RTE & RTC Meals

Exploring Growth Potential of RTE & RTC Meals in India

Today’s frenetic pace of modern life has been characterized by an increasing working population, higher disposable income, work-from-home arrangements, and rising nuclear families. With the increasing working population across the globe, people have time constraints due to their busy schedules. Keeping the needs of modern consumers in mind, the food industry has been witnessing a significant rise in the segment of ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) convenience foods. Thanks to RTE and RTC food options that need minimal ingredients and time for consumption/cooking, many people are opting for this new era of culinary convenience.

Segmentation of the Market

The frozen and shelf-stable categories broadly divide the RTE and RTC meal industry. In India, this market will grow significantly between 2021 and 2026, with a predicted growth of $751.43 million, according to Technavio’s most recent market analysis. During this time, the market is anticipated to grow at a strong rate of 18.63%, with several competitors fighting for market share.

It is projected that the frozen food segment, which includes a wide variety of products such as meat and poultry, snacks, prepared meals, vegetables, and fruits, will rise significantly. However, there are additional difficulties with the frozen category, especially when it comes to keeping temperature-controlled conditions during the production and delivery processes.

Aside from that, the shelf-stable category is also likely to increase at a slower rate in the country. The shelf-stable products consist of instant mixes that are easy to prepare for various recipes, like gravies, curries, pasta, and more, with minimal extra ingredients and cooking.

Current Market Demand

RTE and RTC food products saw a spike in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for quick meal options during lockdowns and remote work schedules. During the pandemic, the RTE industry was one of the few that saw increased demand, with RTC goods flying off the shelves. Over the years 2021–2026, the RTE market is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% worldwide.

Currently, there is a burgeoning demand for instant meals that are not only easy to cook but nutritious as well. This has increased the growth of the RTC segment. Popular RTE foods in India include dishes like paneer, chana masala, rajma masala, and pav bhaji, among others. As more companies enter the marketplace to meet the rising demand, the market will further witness more expansion. However, customers are growing increasingly particular about tastes and nutrition that appeal to Indian palates.

Future of RTE and RTC Market in India

The future of India’s RTE and RTC sector is most likely to increase due to modern consumer preferences. Research suggests that modern Indian customers are likely to be inclined toward RTE meals and flavours that are specific to their area or niche. Single-use upma packets, for example, might be appealing to younger, always-on consumers, but medium-sized packs of rice, parathas, and fries serve smaller, nuclear households. Another important factor is pricing, as customers tend to favour brands that offer affordable prices for a range of pack sizes.

Apart from product variety and cost, sustainable packaging is a major concern with this rising consumer demand to preserve the environment too. Therefore, many food brands are opting for reusable, recyclable, or composable packaging to satisfy environmentally-conscious consumers. Nonetheless, brands need to make sure that their selected sustainable packaging meets quality standards and doesn’t hamper the meal flavour until consumption. If the brands successfully meet these multifaceted needs, the growth potential of RTE, as well as RTC products will rise in India.

ShimlaRed Offers Premium Quality RTE & RTC Products

ShimlaRed stands apart among RTE and RTC industry players, due to its dedication to both quality and innovation. We offer an extensive range of RTC and RTE products. In their RTC category, we offer base gravies, like Bhuna Masala Gravy, Butter Chicken Gravy, Rogan Josh Gravy, White Gravy, Red Gravy, Yellow Gravy, and Tomato Makhani Gravy. And, in their RTE category, we provide pre-cooked staple rice and flavoured rice. Plus, RTE combo rice and curries and combo paratha and Indian curries take centre stage in our product basket.

Furthermore, we offer custom products to meet the distinct preferences and tastes of Indian customers in the domestic market, as well as international markets. With a focus on genuine flavours and premium ingredients, we aim to make the most of India’s increasing demand for instant meal options.


India’s RTE and RTC markets are expected to grow significantly because of shifting customer tastes, rising disposable incomes, and changing lifestyles. Brands, like ShimlaRed, aim to make the most of this growing industry and meet the needs of Indian consumers looking for quick, wholesome meal options because they combine innovation, sustainability, and a focus on quality.


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