Trends That Will Define The Emerging Food Market

The food industry has evolved exponentially and there is a need to understand the tech-enabled and well-informed consumers today.

A PANEL discussion took place at the 4th Indian Hospitality Summit 2019 in the national capital today on the emerging trends, markets and challenges in the food industry. Among the panellists were Rahul Singh, Founder and CEO of The Beer Café & President of National Restaurant Association of India and Anil Chadha, Vice President (Operations), ITC Hotels. The session was moderated by Ranveer Brar, Celebrity Chef Author and TV Show Host.

Starting the discussion Ranveer Brar pointed out that experience has become the key in dining and this is the trend that is here to stay. He further asked then panellists their views on the experience dining and emerging retail food outlets.

“Experience dining and drinking is important. A retailer can make an impact from a different point of view. The retailer’s perspective makes a lot of difference and they are efficiently scaling up by having a global presence and providing the same experience”, said Rahul Singh.

Anil Chadha further expressed that restauranting is not a big deal anymore rather it is simplified. He said, “Food and service is no longer the crux. Today, you have to surround the restaurant with technology, experience and things beyond food and beverages”.

“Scalability is important yet we have bastions like ‘Bukhara’ where after a time you don’t even have to scale. There is an opportunity on either side”, he added.

The panellists also talked about the pertaining challenges in the hospitality industry. Anil Chadha pointed that in the last 5 years, food and beverage world has evolved and erupted out of nowhere. “Scalability is a problem because of the manpower, you need to find the right resource and that is the cause of concern”, he said.

Further, Ranveer Brar asked the panellists about their viewpoints on the growing market of cloud kitchens and pointed out that ‘the world is moving towards cloud kitchens’.

Anil Chadha said, “Cloud kitchen is not a trend but reality. It is a global phenomenon that fits in very well in most of the countries and it is satiating a need that exists. The aggregators have created an infrastructure that didn’t exist. Cloud Kitchen is also moving to tier 2 cities as they are very well tech enabled”.

Rahul Singh shared that Zomato and Swiggy choose the cities based on the availability of washing machines in the city as the people of the city want to save their time with machines. “They are using time as a currency. But the aggregators should not distraught the pricing and keep the quality intact” he asserted.

The panellists further discussed the factors causing the growing demand of aggregators in the food industry.  To which, Anil Chadha expressed that the consumer loyalty factor is out of the window because there are a vast amount of choices available to them.

Rahul Singh said, “The cloud kitchens are built on low-cost infrastructure and there is no fear of law. People have started to question the restaurants about pricing as they are getting low-cost food online. But a lot of restaurant chains in India have not gone online to maintain their pricing and quality”.

“The accessibility to entertainment, with Netflix, at home, is also the reason for eating out is getting diminished”, he added.

Summing up the discussion, Ranveer Brar said, “The future of food trends majorly depends on 3 key things that cannot be avoided, i.e., technology, Indian-ness and millennials”.

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