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Feb, 05 2015

Growing appetite for gourmet

A gourmet product is characterised by the use of high quality ingredients and authentic processing and usually caters to the connoisseur. The Indian gourmet market is divided into the café market, casual/ fine dining market and the retail market. Let's re

The key products stocked in a regular gourmet retail store includes oils, sauces, cereals, concentrates, honeys, syrups, nuts, olives, spices, spreads, truffles, vinegars. Exotic fruits and vegetables form a big part of the product mix of the standard gourmet retail store. A standard gourmet store has about 5,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). Management of shrinkage and wastage and vendor management for proper product replenishment are most important for the smooth operations of a store.

Availability: To fulfil this increasing demand, there are enough third party importers already bringing in these products facilitating ease of availability. These importers have paved way for number of brick and mortar gourmet retailing concepts across India and no longerrestricting the sale in only select retail stores across the country. Today almost all the stores ranging from small departmentalstores to big retail chains sell imported food products.

Popular Brands: Established retail brands in the Indian gourmet food market are Godrej, Foodworld Gourmet and Future Group. Some of the new players like Nature's Basket, Ruci&Idoni, Mason D'Gourmet, Le Marche, Nuts 'n' Spices have grabbed a big share in the pie with wide product assortment and premium offerings while US-based The Counter and Japan's Royce are the recent entrants in the gourmet food market in India. Few online gourmet players like Yzury.com, thegourmetbox.in, deliciousnow.com have also made an advent.

With a CAGR of 20 per cent, the gourmet market is set to reach INR 13,700 crore by 2015. In fact, being a high margin segment and with a consumer base that is willing to spend for quality and variety, the gourmet food market in India can be expected to grow in strong double digits.

Latest trends & growth drivers:

= Gourmet brands tying up with chefs and celebrities to educate customers about the advantages of gourmet foods.

= The well-heeled Indian consumer's increased exposure to global cuisine and to some extent, the rising number of expatriates, are the major contributors to the growth of gourmet food segment.

= Other growth drivers are rapid growth in urbanization, the rising income levels, the exposure to global culture and the growth of specialty restaurants.

= Expatriates and well-travelled Indian consumer as the primary target group.

The writer is a Senior Consultant (Strategy)at Francorp, India

Challenges:

= Lesser awareness of product & segment.  Increasing number of food shows on television is also playing a key role in building the awareness.

= Shrinkage, wastage of products due to limited product shelf life.

= Vendor management for the procurement of right product-mix.

= Managing the replenishment cycle.

= Restriction on import and FDI.

= Currency fluctuation and import duty effecting the Landing cost of product.

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