With wider exposure to food-related media and acceptance of the consumer for ethnic and gourmet cuisines, the existing food services players are responding to consumer's newest taste fads by adding more cuisine options to their menus.
An offshoot of the increasing globalization is the entrenchment of the food culture within the Indian consumer food services market. Here’s a look at the food culture within the Indian consumer food services market.
· The Indian food services market’s offerings are predominantly “North Indian” in origin, with every third restaurant offering a menu loaded with items from that cuisine. The sophisticated yet subtle use of spices and herbs in this cuisine has made it popular among all consumers.
· Another cuisine which is equally preferred by the Indian consumer is Chinese, currently being offered across multiple segments, e.g. Mainland China in fine dine, Wokamama in Casual Dine, etc. Alongside its popularity with the chain format, it has also become the most preferred street food option. However, this cuisine is not authentic Chinese buy heavily influenced by Indian tastes.
· Apart from the top two preferred cuisines, the consumer preferences tilt towards South Indian cuisine as well, being offered both at mass (Swagath, Sagar Ratna, Nandini, Nagarjuna, etc.) and premium (South Indies, Bon South, Zambar) outlets with a fair mix of chain and standalone formats.
· Furthermore, Italian and American cuisines are also gaining popularity owing to the increasing popularity of brands like Little Italy, Domino’s Pizza and Mc Donald’s. This, in turn, has resulted in the rise of standalone, authentic speciality formats. Players offering gourmet Italian offerings include Sunny’s and Toscano (Bangalore), Tuscana Pizzeria and Azzuri Bay (Chennai), and La Italia and Tonino (Delhi NCR). The chain format within this category has been limited to few brands like Olive Beach, Little Italy, etc.
· Similarly, American style authentic steak is largely popular among standalone players like Miller 46, Boat Quay Grill, Monkey Bar, among others, while chain players offering a more potpourri style include Smoke House Grill, Indijoe, T.G.I.F., Ruby’s Bar and Gril, Hard Rock Cafe, etc.
· One of the prominent emerging cuisines is Japanese (Pan Asian cuisine), largely due to the emphasis on healthy cooking and ingredients. However, the cuisine is largely offered by star hotels or standalone premium brands such as Kyoto in Gurgaon, Izakaya and Sushiya in Delhi, Sushi and More in Mumbai, and Harima in Bangalore.
· Some of the other cuisines slowly finding ground in the Indian palate are Thai (Thai Express, Baan Thai, Benjarong, and Rim Naam) Korean (Gungs, Deok Su Gungs, Inseoul, Taman gang), and Mexican (Quattro, Sancho, Picante).
Summing up one can say that North Indian cuisine remains most available option across city type, while Chinese is the next popular cuisine among people.