India’s exponential growth and consumption in terms of frequency of eating out and experimentation with cuisines and concepts has given the food and beverages services sector such a fillip that this industry is currently estimated to be worth US $48 billion in terms of overall market size.
And the ever-growing foodservices market in India has triggered growth across a wide range of ancillary industries, thus providing a boost to the entire ecosystem. Key allied industries which support food services and have benefited from its growth are agriculture and food processing, supply chain and logistics, real estate, kitchen equipment, and commissary.
The foodservice industry is expected to grow exponentially and it is expected that its total contribution alone will be 2.1 per cent to the GDP of India by the year 2021.
Here’s a look at steps industry stalwarts are taking in 2017 to help achieve targets:-
Vikrant Batra, Owner, Cafe Delhi Heights
There have been some key trends that are gaining traction in the food services space. Having said that I feel there is still a vacuum when it comes to the concept of fine-dining which is why it is difficult to find a good standalone fine dining restaurant in Delhi other than the ones in the 5-star hotels. Our customers are now well traveled and they crave for the same fine-dining experience that they get in other countries. There are many breakthroughs happening around in the world and I feel that 2017 will be a trendsetting year for a good fine dining experience.
Varun Puri, Owner, Imly
2017 we feel that restaurant industry will move towards more creative and matured creations. We also feel that in 2017 industry will move towards the trend of Gastro Cocktails. If we talk about food then more regional and street food specialities will be seen on the menus. It will bring back the revival of North Indian cuisine in contemporary way.
We are launching a new brand in 2017 called Too Indian that will focus on authentic Indian food from various parts of India which will bring back the memories of good old ‘Nani-Dadi ke Jamane se’.
Umang Tewari, Owner, Big Fish Ventures
I believe 2017 will be full of innovations. Apart from this, multi-cuisine will be the flavour of the season. As we are known for offering, multi-cuisine at all of our restaurants, we will continue to do so in 2017 as well along with paying a little more attention to the presentation.
Second most important thing to be considered in 2017 is the location, as now Delhi is more or less tapped, there is a need to build up the space that does justice to dining scene in Delhi. We make a point to open our restaurant in places that have the benefit of great footfall and connectivity. Central Delhi and high street markets are our main focus areas.
As casual dining will be a preferred option in 2017 as it caters to the masses along with classes and suits to the needs of all age groups.
With so many brands coming up together in the market next year, it will be a price war state as customer will look at the offerings at minimal price. We are also planning to introduce exciting packages to survive in competitive world.
2017 will belong to the concept restaurants. Moving ahead of the trend, all of our restaurants are concept driven and our target audience is people who want to eat and drink in style. We make sure that all our restaurants have beautiful décor and amazing vibes as it is the key to retain the customers.
Nowadays as the diners are well traveled, they are more open to experiment when it comes to food. So, in 2017 we will definitely be experimenting more when it comes to food keeping the mind that it continue to please the taste buds.
2016 totally belonged to international flavours. Whereas 2017 will belong to a balance of classical and international flavours. 2017 will also see the trend of plating and presentation. Food Presentation is very important and in today’s times, one just can’t do without art of presentation. It enhances the appetite as food is savoured with eyes without even touching the fork and knife.
I am also coming up with my finest project in early 2017 – Jalwa – which is package of right location, right food, right drinks, right concept and right price. Jalwa will be serving fusion food which will be a blend of simple flavours and a special appeal. I am also taking my popular brands like Tamasha and Lord of the Drinks to Mumbai which are a level ahead and I am sure will take Food and Nightlife standards of the city further higher.
Inderjeet Singh Banga, Owner, Biggie Hospitality
For me it is the vision that matters. I feel any of the restaurant only works if it is build on the concept which evokes the fun element with people. Food, music, interiors are the main element that account for the success of any restaurant.
Innovation in terms of concept already happened in 2016, 2017 according to me will totally belong to the innovations of food. It is a progressive time and hence the cuisine should bring that Progressive Nostalgia. We at Prankster are working on many innovations which will be the first of its kind in India.
Dinesh Arora, Owner, The Unplugged Courtyard, Office Canteen Bar
Food service industry has been growing even after the demonetization. However, 2017 is expected to see many changes in terms of licensing and operations of restaurants as excise and taxation departments are formaliting many policies for the betterment of the sector.
Sohrab Sitaram, CEO & Director, Keventers
The food service industry has witnessed an extremely disruptive and positive growth rate in India in 2016. Consumer tastes have undergone a vast shift along with booming of a global hospitality industry in the country. As now many people are exposed to international food trend, palate, etc, therefore, trends such as Vegan, Gluten free, Superfoods etc have found mass acceptance among Indians.
The beverage industry has also seen an emergence of a third wave where Indian milkshakes, coffee, wine and beer brands have gone the artisanal route. In 2017, there should be emphasis on artisanal food and beverage as several startups have now emerged who may not have enough capital to invest in expensive equipment hence the strategy used will be artisinal. Apart from this, health and chemical or preservative free should be in demand. Owing to the number of lifestyle related diseases that people are now suffering from sourcing of raw material , the process in demand to produce the raw material and the chemicals or preservatives added to increase the shelf life of that particular product is something that people are sure to be interested in. Authenticity will be one of the keys to success.
Abhayraj Singh Kohli, Owner, Grandmama’s Cafe, Pritam Hotel
I believe that in 2017, people will waver towards simple comfort food as everyone has seen the phase of molecular food, or fine dining food and now people want to come back to the basics. Thus, people will prefer eating healthy home type meals, which they can devour without feeling any guilt that the food is unhealthy. We at Grandmama’s are already infusing this trend in our style of food and will continue to do so.
Purple will become the colour of the year with sweet potato, purple cauliflower and asparagus increasingly seen on menus. People will also move towards the health trend and will be replacing pasta or noodles made with wheat or flour with pasta and noodles made of veggies, including lentils, zucchini etc.
In terms of popular food trends, I believe that in the new year, people in India will be focused on remaining healthy. Health and fitness is a growing trend, and people have already started trying to cut down oil, and other fatty foods and move towards salads and green vegetables. In my opinion, gluten-free, organic and vegan foods will be the trend of the new year. People will opt for fresh food rather than processed food and will strive towards a ‘ home cooked healthy’ style of food, even when eating out. Green leafy vegetables, quinoa and kale are increasingly becoming popular. At Desiklub, we are bringing back this type of home/Indian street food with our sabzis and our simple food with a twist.
At TRP, we look at making cooking more transparent to our audience with an open planned kitchen so that customers can see exactly what is going into the food they eat.
Similarly, at Quattro, we have a couple of live food options, which is another growing trend, where people like to see the food being prepared at their very table. It adds to the excitement of eating out as well.
With a hectic schedule, I also believe, ordering in will be a popular trend as people may not have enough time to sit down at a restaurant and eat a proper 2-3 course meal. We too, have our own website from which food can be ordered at home.
Another important trend that I foresee for 2017, is that which involves mixing a lot of unusual ingredients together to create completely unheard of new combinations of food. This year too, we have created Cheese Ice cream and come up with many different combinations of savoury food items in something otherwise regarded as purely sweet. Unique presentations of dessert as seen with the Chocolate Saturn are also becoming very successful. I feel that the ongoing trend of molecular gastronomy will continue, seeing as this has been a great with success with the crowd in India.
Krishna Gupta, Owner, 1441 Pizzeria
Fast Casual is the newest segment where we will see penetration by many brands, which will be a combination of speed and quality. In this fast paced world people do not always have the time to sit down and eat a proper meal and prefer to eat food which is easy to have on the go.
In terms of trends in 2017, people always want to experiment and try out new cuisines and dishes, and thus will look for more exotic flavours. Probably pizza toppings such as kale, mixed berries which are unique, will be popular. At 1441 Pizzeria too, we are bringing more new flavours to the table in congruence with our trend predictions. We will be curating festivals starting with a cheese festival where we will be serving over 6 kinds of cheese.
Oliver Mirza, Managing Director & CEO, Dr. Oetker India
The year 2016 has been phenomenal for us with 40 per cent plus growth in revenue. This growth was predominantly driven by our spreads business (mayonnaise, peanut butter) and Italian Sauces. These businesses contribute more than 80 per cent to our retail sales and are absolute key priority. Mayonnaise has witnessed a tremendous acceptance. Consumer penetration in mayonnaise has grown by nearly 50 per cent. Our advertising campaign convinced consumers to try out FunFoods Mayonnaise and to continue consuming it. Educating consumers about the versatility of mayonnaise is key and in all our initiatives the focus was just that. On TV we had aired 3 advertising spots and over 50 recipe spots. The results of the campaign have been exceptional.
The forthcoming year looks even more promising. In 2017, we intend to continue driving consumer penetration by educating consumers about spreads and Italian sauces. Mayonnaise is the biggest condiment on the planet and our mission is to grow mayonnaise in India to a market size comparable with Ketchup. We have aggressive plans in retail but also in HoReCa where we will move up a gear. We also have the official launch of our state of the art plant in Kaharani which will help us address to the increasing demand in the country.
We are also looking forward to the implementation of GST, a revolutionary move by the Government, which we feel will eventually be a game changer for the country.
Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest
India is expected to become the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market and the year 2016 has been a progressive year for the consumer sector. With the announcement of demonetization drive in November 2016, we also took immediate measures to welcome the move to keep ourselves aligned with current Government’s cashless economy concept. To sail through this revolutionary move and for our customer’s convenience, Organic Harvest came out with exciting campaigns on cashless transactions which resulted in huge positives for us.
We are a future forward company and given that the Indian retail market is promising to nearly double by 2020 we are very optimistic about expanding our brand penetration and growing our market.
Our business grew by more than 200 per cent in FY16. Organic Harvest’s unique product portfolio has received a tremendous response from the Indian consumers. This year we opened our 11th exclusive brand outlet in Mumbai along with around 20 new SKUs. Major brand growth was witnessed in cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Punjab, Vijaywada etc. This year we successfully launched the brand in premium international markets like Dubai and have plans to expand our base to other parts of UAE and to foray into APAC countries like Malaysia and Singapore.
Anant Choudhary, Founder and Director, Freshmen’s Valley
2016 has been a positive year for Freshmen’s Valley. As part of the first phase of operations , we launched our dairy products in Western UP and Uttrakhand market. Within six months, we have expanded to new areas like Meerut, Ghaziabad and Noida. It is overwhelming to receive a good response from the consumers and their faith in the quality of our products. We would be adding new products like Flavored Milk, Fruit Yoghurt and Greek Yoghurt in the coming year.
Overcoming the initial concerns of a startup brand, we are able to keep our commitment to deliver fresh and high quality dairy products to the consumer. Every step is taken to incorporate feedback from our valued partners and consumers. This year brought with it a lot of socio-economic changes, one of which was demonetization. Demonetization has indeed helped the SME sector, however, the pace of digitization will need to be matched by swifter technology adoption by the SME sector.
Our focus for 2017 is to expand and introduce our range of products across Northern India. We would be increasing our product portfolio within our key markets and gradually expanding to new areas. We are confident of the support from our customers.
2016 shows us that Indian consumer has embraced cashbacks and rewards and merchants have adopted this as a strong tool to build consumer loyalty and repeat business. 2017 is going to see a huge rise in digital payments and cashback. Rewards are going to play a crucial role in shaping up consumer behaviour.