In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Mohit Khattar, MD and CEO, Godrej Natures Basket shares how gourmet food is catching up with healthy food segment.
How is healthy food becoming the first choice of consumers today?
With increasingly sedentary lifestyles and consequent rise of lifestyle related ailments at one end and the need to look good and fit at the other end – healthy eating habits and healthy food have slowly been gaining traction. I would not go to the extent of saying that healthy food has become the first choice of consumers but it is definitely gaining in importance. Consumers are more aware today about the impact of what they eat and the correlation between specific foods and health conditions. There is a trend to consume products that do well and aid overall wellness as opposed to foods that only taste good or are overly rich and unhealthy. This trend has impacted the cooking mediums that are used, cooking methods that are employed as well as ingredients that are consumed.
What has brought this shift?
It is not something that has happened overnight. This change has been brought about over a period of time with increased awareness and the media playing an important role in the same. The other part has been played by nutritionists and physicians for nudging consumers in the right direction. And finally chains like ours that have made a large assortment of healthy products available for consumers easily.
What is the shelf life of such products?
Products have varying shelf lives. Herbs, lettuce leaves, Kale, berries or Avacado all have limited shelf lives as these are fresh products and are used either as is or in salads and stir fries. On the hand healthy fibre and protein rich products like quinoa and amaranth have much longer shelf lives.
How are restaurants including this in their menu?
Restaurants too are conscious of this. Just the other day, I was reading about a leading burger chain cutting down calories in their burgers by 10-15 per cent on an average. So the trend is all pervasive. I think there is an increasing realisation that to serve finger licking food, one need not make food that is unhealthy.
What is the per cent age of people consuming the same?
I would say that a large percentage over 30-35 per cent are health conscious and have made changes to their eating habits over time. Even the Natures Basket food trends report for 2014 captured this trend.
How are you marketing such products?
We make these products available across our stores and make consumers aware of their benefits through in store activities as well as on our social handles (FB, twitter, instagram etc).
We also organise sessions with nutritionists and chefs so that more consumers become aware of the impact of their choices.
Who are the target customers for the same?
In Terms of demographics the consumers are essentially 28-45 years in age. They are urban, metro based consumers with limited time at their disposal. They tend to eat out a lot but are concerned about their health.
How is it cooking the healthy business?
Cooking right with the right ingredients and retaining maximum nutrition in the dish is the way to health. For us as retailers, offering healthier choices to consumers to help them in their journey is a way of life. We believe that if it is good for our consumers, it is also good for our business.