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India’s food service market to touch $78.8 billion by 2026

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Experts at the Indian Food Forum discuss disruptions in food service, shifts in consumption patterns, challenges and opportunities on Day 2 of the mega event

New Delhi: India’s food service industry which is 47% organized is expected to grow to $78.8 billion from $57.2 billion currently with a 53% share of organised players in 2026¸ according to Wazir Advisors.

In 2023, within the organized foodservice market, with a revenue of $27.1 billion, $5.9 billion came from organized chains and the rest from independent establishments. By 2026, this organized revenue for food service is seen growing to $42.7 billion, with organized chain share accounting for $9.8 billion, Pakhi Saxena, Practice Head – Retail & Consumer Products at Wazir Advisors.

The surge in this market is also an outcome of easy access to the internet that millions of Indians today have via smartphones which has catalyzed order placement with mobile wallets and one-tap payments.

Saxena was speaking at the India Food Forum powered by Smart Bazaar at West Mumbai Powai Lake.

She also spoke about disruptions in the space. According to her, cloud kitchens are redefining the food service business across most Indian cities accounting for one out of every five orders.

“With advantages like low initial investment and operating costs, higher profit margins, and relatively easier geographic expansion, cloud kitchens have taken the foodservice industry by storm,” said Pakhi Saxena, Practice Head – Retail & Consumer Products at Wazir Advisors, a consulting firm.

Owing to their rising popularity, cloud kitchens have attracted significant investment in recent times with Rebel Foods becoming a unicorn in 2021, Saxena said at the 16th edition of India Food Forum.

The shift in food service consumption trend is also an outcome of the fast-paced lifestyles of consumers, the increasing number of women in the workforce with higher disposable incomes coupled with scarcity of time.

However, factors like seasonal shortages, economic slowdowns, and surging fuel prices contribute to spikes in prices of raw materials such as eggs, meat, fish, and vegetables, squeezing margins, compelling operators to raise menu prices, posing a retention challenge with value-conscious customers.

The event witnessed the sharing of several such insights through presentations, panel discussions and roundtables.

India Food Forum by IMAGES Group is the country’s largest food B2B intelligence and exhibition platform with a unique combination of wide-ranging product displays, two-day conference and masterclasses, networking and business development opportunities, food D2C, tech & solutions showcases and India’s most prestigious awards for food & grocery retail and food service sectors.

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