The food and restaurant sector is growing swiftly and so is the percentage of foodies. . From 2014, a year of innovation to 2015, a year of food-tech players, the industry has witnessed a mammoth growth that could reshape another history in India. And, as 2015 ends on a high note, 2016 awaits with some new adventures, foodie delights and trips to unfold.. A closer look!
Fast, Casual and Delicious
Fast Casual has grown just when we thought the sector wouldn’t possibly grow. According to a latest research by FICCI, in India, the organised fast casual sector, which has gained a tremendous market share in last 10-15 years, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 27 per cent by 2019-20. Promising a higher quality food with a value for meal pricing has pushed the growth of fast-casual dining in the country.
Not only this, markets like the US and UK are also doing well with fast casual community, rising at 550 per cent since 1999, ten times the growth in the fast-food industry, claimed a research.
“We are offering those who are looking for quality products, who prefer good service and who realise the difference between what fresh produce and products are,” shares Sanjay Chhabra, Director, Sierra Nevada Restaurants, the master franchisee of Wendy’s in India.
In 2016, diners can look for casual restaurants with mouth-watering food that's quick to serve and not too expensive. On the wheels of food truck phenomenon and made-to-order restaurants, time-starved diners are demanding higher quality for abbreviated lunches and quick dinners…and the industry is listening!
Fantastic Fried Chicken
There's nothing like an all-American favourite, prepared to perfection. In fact, there is a full-blown obsession with fried chicken across the nation. And restaurants are adding their own twist with signature wings, sandwiches and, of course, main dishes with all the fixin's.
Sriracha, the spicy sauce with the white rooster on the bottle, has achieved nationwide popularity and is inspiring restaurants to add bolder, more assertive flavours to their menus. Diners can expect an influx of Middle Eastern spices, Indian hot peppers and exotic African flavours.
Many diners are looking for something new…yet familiar. This year, they'll be happy to find that fusion cuisine will be a big trend. For example, restaurants might offer Mexican tacos filled with Korean kimchi, hamburgers served on crunchy Ramen noodle buns or Italian pizzas that use curry sauce instead of tomato.
“The Supermenu is a mix. I have a belief that when we explore out we want to indulge. I think we as people have to balance ourselves, but as a brand one has to give some offerings which are healthy- no preservative, no cream, which reduces sugar level,” said Sanjiv Mediratta, Group Advisor F&B Solutions, Coffee Day Global.
Today chefs are planting even deeper local roots to build on the farm-to-fork trend of 2015. Restaurant gardens, farm-fresh meats and ingredients from local farmers' markets will become more prevalent—even replacing organically grown ingredients. They also predict more "nose-to-tail" and "root-to-stalk" cooking, utilizing as much of the ingredients—in as many dishes—as possible.
“I think the trend will move towards healthy eating and more locally sourced organic products, something which has been noticed for a while, but I believe it will become more refined and more vectorised catering to specific diets this year,” shared Chef Shamsul Waheed, Executive Chef, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality.
Less is More
Small plates, tapas, tasting menus, dim sum, finger foods…no matter what restaurants call it, this taste friendly trend will let diners explore menus, share (if they want to) and try new things without committing to a main course. Small plates offer up a nice variety of flavors without the large-portion temptation. On the other hand, smaller portions can also take the place of appetizers for multi-course meals.
“Today, food places around philosophy are turning a stint. We have played around certain recipes like biryani iron chini, gulab jamun cheese cake, Japanese miso tikka etc. which are a new inspiration in food,’ pointef Chef Ranveer Brar, Celebrity Chef and Corporate Chef, FLYP@MTV.
Tech giants, including Zomato, Google and foodpanda, are offering quick delivery from just about any type of restaurant—even places that don't typically offer delivery. For those who are dining out, a growing number of restaurants are offering kiosks or tablets at the table to take orders, as well as apps to pre-order and keep track of loyalty points.
Zomato partners with hundreds of local restaurants every single day, enabling millions of customers to avail home delivery of meals. “We have been increasing our restaurant base very aggressively and this has allowed us to grow in very short span of time. We have accelerated our growth this year; we're building the most exhaustive platform for food delivery in the country and have one of the largest growing customer and restaurant base,” said Tanmay Saksena, Global Business Head, Online Ordering, Zomato.
Hence, with 2016 on its way, we can expect a better, fresher and an innovative food trend to take the scene in Indian food business.