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Emerging Food Trends in India – An Insight into This Market in 2017

by Vishwa Vijay Singh - 27-Dec-2016 - Miscellaneous
Vishwa Vijay Singh

Over the years, the Indian food industry has gradually become one of the fastest evolving sectors in the country. It has managed to gain significant growth over the years and is expected to maintain its positive development in the future. According to the India Food Report, the Indian food retail sector, mainly comprising Food & Grocery and Foodservice segments, was estimated to be worth INR 25, 12,962 crores in 2014. It also holds a 65 per cent share in the country’s total retail market.

The report also stated that the average growth rate of the food and groceries segment during the past four years was estimated to be up to 15 per cent, while the food services segment grew at a rate of 22 per cent per annum. Moreover, it is anticipated that the food market in India will register an average growth rate of 5.3 per cent per annum over the next six years.

While the report gave valuable insight into the Indian food market, another key factor that is credited for fuelling the development of this sector lies in the shifting global trends within the food consumption segment that is leading many to exploit its vast potential. Several market players have begun to come up with unique offerings in order to meet the specific tastes and preferences of the growing urban youth population.

 

Urban youth driving the food consumption segment in India

It is quite a well-known fact that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. But, it seems that most people are unaware of the fact that India is also the youngest nation in the world in terms of its youth and working age demography. What’s more, driven by an innate need to be free and take responsibility of their own lives, many young people have begun to shift towards metropolitan cities across the country, be it for personal or professional reasons. New data published from the 2011 census has shown that 2 out of every 5 Indians are migrants, which means 40% of Indians belong to a migrant population.

With improved standards of living, many young professionals have begun to experiment with all different aspects of their lives, and are attempting to explore all things that are new and in vogue. This development is being witnessed in the food consumption segment as well, with more and more individuals coming forward to experience various cuisines from India and the world.

 

Thus, keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, let us explore the emerging trends within the Indian food industry for the upcoming year:

 

Nostalgia-driven comfort food

As previously mentioned, India is currently witnessing a steady rise in migration within both the urban and rural demography. Many individuals move to different cities in hopes of better opportunities, while some move to fulfil their professional commitments. Irrespective of the reason for shifting to another place, living in a new city naturally makes people yearn for anything that is synonymous to their hometown, especially when it comes to food. Therefore, 2017 is expected to witness a rising demand for food stuff among the diaspora community looking for the similar comfort of hometown foods and other region-specific consumable goods. Thanks to the aforementioned steady rise in migration, no food is restricted within its borders. There’s an opportunity for every regional product to reach big cities as the diaspora seeks hometown specialities.

Food adventurism

There’s a growing sense of adventurism among people, especially youngsters, who are discovering are trying different foods. For instance, Marathis from Mumbai crave for authentic Tirunelveli halwa from Tamil Nadu. Buyers experiment with their food and incorporate newer flavours in their meals they would otherwise never have gone for.

 

Travel tales

More and more people travel these days, exposing themselves to diverse foods and cultures like never before. When they come back to their original cities, they look for those specialities they had tried on different trips.

 

Organic Products

People are increasingly opting for organic products - and are now habitually buying them online for their monthly requirements. The organic dry fruits market in India has grown manyfold over the years and is touted to be one of the most popular segments during the upcoming year. Driven by a gradual shift towards healthier food options, the demand for dry fruits like organically grown almonds, cashews, sultanas, etc. has grown considerably over the years, and is expected to be a trending segment during the upcoming year.

 

Traditional route

While the ‘hipster’ trend managed to take hold of almost every single individual globally, the hype surrounding it has begun to slow down in several countries, with India being one of them. Instead, traditional Indian cooking has begun to gain prominence again among the urban Indian youth, and will be one of the most prominent trends in food consumption in 2017. The use of authentic ingredients and recipes for regional specialities is slowly driving out food fads.

 

Baking over frying

Buyers are increasingly choosing baked goodies over fried items. Even sweets and snacks are now getting the baked makeover with traditionally methods of cooking being pushed to the back burner. People are continually in search of healthier options, thus even roasted items are getting more popular. Aerated drinks have already started giving way to fruit drinks.

 

Ready-to-eats

With the number of working couples increasing and people staying out of the house for longer hours, ready-to-eats are finding more and more takers.

 

3Cs

Cookies, cakes, and chocolates are getting wrapped as gifts more often than mithai or namkeen.

 

While it is evident that the Indian food industry will continue to witness change based on shifting demand and preferences of consumers, it can be concluded for now that the aforementioned market trends will be the biggest developments in the Indian food Industry for the upcoming year.

This blog was originally published in BusinessWorld Disrupt

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