Over the last few years, Indians have become more experimental when it comes to eating out and choosing what to eat. Seeking all these reasons, healthy food is one such trend which has emerged in the industry lately and now, it is driving the restaurant industry globally.
What’s the big need?
Over the last two years, we have seen different concepts and trends coming to India. With burgers becoming the QSR favourites and pizza capturing the party scenes, the health food segment has also grown eventually in the Indian market.
Today, people do not only want to eat food, but they are much more focused about getting a healthy food at a reasonable price with taste in it. With growing awareness of health foods and healthy diets in the menu, the young office goers and the students are more attracted towards the healthy food being offered in the market.
Experts believe that consumption of healthy food is a part of a broader ‘lifestyle’, and with growing prosperity, the demand prospects do look bright in the years to come.
Healthy food options, which were only available at home has now taken a form of an industry in itself. In the last two years, we have seen major foreign brands venturing into the Indian market, which have already succeeded in the foreign countries. Brands like Pita Pit, Red mango and Smoothie Factory amongst other have entered into the Indian market to fill the gap in the healthy food segment.
Red mango, which is a well-known global brand serving frozen yogurt, has opened over 10 outlets in India and is planning to add more outlets in 2015. Smoothie Factory, which is serving world-class smoothies and other healthy food products have opened two outlets in Delhi and is planning to open one more by March 2015.
“In India, people are increasingly becoming health conscious and are looking for healthier alternatives to traditional fast food. Smoothie Factory provided us with an opportunity to provide that in a Quick Serve Casual Dining concept,” shares, Arjun Khera, CBO, Smoothie Factory India.
Looking at all these opportunities in the Indian market, Pita Pan, owned by Kunal Pushkarna and his mother, chef and restaurateur Reena Pushkarna in Singapore and Macau, is planning to enter the Indian market by 2015 first quarter.
"We wanted to introduce the authentic Israeli cuisine to Asia but with the new twist to it. People know much about Middle Eastern food but are unable to a get the authentic taste of it, so we started Pita Pan serving healthy and modern Middle Eastern food with a little tweak in it focusing on being healthy and tasty at the same time," says, Kunal Pushkarna.
Going the organic way
Consumers, especially those in the high-income bracket are increasingly shifting to organic vegetables and allied products, and while eating out, too, they want a similar experience. No doubt, these products are more expensive vis-a-vis conventional vegetables sold in the neighbourhood store, but the health benefits of organic products just can not be ignored.
To fuel the gap, WIMWI Foods Private Limited, a venture by IIM-Ahmedabad Alumni (batch 2014) has recently launched India’s first high quality packaged Shii’take mushrooms under the brand name Le Gourmetz – the Foodies.
“Indian consumers are looking for healthier options for food, which offer them the taste without the calories. They are looking for both quality and affordability in their vegetables. We have responded to this consumer need by introducing high quality Le Gourmetz Shii’take mushrooms,” says, Srishti Shaw, Co-Founder, WIMWI Foods.
It is clear that with New Year and new trends coming in the Indian food industry, healthy food joints will definitely rule the segment in the years to come.