FSSAI's New Training Programs Boost Food Safety Across India

FSSAI's New Training Programs Boost Food Safety Across India

By Author

Published on November 2, 2023

In a decisive move to counter the increasing concerns over food safety, the Food Safety and Standards Authorities of India (FSSAI) is taking significant steps towards ensuring the health and well-being of the Indian populace. Amidst frequent reports of adulterated food and compromised hygiene standards, FSSAI's recent actions come as a welcome development, especially in educational institutions like schools and university hostels, where food safety has often been a pressing issue.

In an effort to promote safe food practices, the FSSAI has urged states and union territories across India to impart specialised training to the staff managing food sections in educational institutions. This directive was emphasised by Kamala Vardhana Rao, the CEO of FSSAI, during the 42nd Central Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting held in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir. His call for action primarily aims to ensure that students receive hygienically prepared and safe food.

A key component of these new initiatives includes comprehensive training for the food handlers, a strategy to increase public awareness about the importance of food safety. The FSSAI also plans to expand and upgrade the network of food testing laboratories throughout the country, a move essential for maintaining stringent food safety standards.

The CEO's directive also extends to the close monitoring of milk products and sweets, particularly in light of the upcoming festive season. This vigilance is part of FSSAI's ongoing nationwide milk survey, which encompasses 766 districts, reflecting the Authority's commitment to ensuring food quality.

In addition to these measures, FSSAI is actively working on its ambitious project of modernising 100 street food hubs under the Eat Right India Initiative. This initiative focuses on certifying “Clean Street Food Hubs” and has already accredited about 110 hubs, enhancing the safety and hygiene standards of street food vending across India. Madhya Pradesh has notably taken a lead in this initiative, making significant strides in modernising numerous street food hubs.

Another critical aspect of FSSAI's action plan includes aiding street vendors in serving healthy, hygienic food within well-organised and infrastructurally sound areas. Technical support, setting benchmarks, and ensuring compliance are also part of this comprehensive approach.

The discussions and decisions made at the CAC meeting, attended by over 50 officials, including Commissioners of Food Safety, FSSAI representatives, and various stakeholders, underscore the holistic approach FSSAI is adopting to elevate food safety standards.

In a recent development, FSSAI has streamlined the process of obtaining food safety licences. This initiative, highlighted by District Collector Kranthi Kumar Pati, includes an online route for licence acquisition with a nominal fee of ₹1,000, simplifying the procedure for food business operators.

FSSAI's multifaceted strategy to revamp food safety and hygiene standards in India marks a significant advancement in the country's journey towards ensuring a healthier future for its citizens.


Wow! Momo Raises $9 Million in Latest Series D Funding Round

Wow! Momo Raises $9 Million in Latest Series D Funding Round

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 21, 2024

Indian fast-food chain Wow! Momo has announced a significant boost in its financing with a $9 million injection in an expanded Series D funding round from Z3 Partners. This recent funding brings the total raised in this round to $51 million, which includes $34 million in primary funding and $27 million in secondary funding.

Earlier participants in this round included the Indian Angel Network and Lighthouse Funds, which contributed through a secondary acquisition. The initial phase of the Series D funding in January secured $42 million, led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, which significantly contributed to the company's current valuation of over $300 million, as reported by TheKredible.

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The Kolkata-based company, founded by Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai, operates under the Wow! Momo Foods umbrella, which includes Wow! Momo, Wow! China, and Wow! Chicken. Currently, Wow! Momo boasts 630 outlets across 38 cities and employs a direct workforce of 6,000 individuals.

With the latest funding, Wow! Momo plans to enhance and expand its quick-service restaurant brand, improve distribution channels, and invest in research and development for its FMCG sector, which it entered in July 2021.

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For the fiscal year 2025, Wow! Momo aims to increase its footprint by adding 200 more outlets and targets a revenue projection of $83-89 million, up from $55 million in FY23. The company's financial growth is evident, as its operational revenue doubled to $28 million in FY22 from $13.5 million in FY21.

This strategic funding and expansion plan underscore Wow! Momo's commitment to strengthening its market presence in India's competitive food service industry and enhancing its product offerings to meet the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers.


Catch Spices Joins the INR 1000 Crore Club

Catch Spices Joins the INR 1000 Crore Club

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 21, 2024

Catch Spices, a flagship brand of the DS Group, has achieved a remarkable milestone by entering the prestigious INR 1000 crore club in the packaged spice industry. With an impressive year-on-year growth rate of 24 percent over the last two years, Catch Spices is now setting its sights on a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 30 percent over the next five years.

Expanding its horizons, Catch Spices is diversifying its product range to include herbs, gourmet gravies, cooking pastes, and more, catering to the diverse tastes of Indian consumers. This move comes as the packaged spices industry in India witnessed substantial growth, reaching approximately INR 34,000 crores in 2023.

Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of DS Group, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "Catch Spices' relentless commitment to quality and understanding of consumer preferences has propelled us to this milestone. Our focus remains on delivering purity, taste, and convenience."

With over 125 variants and 300 SKUs, Catch Spices has become a household name, reaching more than 2 crore households across India. Leveraging modern trade and e-commerce platforms, the brand has demonstrated remarkable growth, surpassing industry benchmarks.

Supported by brand ambassadors like Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar, Catch Spices has resonated with consumers through its campaign "Kyunki khana sirf Khana nahi hota," emphasizing the emotional connection to food. The brand's increased focus on digital marketing and strategic partnerships further strengthens its market presence.

Catch Spices' journey to the INR 1000 crore club signifies its unwavering dedication to excellence and innovation, promising a flavorful future for Indian kitchens.

With a strategic investment of INR 125 crore earmarked for advertising, marketing, and distribution network expansion, DS Group aims to enhance Catch Spices' presence and market share in the highly competitive FMCG sector. The company is also set to introduce new products tailored to suit the tastes of consumers in South India, further expanding its foothold in the region.

As DS Group continues to focus on growth and market expansion, it remains committed to innovation and consumer satisfaction, aiming to strengthen its position as a leading player in the FMCG sector while delivering value to its customers and stakeholders.


Taylor Swift's Concerts Drive Record Revenue for Singapore Hotels

Taylor Swift's Concerts Drive Record Revenue for Singapore Hotels

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 13, 2024

In March, Singapore's hotel industry experienced a remarkable surge in revenue thanks to six sensational concerts by Taylor Swift. According to preliminary data from CoStar, these concerts led to the highest average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) on record.

Here's a snapshot of the impressive performance in March 2024 compared to the previous year:

Occupancy: 79.1% (+5.1%)

ADR: SGD358.91 (+12.7%)

RevPAR: SGD284.03 (+18.5%)

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Typically, occupancy levels are lower in the first and second quarters after the Chinese New Year, but Swift's Eras Tour injected much-needed energy into Singapore's hotel industry. During the concert dates from March 2nd to 4th and March 7th to 9th, daily occupancy rates soared, with peaks reaching 92.7% and 92.5% on Saturday, March 2nd, and Sunday, March 3rd, respectively.

Overall, the market consistently maintained daily occupancy levels above 70%, with Swift's performances driving ADR levels to a high of SGD438.36 on Saturday, March 2nd.

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The impact of Swift's concerts extended beyond Singapore, with CoStar highlighting a full analysis of the APAC Eras Tour. For additional insights and data requests, CoStar's world-leading hotel performance sample of 81,000 properties and 10.5 million rooms provides comprehensive information.

Taylor Swift's concerts not only entertained fans but also significantly boosted revenue for Singapore's hotel industry, setting new records in March. For more details about CoStar and its services, visit www.costargroup.com.

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