Year 2015 was year full of burger revolution. The country witnessed some global burger chains entering India, by making them fit according to the local customers. From customising the menu which suites to the local palate, to introducing a large vegetarian fair, these chains have gone all the way when it come sto replace the traditional Indian food to global diet.
Rise of the ‘Burger’
Burgers were American vadapavs. Sold out of small outlets mainly to blue collared workers in 1954. Post then the upgrading of burgers into QSR’s started with brands differentiating this as inexpensive food for the family making it a family phenomenon. With the growth of spending power the chains upgraded and today we can see the different range and colours of burgers.
Meanwhile, India, which always has its own heritage and tastes when it comes to eating out trend, vada pav, is the replacement that Indian could see to the ‘global burgers’, by making it more Indianised and healthy. In early 2000, brands like Jumboking and Goli Vada Pav took birth, giving a new edge to the Indian form of burger which was till then considered to be a regional and street food.
“With a strongly established burger market we are trying to keep a strong distinction between the vadpav and the burger. While the burger chains are getting into the 20 and 25 rupee price points the competition has been good,” shared Dheeraj Gupta, MD and Founder, JumboKing Vadapav.
However, burger entered India in late 1990’s when Indians were actually learning the global trend or one could say India was a virgin market at that point of time when it comes to global cuisine. But, McDonald’s, the second, the burger chain did it by catering right to the customers here.
Burgers when they introduced into India at the Rs 50/- price point it was clearly not working thus to get people in they had to look at lower price points and it wa s smart move tp giv e a Rs 20/- product in that a/c environment. I think their attempt was to get customers into their stores rather than trying to kill the vadpav.
Adding to the same line, Venkatesh Iyer, Co-Founder and CEO of Goli Vada Pav remembered, “The story of Goli started in Nagpur when we thought there is a need to specialise the Indian burger and hit the Indian market. People started liking our product and soon it was a hit in the market.” New entrants In last few years, not only Mumbai has seen Vada Pav into an organised form but other regions too have witnessed the growth and introduction of the ethnic food. From start-ups like Star Vada Pav, VadaPav.com and Five Star Chicken, operated by CP Foods, a Thai multinational conglomerate has started offering Vada Pav at its restaurants.
Five Star Chicken has launched Schezwan Vada created with the secret spices and masala to give it a Chinese twist. The Schezwan Vada Pav is priced at Rs 39 exclusive of taxes. Presently, the product is available across select Five Start Chicken outlets in Bangalore. Meanwhile, Kolkata based Star Vada Pav believes, “Vada Pav is a finger food. The basic ingredient is the potato and it is one thing which is liked by everyone. We have taken Vada Pav as the segment because it is little bit spicy. Also, not require any forks, spoon anything, so we have grab and go concept for children and office goers.
“We say that the burger stores are like full service bank branches and vadpav stores are like ATM’s. This is the new category in the food serviced market we are trying to create. Vadapav will certainly dominate this category and we at Jumboking would like to dominate the vadpav category,” added Gupta.
Hence, in the years, we could see this segment gaining momentum with more players entering into the segment; Vada Pav may replace the foreign burgers in the country.