In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Anun Dhawan, Director, Mentor Hospitality (Master Franchise Holders of Pita Pit in North & East India) shares his view on the consumption pattern in India.
How is the eating habit of Indian consumer changing?
There was a time when healthy food was a matter of choice. Today, with increased awareness about the ill effects of an unhealthy lifestyle along with the newer options available in the market, eating healthy is becoming a way of life. Consumers are shying away from high carb, high fat fast food and willing to experiment with other concepts.
What has brought this shift?
As mentioned, the increasing awareness especially amongst the youth that dominates the demographics of our country along with the increased propensity to spend has brought about a lifestyle shift where the average youth is conscious about their eating habits which result in them looking good. The internet also fuels this boom as it is a constant source of knowledge and information with trends going viral in a short span of time.
What is the shelf life of healthy food products?
The shelf life of food varies from product to product for eg. Vegetables are fresh for 2 – 3 days whereas meats are kept in frozen form for over 6 months.
How would you classify the consumption pattern today?
Hard to put a number on the percentage of people consuming healthy products but it is increasing at a rapid pace and is also helped by the growth in infrastructure where choices available to consumer across regions is at an all time high
How are retailers adding healthy foods in their menu?
Retailers are leading the way by moving away from the conventional fried food that they would sell in their stores. We have seen a lot of new players in the market (local) supplying a range of products with a health twist (for e.g. Spreads, sauces, juices etc) that retailers have tied up with. It is a win-win situation as retailers have a wider target audience & the average consumer having more choice.
How are you marketing healthy food options served at Pita Pit?
Our tagline is "Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating". As a brand we offer customers made-to-order customized pita sandwiches and salads with a range of salad table ingredients. We market ourselves through the customer experience (word of mouth) as we have entered the QSR market where numbers of international chains are coming into India, but there is a still huge gap in the healthy food category. Pita Pit offers a fresh & healthy eating option On The Go to customers outside of their homes. We call it the #Pitawayoflife as we have customers frequenting our outlet 4 to 5 times a week
Who are your target customers?
When we rolled out the first Pita Pit store, our target market was the growing population of health & fitness conscious people wherein we expected most of our business from the youth. Luckily the product has found mass appeal with people of all ages appreciating our made-to-order customized pitas & salads with the salad table ingredients offering enough choice to each customer.