Rapid change in food consumption habits in India has spurred domestic and foreign quick service restaurant (QSR) chains to implement aggressive expansion plans. According to a Rabobank report, this growth is set to accelerate
“QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) will be a double-digit growth story in India in the medium- to long-term, as food consumption habits in India are changing fast,” commented Rabobank India Head F&A Research & Advisory (FAR), Asitava Sen.
According to the Rabobank report, “A younger population, higher rate of urbanisation, larger disposable incomes, higher protein consumption, increased participation of women in the workforce and exposure to western lifestyles are leading to the experimentation with, and adoption of, new dietary habits and more occasions to eat out for all levels of society”.
“As a result, we believe the time is right for both global and Indian QSR chains and their supply chain partners to expand in India. This growth will support the development of a new generation of Indian food processors and supply chain partners. We believe that there is significant potential for commissaries to establish themselves as a link between QSRs and food producers and processors”, Sen added.
To sustain the growth, while focusing on quality and profits, QSRs will have to build collaborative and dedicated supply chains from the ground up—connecting local business partners, high quality vendors, the right commissaries and state-wide or nation-wide supply chain solution providers.
Total industry size for the Indian foodservice sector was Rs460 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2011 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% until 2015. Out of this, the QSR segment is worth Rs33 billion ($600 million) and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% over the same period.
At present, according to the National Restaurants Association of India, 50% of the consumers are eating out at least once every three months, and this shift is epitomised by the growing presence of QSR concepts, including many global QSR players.
An efficient supply chain will help provide standard product quality to customers across stores, but supply fragmentation in India is significant, creating quality issues at the ‘back-end’. Limited modern storage and transportation infrastructure adds to the problem, which is even more pronounced in perishable products. As such, capital investments in the upstream and midstream processing parts of the supply chain are critical, especially since food production, processing and preparation on a large scale are just beginning in India.
Relationships between QSRs and their channel partners have worked well in categories such as cheese, poultry and frozen foods in India and there is room for such partnerships to flourish in other key categories of commodities and processed foods.
QSR players prefer to have multiple supplier options to diversify the risk and help in price negotiations. In segments such as poultry, cheese and French fries there are only a few processors currently, but QSRs may look at either developing small players as vendor partners or even consider backward integration into the business.
As we suggested yesterday, the market staged a minor rally today. The Nifty remains oversold and the weak rally may continue but there will be sellers at higher levels
The quality of inflight meals aboard Indian airlines have drastically come down while the Indian Railways seems to be going from strength to strength. It is time for a rethink in the way airlines serve flyers
So, how many of us remember the meals on domestic flights within India, which were good enough to discuss at home? As a matter of fact, for many, the inflight meal was best part of flying. Take a look at just some of the photographs from those days, not too long ago.
Even the thali served outside Delhi’s domestic departure, before privatisation, reared its ugly head and laid low all pretences of decent meals at terminals. Take a look at this photo
And then came the great low-fare no-frills revolution. Here, for example, is what you got free of charge on Indigo when they started—a barf bag and a bottle of water.
Soon thereafter, you could start buying sandwiches and soft drinks and stuff, and to-date, their purchased food onboard is one of the best. Plus, they don't make such a fuss if you bring your own onboard, they gladly provide napkins too.
SpiceJet, in the beginning, used to give free cookies. People started grabbing them by the bucket. End of cookies.
It then started with these really healthy whole wheat sandwiches, alas, not found onboard anymore.
Kingfisher Red tried to make amends but it was too late. Still, the concept of its free hot meal in a box was fun.
Go Air, when it started, had some really mixed up offerings, like this one below:
Later on, they got better:
Air Deccan, of course, was from a different planet, so to speak. They tried to refuse me free drinking water. Then, I threw the rule-book at them—commercial passenger licences ensure that ample potable drinking water is to be provided to passengers onboard. After this, they served it, for free. Besides this, their food was nothing much to write home about.
Fast forward to present. This is a particularly good meal I had on an Air India flight from Kochi to Delhi about a year ago.
Jet Airways and its various avatars are now at a point where often you do not know till you board whether you will get a meal, or not, either way, this is dinner on a Chennai-Delhi flight. Compare it to the one above, on Air India?
In the name of “no-frills” you can end up spending upwards of Rs250 for almost nothing, like these:
Take a look at what is on SpiceJet’s website:http://www.spicejet.com/foodmenu.asp. They make it look very appetising and mouth watering on their website.
Today, fares between low-cost and full-service airlines are often more or less the same. As a matter of fact, Air India is often cheaper on competing routes. This is considering the kind of time and stress involved before boarding a flight and taking into account the fact that you may have missed a meal. This calls for a much healthier and better meal than the greasy sandwiches that many of our airport snack bars seem to serve. Another thing is the fake ‘foreign’ fast food (which is another report altogether) and expensive hot cooked meals which have lost all semblance to value for money by the time it is served.
On the other hand, the Indian Railways appears to be going from strength to strength, and not just on the Deccan Queen but also on the Shatabdi and Rajdhani and Duronto class of trains.
It is about time airlines did what Indian Railways do: Define a meal by weight, charge a reasonable price, and most of all—healthy options. A bowl of salad or fresh cut fruit was always there on the table in the good old days.