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The food and the food marketplace are changing drastically. From the consumers’ perspective, the major trend is towards individualization. India is also now becoming cyber smart as the India’s online food delivery market comprising aggregators and internet kitchens grew at cent per cent in 2016 with an estimated GNV of $300 million. Demonetization has increased food business 100% online. Earlier, the foods were commercialized and industrialized, but today it has become simply customized and personalized.

The health and wellness are becoming a priority now. People are going back to roots and are searching for micro greens. They are interested in knowing the actual source of their food, how it is grown and the chain through which it has reached their tables. India’s appetite for healthy food, drinks and snacks is growing rapidly, majority boosted by surging demand for vegan alternatives, protein products, and new crazes such as fermented foods.

Top trends that will disrupt the top food industry in 2017:

Fresh Serving Restaurants: New restaurant brands that can offer a perfect combination of pure smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, along with a menu of salads, wraps, paninis, home-made soups, and the future belongs to the fast food restaurants.

Nuts, Shelves or Kiosks: Potato chips are passé. Nuts are the new in thing snacking rage. Either through retail shelf distribution or freshly roasted or glazed nuts and seeds would be the new snack that the Indian consumer would be seeking to eat.

Flavored Milk: Milk is either adulterated or boring. Flavored milk options like drinkable breakfast beverages and post work outs drinks have the potential to add variety and enhancing the consumer’s dairy experience by offering taste, nutrition and convenience.

Snack in the box: An on demand trend that came into limelight in 2016 was a handy packaging and a personalized low-calorie filing of snacks. The on-the-go food will emerge this year either as food subscription or via the vending business model

Flavored Water: Flavored water is not just a phenomenon; it is likely to take the Indian beverage by storm. Served as refreshing alternatives to sodas, colas and other sweetened beverages, this can give a tough competition to them. This segment is witnessing a lot of crackling in the beverage industry.

Yogurt: Flavored yogurt of Greek styled packed yogurt is the new big super food for the people in India. It promises a huge business distribution opportunity for the customers, mainly who are pushing themselves from the industrial curds.

Grilled & Stir Fry Menus: Today’s diner is looking for easy on the stomach options. Progressive dining as a trend is picking up in India using modern culinary techniques that feature selections of fresh chicken, vegetables, fruits, noodles, tofu, soups, and signature sauces. As customers are allowed to select their own ingredients, adding zesty or sweet and sour sauces, which chefs stir-fry in a special wok, to enjoy a customized, hot, fresh, scrumptious menu.

Dark Kitchen: The food delivery model where the food is served from a non-customer facing front to ensure food variety and healthy foods is catching up rapidly.

Cold Pressed Juices: The humble juice bar would soon be seen getting replaced with selling cold pressed fresh juice or packaged juice with 4-5 days pack would be the new juice drink. 100 per cent raw cold pressed juice with no added sugars or preservatives soon will be the new drink in the town.

Organic food stores: Opening an organic food stores that could either include fresh products like fruits and vegetables or packed organic content like pulses or grains or both are a huge retail opportunity as over 60 per cent of Indians consider it healthy and ready to pay 15-30 percent extra for it.

The year 2017 will now witness business ideas like use of creative concepts, fresh and natural ingredients, fun branding convincing messaging such as “guilt-free snacking” and “low calorie indulgence”. Hence Food and Beverage Franchise has proved to be most profitable recession free option even at the times of demonetization.

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Stories by Zenia Shimon