The transforming foodscape of India

Changing fast or changing slow? Seven key implications for the food sector

Indian cuisines have been in a constant state of transformation through the ages. But much is being discussed about the influence of global culture on the Indian foodscape. Examining the science of food preferences as well as environmental factors that can hasten or halt the rate of change, this briefing on India presents insights into the future shape of India’s foodscape.

Seven key implications for marketers in the food sector include:

  1. Change in form not style: The bigger and more immediate change will not come in the flavour or the style of food that we consume, but in the form, composition and source of these foods.
  2. Acceptable novelty of regional flavour variants: Regional cuisine will emerge as a new source of novelty creation for packaged food and food service offerings.
  3. Evolved differentiation in food services: A wide price range and cuisine options represent the first wave of basic differentiation.
  4. Nutrition is the new mass proposition: Nutrition, and not energy density, will emerge as the core proposition in mass-consumed foods.
  5. Opportunities for rural-centric food solutions: Packaged food solutions based on enhanced nutritional content, created specifically for rural realities, will have a growing market.
  6. Packaged RTE growth to dampen: Growth of ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat foods (especially meat substitutes) can expect to slow down, crowded out by offerings from food services.
  7. Boost to food hedonism: In mega-metros and larger towns, the rapid growth of food services will boost prospects for indulgent offerings by strengthening the need for seeking variety and pleasure from food.

The transforming foodscape creates opportunities for a wide range of food products and solutions and will make the environment more dynamic and complex than ever before. The rules of success are going to change, and it is time to rework the playbook.

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