ICF Knowledge Summit June 2018 Concluded with Great Insights

The event was attended by chefs, sensorial specialist, product tasters, entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts.

Indian Culinary Forum and TagTaste successfully conducted the 2nd edition of their Knowledge Summit on recently at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. The event was attended by chefs, sensorial specialist, product tasters, entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts. It was a perfect opportunity for anyone to gain industry insights, get feedback on their products under development and enhance their professional network.

Chef Davinder Kumar commenced the summit with his welcome remarks followed by a presentation by Jaspal Sabharwal, CEO, TagTaste on the newly released book titled ‘Superminds’ by Thomas W. Malone and he correlated the drop in F&B industry’s financial performance with the dysfunctional collaborative networks.

Ganesh Bagler, an interdisciplinary researcher affiliated to the Center for Computational Biology at IIIT-Delhi. Bagler spoke about elements of Gastrophysics and cited practical examples to prove how our senses are intertwined with gastronomy. His team is working on models that can help to answer a wide range of real-life problems like designing a diet plan for a very specific health benefit. He also shared excerpts from his research on integrative studies in food pairing, culinary fingerprints, flavor prediction and health impacts of food thereby opening new frontiers on the science of psychophysics and gastronomy.

Another eminent speaker, Ajay Mariwala, a veteran in flavor and seasoning industry with two decades of experience in ground spices, sterilized spices, seasonings, private label, flavors & fragrance shared some astonishing insights about the seasoning industry. He predicted that the global seasonings & spices market is anticipated to grow considerably over the next few years because of the influence of Middle Eastern and Asian seasonings in international cuisine. He noted that apart from increasing disposable incomes in the emerging economies of India and China, the rising health concerns are making customers explore the remedial nature of spices and seasonings, which is anticipated to propel the market growth. This leads to an increase in the use of flavors among both domestic consumers and hoteliers. He also suggested that the concept of dark kitchens will see a tremendous rise and that the flavor and seasoning industry can enable the rollout of a completely new menu within 90 days of project commencement.

Vijay Wanchoo Sr. Ex. V.P. & GM at the Imperial highlighted how food companies can make better use of the knowledge that many companies from flavor, environmental technologies and equipment can provide.

The highlight of the second edition of knowledge summit was the sensorial appreciation sessions where the panel of experts along with the summit attendees tasted the products from the participating brands and provided their feedback in the session. 13 under-development products from multiple categories such as flavored nuts, non-alcoholic beverages, frozen desserts, peanut butter, cold-brew coffee and American chicken were tasted in-between sessions throughout the day and the feedback was shared in real time to the representatives of the brands in the session itself. American Chicken was recently approved by our Government for sale in India after years of follow up with WTO. Chefs are naturally keen to know more about the American Chicken and we took this opportunity to host an open comparative sensorial study of Indian grown chicken with the imported (frozen) American Chicken

The expert panel under the stewardship of Chef Manjit Gill, this is an initiative of TagTaste to support our young entrepreneurs and chefs, were Chef Bill Marchetti, Chef Gunjan Goela, Chef Veena Arora, Chef Tarun Dacha, Chandni Chawla (Nestle), Ms. Swati Shrivastava (McCormick)and Ms. Shweta Shukla Tripathi (GSK). These sessions helped the brands get feedback from the experts along with the suggestions to improve their products going forward.

 It was also an exciting opportunity for the attendees to witness the products first hand before they hit the market. Few of these interactions also converted into possible business opportunities as the buyers and the sellers were present under the same roof.

The last speaker of the summit was Rajeev Varman, CEO at Burger King. He reflected upon the journey of Burger King in India over the last three years. Mr. Varman said that the consumers in India are evolved and are aware of what, when and how they want their products. They are open to experimenting with flavours and are ready to travel widely for the same. The Indian consumers are already exposed to the universal flavours and it requires a great deal of customization to meet their expectations. His mantra of success for the food professionals is to focus on 3 V’s namely Variety, Value, and Vegetarianism and that these trends are visible not just in Indian but in the global markets.

The event was concluded by Chef Sanjay Agarwal a vote of thanks along with mementos to all the industry stalwarts.

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