of the frozen potato market within the country.
The Santana and Frysona Varieties
Two main varieties of potatoes are used in the production of French fries – Santana and Frysona. Among these, Santana is considered the premium variety due to its oblong shape and yellow flesh. Banaskantha district in Gujarat is India’s largest producer of the Santana variety, which has played a crucial role in the state’s French fries success story.
The Santana variety of potato is preferred for making French fries because of its uniform shape and high-quality flesh. This variety is grown in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat, which has helped the state become a key player in the global French fries market.
The Importance of Uniformity
To produce export-quality French fries, it is essential to use potatoes with a uniform shape and size. The Santana variety meets these requirements, which has made it the preferred choice for French fries production in Gujarat. This focus on uniformity has enabled the state to consistently produce high-quality fries that meet international standards.
The Role of Cooperatives and PPP Model
Gujarat’s success in the French fries market can also be attributed to the strong cooperation between farmers and food processing companies. This cooperation is facilitated by the state’s robust network of agricultural cooperatives, which have helped farmers access the resources and support they need to grow the specific varieties of potatoes required for French fries production.
A Win-Win Situation
The partnership between farmers and processing companies has created a win-win situation for both parties. Farmers benefit from access to high-quality potato seeds and guaranteed demand for their crops, while processing companies can source the potatoes they need for French fries production at a competitive price.
The Road Ahead
Gujarat’s success in the French fries market is undoubtedly impressive, but the state’s journey is far from over. There is still ample room for growth in the global frozen potato products market, and Gujarat has the potential to further expand its share of this market.
Meeting Growing Demand
As the world’s appetite for French fries continues to grow, Gujarat must continue to invest in its potato processing industry to meet this demand. This will involve expanding existing processing facilities, as well as developing new ones to increase production capacity.
Diversifying the Product Range
In addition to French fries, there are numerous other frozen potato products that Gujarat could focus on, such as potato wedges, tikkis, and mojjos, sliders etc. By diversifying its product range, the state can tap into new markets and further strengthen its position in the global frozen potato products industry.
That’s why Iscon Balaji Food has focused on making novel of potato finger fries apart from making only french fries, like Hungritos Corn Cheese Burstz, Aloo Pop-Corn, Potato Mojjos, Kids Veggie Slider, Aloo Tikki Slider, Classic Herbed Slider and Cheese Corn Chalks.
Gujarat’s transformation from a French fries importer to an exporter is a remarkable success story. Through a combination of cooperation between farmers and processing companies, investment in processing plants, and a focus on growing the right varieties of potatoes, the state has managed to become a major player in the global French fries market. As the demand for French fries and other frozen potato products continues to grow, Gujarat is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend and further solidify its reputation as the capital of French fries.
So why not satisfy your curiosity and give your taste buds a thrilling treat with these flavorful firecrackers?
Indulge in Hungritos novel potato fries today and let your senses ignite with every mouthwatering bite!
Some Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Do Hungritos give any varieties to french-fries?
Yes, Hungritos proudly offers a spicy variety to it that is Peri Peri French Fries, which give an extra & spicy twist to the regular french fries.
- What Is the Net Weight of French Fries Packets?
The net weight of the French fries packet is 400g, and its specialty lies in the zip-lock system, allowing you to store your fries for an extended period of time.
- Do Hungritos have other products which have peri-peri masala?
Yes, in addition to the peri-peri French fries, we offer other peri peri fries products such as Aloo Popcorn, which comes with peri-peri masala packets, and has kick of peri peri masala in Potato Mojjos.