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Wraps and Rolls: A growing pie in the QSR market

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The simplicity and convenience of making and consuming wraps and rolls has enhanced their popularity and acceptability as a commercial offering…

Wraps and Rolls: A growing pie in the QSR market
The product’s gaining penetration into menus across the food service market is enough to underpin its growth

The fondness for wraps and rolls goes back to the school lunch-box which featured a roti or a paratha rolled with vegetables, butter, or jam. Now, F&B players are increasingly offering ever greater variants of this convenient household meal, which is widely popular across the globe as well.

The simplicity and convenience of making and consuming wraps and rolls product has enhanced their popularity and acceptability as a commercial offering. As a product, wraps and rolls have evolved internationally over the years, with delectable fillings such as leafy salads, roasted chicken/meat, and grilled vegetables. In like fashion, wraps and rolls have also evolved within the Indian market, and are known by different names within the Indian food service market, such as kathi rolls, Frankies, kebab rolls, etc.

According to industry sources, the inception of the kathi roll can be traced to Nizam’s Restaurant of Kolkata in 1932. This roll started life as a layered paratha with a kabab filling. The name ‘kathi’ sprung from the use of bamboo sticks for making kebabs, rather than the traditional steel skewers. However, over the years, the product has been transmuted into a culinary wonder as many versions have evolved with different fillings. The product has also gained in popularity within the Indian food service market, being sold largely through the segment.

The product’s gaining penetration into menus across the food service market will underpin its growth. Demand drivers also include the increasing popularity of this product thanks to enhanced product offerings with varied flavors and proteins wooing the taste buds of consumers. The increasing acceptability of this product and the consequent confidence of food service operators towards it can be sensed from the surge in the number of brands that have focused on this category.

Some brands have placed wraps and rolls as core product offerings and are focused solely on making them better and tastier with each passing day, for example, Faaso’s, , , ,, , , etc..Rollsking has over 80 types of rolls as product offerings, including protein suppliers like paneer, chicken, mutton, egg, mushroom, veggies, etc. These are complemented with different flavours, which have increased sales to more than 300 wraps per outlet per day.

In addition, there are brands which are enhancing existing product offerings through the inclusion of wraps in their menu. Brands like McDonald’s, , and More are some examples in this regard. For instance, McDonald’s has recently launched wraps like McAloo/Grilled Chicken/Egg wrap with chipotle sauce. has launched the ‘wicked wrap’ and the ‘not so wicked wrap’, both in the vegetarian and non-vegetarian category.

The product has also gained popularity as a street food with many roadside eateries, which are serving them not only in the metros and mini metros but also in smaller, Tier I and Tier II cities. With the growing trend for eating out, especially among the youth, school- and college-goers, and working professionals, the on-the-go ease of consuming wraps and rolls is set to reach further heights within the Indian market, with new entrants expected to ride on this category’s growth, both at the regional and national level. Over the next few years, the game will shift to innovation, quality, and product build in order to gain competitive advantage, and a greater share, within the market.