The Future of India's Thriving Food Export Market: Key Categories and the Role of AI

Discover about India's top agricultural export products. Learn about their value and main export countries. Also, explore how AI can improve quality control and supply chain management in the growing India Food Exports sector.

April 7, 2023

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India's Food Export Market is rapidly growing and has become an important source of revenue for the country. The demand for Indian food products has been increasing across the world due to the unique taste and high quality of the produce. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has told Parliament that during the current financial year (April 2022 – January 2023), the agricultural and processed food exports have registered an increase of 6.04% amounting to USD 43.37 billion over the exports of USD 40.90 billion during the corresponding period of the previous financial year i.e April 2021 to January 2022. Processed foods export contributed to ~20.0llion USD. Over the years, India has mastered the art of exporting a vast range of food products, contributing significantly to its growing economy.

So, what are the top agricultural products that India exports? Let’s take a look.

  • Fresh and Processed Vegetables & Fruit Products: Fresh and processed vegetables and fruit products from India are in high demand globally. India exports a diverse range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and their processed products, including top products such as fresh mangoes, mango pulp, and grapes in fruits, and onions in vegetables. The exports of processed fruits and vegetables have also been on the rise in recent years.

  • Animal based products like Meat, Poultry Products and Dairy Products: India is a leading exporter of animal-based products such as meat, poultry, and dairy products. Buffalo meat is the most exported, followed by poultry products and other meat varieties like goat, sheep, and other processed meat products. Dairy products are also extensively exported from India.

  • Cereals, Cereal Preparations and Pulses: India's cereal, cereal preparations, and pulse exports are a major player in the global market. As the second-largest producer of rice worldwide, India exports a significant quantity of rice, including the world-renowned Basmati and Non-Basmati varieties. Additionally, wheat, maize, millets, milled products, and other cereal preparations are major commodities, along with pulses that are widely exported from India.

  • Milk and Milk Products : India is one of the largest producers and consumers of milk in the world. The country is also a significant exporter of milk and milk products, including cheese, butter, and milk powder.

  • Processed Fish : India is a major producer and exporter of seafood, including processed fish products such as frozen shrimp, fish fillets, and canned fish. According to data from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), India's seafood exports were valued at USD 5.78 billion in 2020-21. Of this total, processed fish products accounted for USD 2.44 billion, or around 42% of the total. The top export markets for Indian processed fish products include the United States, the European Union, Japan, and China.

  • Spices : India is known around the world for its rich and diverse range of spices, including chili peppers, turmeric, and cumin. The country is the largest producer and exporter of spices in the world, and Indian spices are highly sought after for their unique flavors and aromas. The top export markets for Indian spices include the United States, China, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Nuts: India's nut exports, including groundnuts, cashews, and walnuts, have gained worldwide recognition for their exceptional quality and flavor.

  • Jaggery, Honey and Cocoa Products: Jaggery, confectionery, honey, and cocoa products from India are also gaining popularity globally, with a growing demand for their unique taste and nourishing qualities.

  • Tea, Coffee : Along with the above categories, India's tea, coffee, and miscellaneous product exports are another significant contributor to the country's economy. As one of the largest producers of tea globally, India is known for its unique flavor and aroma of black, green, and specialty teas. Coffee beans are also widely exported, and the country is renowned for its aromatic spices that are used in cuisines worldwide.

Category Name

Value of Exports (2020-21)

Main Countries of Export

Basmati Rice

$4.78 billion

Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE

Buffalo Meat

$3.48 billion

Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt


$3.52 billion

US, China, Vietnam, UAE

Processed Fish

$2.44 billion

US, EU, Japan, China

Fresh Fruits

$1.44 billion

UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal


$1.25 billion

UAE, Bangladesh, Malaysia


$1.02 billion

Bangladesh, Somalia, Iran

Dairy Products

$834.15 million

Bangladesh, UAE, Nepal


$901.82 million

Bangladesh, Nepal, UAE


$815 million

Russia, Iran, UAE

Source : Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), based on the value of exports in the financial year 2020-21.

How can AI positively impact the growing India Food Exports Sector ?

AI has the potential to revolutionize the food industry as a whole, and has already started to make a significant impact in many areas. In the context of food exports from India, here are some significant ways in which AI can increase or positively impact food product exports:

  • Quality Control: One of the biggest challenges faced by food exporters is ensuring that the quality of their products meets international standards. AI-powered systems can help to detect and eliminate defects in food products, ensuring that only the highest quality products are exported. For example, AI-based optical sorting machines can be used to sort fruits and vegetables based on size, shape, color, and other quality parameters. This can help to reduce wastage and improve the overall quality of the products.

  • Food Labelling and Regulatory Compliance : AI can help in establishing compliance of food products to international laws by facilitating the accurate and consistent labelling of products. This is especially important in the context of food exports, as food labelling requirements can vary significantly between different countries and regions, and non-compliance can result in the rejection of shipments or other penalties. AI can also be used to ensure consistency and accuracy in labeling across different product lines and batches.

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  • Food Safety: Food safety is a major concern for consumers and regulators around the world. AI can be used to monitor and track food products throughout the supply chain, ensuring that they are safe and free from contaminants. For example, AI-powered sensors can be used to monitor temperature and humidity levels in storage facilities, ensuring that food products are stored in optimal conditions.

  • Product Development: AI can also be used to develop new and innovative food products that are better suited to the needs of international consumers. For example, AI-powered systems can be used to analyze consumer preferences and develop new flavor profiles that are more appealing to consumers in specific markets. This can help to increase the competitiveness of Indian food products in the global marketplace.

  • Food Traceability: AI can be used to improve the traceability of food products, making it easier to track products throughout the supply chain. This can help to ensure that food products are safe, and also help to address concerns around ethical and environmental practices. For example, AI-powered blockchain systems can be used to track the origin of food products and verify that they have been produced in compliance with ethical and environmental standards.

  • Supply Chain Management: AI can also be used to optimize the supply chain, making it more efficient and cost-effective. This can help to reduce the time it takes to get products to market, and ensure that they are delivered in the best possible condition. For example, AI-powered logistics systems can be used to optimize delivery routes, predict demand, and monitor inventory levels in real-time. This can help to reduce costs and improve overall supply chain performance.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to positively impact food product exports from India in many ways. From quality control to supply chain management, product development, predictive maintenance, and food safety, AI can help to make Indian food products more competitive in the global marketplace. By embracing AI-powered technologies, Indian food exporters can improve the quality of their products, reduce costs, and increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

About LabelBlind®

Established in 2018 and based in Mumbai, LabelBlind® specialises in the area of Digitising Food Labelling and Regulatory Compliance. FoLSol® by LabelBlind® presents India’s 1st Digital Food Labelling Solution. The SaaS platform supports Food Businesses to be Labelling Compliant and Build Consumer Trust. FoLSol® by LabelBlind® is designed to strengthen the food labelling ecosystem across a wide spectrum of services including, Packed Food Labelling, Menu Labelling, Exports Labelling, Nutraceuticals and Food Supplements Labelling and Labelling for Ecommerce players. FoLSol® Digital Food Labelling Solution is fast, accurate, and cost effective. The company is ISO9001 certified in its processes.


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Monalisa Ganguly (MSc Food Technology and Processing)

Monalisa is happy go lucky gal, and fond of dogs and nature. She is a hardworking regulatory affairs enthusiast.

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