The Food & Beverage sector in India is constantly changing and evolving, and so are the restaurant trends. 2018 brought about a lot of food and restaurant trends that we saw in the industry.
Right now, Indian Food Services (Restaurants and Food Delivery) is a US$ 50 billion industry as compared to the US Food Services industry, which is worth around US$ 600 billion easily. Macro trends like nuclear families, more women joining the workforce, and higher disposable incomes are going to make the food services industry grow at a very high rate in India.
Looking ahead in 2019, innovation will be the trend in both the beverage and food industry. Earlier, it was about eating and drinking, now along with the taste, people will focus on the presentation of the dish. Unique and efficient plating and service for dishes and beverages is going to be the top ruling trend in 2019.
In 2019, we will also see unicorns from the food domain. India is at the end of a great explosion in food-tech and services, with big dine-in, delivery-only kitchens, and food aggregators becoming unicorns. There are going to be lots of big winners and excitement in the food services sector in India and worldwide, in the process bringing lots of better food choices and service to consumers. This will be related to the new food and tech companies that are on the rise.
New delivery services are being set up and are also expanding through out the country for a larger consumer outreach. There are lots of delivery-only kitchens which have more than 10-20 outlets each are expanding rapidly. In coming year given the high rental and capex required for dine-in restaurants delivery-only kitchens will rise which can give better quality meals at more affordable prices to customers – all in the convenience of customers’ homes and offices.
Diners are busier than ever. The quality of food has improved which means the staff spends more time in the kitchen. So time, speed and convenience is going to matter more than ever and that is going to lead to quick-service restaurants facing cut-throat competition. Casual dining restaurants also have a higher potential of scaling up. QSRs moving to Tier II or III cities could be a leading trend in the coming years and more and more players will realize the potential of this area.
There are a few slightly more unusual trends that could find their way in 2019. While processed food, saturated fat and sugar tend to dominate today’s snacks, future varieties will include alternative options, such as fortified ice creams, vegetable desserts, mood-enhancing ingredients and protein-packed chips.
Brain food is also likely to make its entrance in restaurant dishes next year. Traditional sources of power, such as eggs, spinach and berries, will be in greater evidence.
Millennials have come to the realization that everything they put in their stomach has a long-lasting impact on their bodies other than the short-term effect of tantalizing their taste buds. The need for healthy food is taking over the market.
The coming year will also see the emergence of restaurant fast food kiosk where customers can place his order in outlet. There will be a blurring line between fast food and casual dining.
Fast Casual will be a new trend in the restaurant chain segment. In coming year given the high rental and customers are seeking value for money, fast casual will be the only solution.
As regional foods are being explored in the new food trend of 2018, local produce is being given more value in 2019 . Farm to table is expected to hit the trending charts as local produce is given more importance over imported stuff and regional cuisines .
Another factor that will shape the restaurant industryis the presence of private equity. Over the past five years private equity has been very active in the restaurant space.