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The Indian QSR Spread

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep Kumar
A multimedia journalist with over eleven years of experience in print and digital media, Sandeep Kumar is assistant editor with Images Group. Books, retail, sports and cinema are an inextricable part of his life.

An overview of the quick service restaurants segment in India

The Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) market in India is categorised based on cuisine (bakeries, burgers, ice cream, meat-based cuisines, pizza), outlet type (chained outlets, independent outlets), and location (Leisure, Lodging, Retail, Standalone, Travel). The sector has been witnessing robust growth, driven by factors such as changing lifestyles, urbanisation, and an increasing number of consumers looking for convenient and quick dining options. The market size is estimated at $23.16 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $38.71 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 8.93% during the forecast period (2023-2029).

Several international QSR chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, and Burger King, have established a strong presence in India. These global brands often adapt their menus to cater to local tastes and preferences. In addition to international chains, there are numerous homegrown QSR brands in India that offer a diverse range of cuisines. These brands often emphasise regional flavours and cultural preferences.

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The quick-service segment is primarily fuelled by meat-based cuisines, followed closely by bakeries and burgers. The surge in demand for chicken products like wings, nuggets, meatballs, popcorn, and burgers has significantly contributed to increased sales over the past three to four years. Notably, QSR chains specialising in burgers have become immensely popular as a go-to instant meal in India, catering to the fast delivery of eat-at-home orders and the continuously discerning preferences of tech-savvy millennials. Consequently, the overall QSR segment experienced an impressive 43.2% increase in sales value from 2017 to 2022, as reported by Mordor Intelligence.

In terms of cuisine type, pizza is anticipated to exhibit the most rapid growth, projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.21% by value during the forecast period 2023 to 2029. Dominating this market sector are well-established players such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut, jointly holding a substantial 70% share.

When examining outlet types, independent outlets are expected to witness the swiftest CAGR of 9.13% by value from 2023 to 2029. Approximately 90% of these outlets operate as standalone establishments, strategically positioned in markets and streets for convenient consumer access. Independent outlets boast a cost advantage, offering products at a price 30-40% lower than their chained counterparts, capturing consumer interest effectively.

What Makes QSR Format Popular

Diversification of Menus: QSRs in India have been diversifying their menus to cater to a wide range of consumer preferences. This includes introducing healthier options, vegetarian and vegan choices, and incorporating local flavours into their offerings.

Technology Integration: Many QSRs in India have embraced technology to enhance customer experience. This includes the use of mobile apps for ordering and delivery, digital payment options, and automated kiosks for self-service.

Delivery Services: With the rise of food delivery platforms, QSRs have increasingly focused on delivery services. This trend has become more prominent, especially given the changing consumer behaviour and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health and Sustainability: There is a growing awareness of health and sustainability among consumers, leading QSRs to introduce options that align with these preferences. This includes offering organic and locally sourced ingredients.

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