MTR Foods – The Journey of Innovation

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MTR Foods – The Journey of Innovation
MTR Foods: Product Ranges

It is no secret that packaged foods is a concept that is built on a deep understanding of consumer insight and a constant requirement of innovation. From the packet of chips that we so readily dig into, to the jams that are liberally applied on rotis and breads across households, convenience foods has taken on a significant avatar to the consumer.

MTR is no stranger to how an insightful packaged product can change a consumers and manufacturers life. In the 1970’s we had to shut down our iconic restaurant for a short duration and realised the role packaged foods can play, to keep up our operations. The need to stay alive coupled with the demand from consumers for our loved products, gave birth to our packaged foods business. From there came our vision – to be an indispensible companion in every kitchen to help create authentic and delicious Indian food. 

The consumer of today is vastly different from that of a few years ago – technology has taken over our lives – making it simpler and more complicated at the same time. Our target consumers do not have the time, technical know-how and sometimes even the inclination to make food from scratch – specifically Indian food that is perceived as cumbersome, heavy and time-consuming. We need quick solutions to our food dilemmas – similar to what we look towards technology for. Food plays an emotional role in our lives, but with the advent of this fast-paced life, we don’t have the patience to wait for it. With a click of button, great tasting food should reach our doorstep, ready to consume! 

This is where the heavy dependence on innovation comes into play. No other industry studies the consumer as deeply as the packaged foods one. At every step of a consumers food journey, from the time they need quick meal solutions for extremely busy weekdays to their desire for comfort home-food on lazy weekends, companies like MTR need to be the consumer’s provider. 

MTR has always studied, gained extensive insight and stayed ahead of the dynamic consumption patterns that dominate the landscape now. We conduct in-depth research on food cultures and sub cultures, ongoing trends in the industry, varying cuisines in different parts of the nation, diverse taste preferences of people and consumer requirements. The recently launched 3-Minute Breakfast Range is a great example of an innovation based on deep consumer insight. The Breakfast range is a result of reams of studies and observation, wherein it clearly showed the importance of eating breakfast. However, hectic lifestyles and increasing time-poverty have led to an increasing trend of youth skipping this meal altogether. Yet, if the time dimension and cooking-knowledge are taken out of the equation, the Indian consumer is sure to choose an Indian breakfast to a western one.

Another innovation that has taken center stage in kitchens across India has been Spicy Sambar Powder. MTR Spicy Sambar Powder is the result of extensive consumer research with close to a thousand consumers and an in-depth cuisine study done in the state. The study threw up some interesting insights such as the distinct tastes of sambar made in the same home according to the palate of the consumer, meal occasions and the central dish i.e. what dish would the sambar be accompanying. MTR’s new Spicy Sambar is targeted at home-makers who are always looking at delighting their family members by providing the best home-made food through breakfast, lunch and dinner and the perfect Sambar to go with it. While the classic variant has always been popular, there is a clear need for a spicy variant so as to cater to a wider usage opportunity.

With constant innovations like these, MTR Foods has understood Indian dishes and the authentic recipes. However, we do face one challenge on the consumer front - adoption. Consumers resist change in familiar formats. So while they will experiment with cuisines, changes in their favorite Indian food are harder to get accepted. To combat this, our products are evolved only on truly authentic Indian recipes that can disrupt the daily consumption habits of consumers. These products represent the practice of great taste and quality, they are identifiably from their region of origin and packaged in innovative and convenient formats that make our consumers lives easier.

MTR has constantly strived to preserve the vast culinary culture and subculture of India and hence the culinary secrets are protected and handed down over the generations. MTR's journey to being India's leading processed food company will continue to be marked by a constant focus on innovation and the adoption of new technology.  

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