Specialty retail May, 04 2011

Grab Your Share of Organic Pie

With the rising health consciousness amongst the consumers, organic and natural food is progressively becoming a part of many restaurants’ or fast food joints’ menu. Eating organic and natural food is a latest fad that Indian restaurateurs are rapidly

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Grab Your Share of Organic Pie

With life becoming too competitive and fast today more and more people are eating readymade and conventional food which is easy to cook make and quick to serve. However, as per scientific studies conventional and ready to eat food has lot of negative effects. Regular consumption of such food may lead to lot of diseases such as obesity, chronic diseases and so on. People however, have now realised that the best possible way to avoid falling prey to such diseases is to a switch over to organic and natural food, which the consumers of India have realised in the recent time. Growing health concerns have made them more health conscious thereby leading to the rising demands for organic and natural food in the Indian market. Recognising this increasing demand, lots of organised brands have already entered segment. To meet the increasing demand across India the brands have opted for franchise route. Franchising is the best way to gratify the needs of the consumers as it allows easy and quick expansion across the various geographies.

Organic food industry in India

Before peeping into the organic food industry let us understand what it exactly stands for. Organic food stands for the produce that is prepared without the use of chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers commonly used in cultivation and drugs, such as antibiotics and hormones given to commercial livestock.

The concept of organic food has been around the world for quite some time now and is very quite popular abroad in countries like USA, Europe, Germany and others. These countries are successfully catering to the changing preferences of their consumers and are supporting the aggressive franchise expansion of this concept. Whereas India is a significant supplier of organic food products to the Western countries, is extensively involved in organic farming since the emergence of organic food concept in the world.  But the country itself never gets to capitalise on this niche concept because of the low consumption here. As per the Market Research Report 2010, the organic food market is worth USD 129.3 mn and shows huge potential for growth in future, though 50 per cent of the organic food production in India is targeted towards exports. However, with the awakening in Indian consumers to eat healthy, few restaurant owners have started serving the organic food to survive in the market. The rising preferences show that the organic food franchise in India can be lucrative business proposal for the aspirants who wants to get started with a business in FNB industry.

Organic food restaurants

Organic food is always associated with tasteless boiled veggies, sprouted pulses or soups. But thanks to organic food restaurant chains that has introduced the organic and natural food concept in their menu to offer healthy palatable items to the customers. Here are enlisted the names of those restaurants: 

  • Pure, an international organic restaurant at Taj Land’s End is evident in the signature alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages made with organic fruit and vegetable juices and an extensive wine list; 
  • E-Inn, a Bengaluru based business hotel that offers vibrant cuisine using only freshly grown organic produce from its neighbouring farming communities.

According to Chitranjan Hegde, Director, E-Inn says, “We ensure that whatever we serve to our customers should be purely vegetarian and organic. We do not use any kind of artificial colours or preservatives to cook the dishes.” 

  • The O Experience, a Delhi based restaurant, bar and lounge is a brain child of Himani Modi. She launched it with the idea of giving customers something unique, a concept that will stand out and help the company grow.
  • Lumiere, a Bengaluru based organic restaurant came into existence with the vision to show the world a sustainable ‘Seed-to-food Organic’ business model, thus allowing more and more people to pursue the same and make the whole world a safe and healthy place to live in. 
  • Threesixty at Oberoi, an all day dining restaurant has introduced the concept of preparing organic food for its customers on demand.  
  • Smoke House Grill and Deli 
  • Aspasia Group and many more

These brands have made their own versions of organic fast food and are successfully catering to the need and demand of the consumers. It is a latest trend in the food and beverage industry that offers a healthy business proposition to the aspirants that is yet to be adopted and which has enough room for franchising. It is one of those global franchise concepts that has already been established and succeeded in overseas but is still untapped in India yet.

Franchising in the niche segment

Though the craze for organic and natural food is hastily catching up in India, still the owners of these organic restaurants have not taken the franchise route yet. Although, the concept has fascinated few entrepreneurs to take up the franchise route and capitalise on this highly in-demand business. One such company is Aspasia Group, which is the first venture of Bangalore Urban Spaces Pvt. Ltd has announced to take up the franchise route to launch organic restaurants pan-India in the next two years. As Satish Bangalore, Owner and Founder, Bangalore Urban Spaces Pvt. Ltd says, “Today the market needs sustainable food products, farm fresh produce which are driven by demand to offer healthy food that meets the nutritional requirements in a diet.”

“The preference for organic and natural food is getting better each day, thus showing immense potential of growth in the near future,” says Hegde. Although, majority of the brands mentioned in this article are currently operating via company owned outlets but in the near future there is a huge scope of these and more brands opting the franchise route for pan-India expansion. In short, it is an enticing endeavour for the restaurateurs to mint money on the latest trends in the customers’ preferences. Franchising is the best lucrative way to make it large, be it in terms of expanding the reach of the brand or generating ample amount of profit in return.

Related: Wall Papers Adding Colour To Franchising

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