By Daniel Hunter

Iconic British brands are flocking to India to take advantage of booming growth and ever increasing spending power.

The retail sector in India is currently worth £309bn, with growth of 25% a year expected by 2016. British companies including United Biscuits, Lush Cosmetics and Pavers Shoes are taking advantage of India’s growth with new ventures being announced today (Tuesday).

Lush Cosmetics, the iconic brand from the British high street, is expected to open its first shop in India after receiving approval from India’s Ministry of Commerce. The shop in Mumbai would give the company an initial foothold in the country.

United Biscuits Group, the world’s fourth-largest biscuit manufacturer, will increase investment in its India operation from £30 million to £50 million. This will build on the success of iconic British brands including Hobnobs and Digestives in India.

Pavers Shoes, based in York, are set to invest £10 million in India, expanding from 35 to 100 stores. Pavers is listed on Europe’s Forum 500 list of the UK’s fast growing and most profitable retailers.

Chaucer Foods, based in Hull, has signed a deal with an Indian food manufacturer to export 60 tonnes of croutons a year, worth £100,000 a year and increasing their trade with India by 50%.

Fever-Tree, a British manufacturer of premium mixers, has announced that it is going to start exporting Indian tonic water to India. This will be the fiftieth export market for this company, which has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports.

The Deputy Prime Minister said:

"The opportunities presented by the Indian retail and food and drink sectors are obvious. Travel around India and you’ll see more and more British products appearing on the shelves of India’s grocery stores. From McVities Digestives to Horlicks and Smirnoff, India’s 1.2 billion consumers are increasingly falling in love with British favourites.

“With more UK companies eager to repeat that success, this is fantastic news for both our economies. India’s food and drink industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in this market. I am delighted to see British companies expanding, and I am glad to see the delegation I am leading helping our great retail sector to make even greater inroads and launching iconic brands globally.”

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