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All posts by Vikas Vashisht

Food & Beverages Mega Trends

Our team complied all the data collected in the previous years, & put together a brief overview of Mega Trends in the domain of Food & Beverages industry for India. Mega Trends show up in majority consumer behaviours over the years, and usually exhibit themselves in domains other than they were designed for. F&B industry has grown tremendously in the past few years owing to various factors which include the advent of Social Media, Globalization, and Destination tourism. A more aware consumer these days, would not only like to eat but would prefer to know about what he is eating in all the available parameters like demography, culture, etc.

 

Based on our data, following are the Mega Trends we should see more so than often in Consumer behaviours:

  1. Identity
  2. Sociality
  3. Hobby
  4. Creativity
  5. Quick & Healthy

Identity

Identity

What It Means?

F&B has become more & more associated with its culture, than just being the means of consumption for the end consumer. Consumers today, are looking forward to experiencing new cuisines, delicacies which are carrying a particular flavour for a particular geography, & preferably has some historical importance or story associated with it.

F&B has, thus acquired an Identity of its own in the minds of the consumer. This has further been catalysed by the ever increasing global tourism. People have been, more so than often tasting new, a& exotic delicacies from various geographies. The food identity has thus acquired many factors of its own such as the following

  • Source, or Origin
  • Spices, or Condiments
  • Ways to Prepare & Present
  • Associated Appetizers & Spirits

Culinary Tourism has indeed acquired a centre stage in terms of F&B trends. As per the new report on Food Tourism issued by the UN World Tourism Organisation states that “over a third of tourist spending is devoted to food”, which clearly shows how important the cuisine of a destination is today. In fact, says Chatterjee, “Gone are the days when sights and nature would entice people. Today a major section of travellers travel for food – and not just gourmet food, that was the key a few years ago – but for local tastings.”

Experts & Evidences

  • Says Zubin D’Souza, Executive Corporate Chef, Mars Enterprises, “2014 saw single-origin food as one of the big trends in the food & beverage industry. Procuring food from a single farm or a single region was given a lot of importance, more so as it translated into better quality, better tasting food.”
  • Indrajit Saha, Executive Chef, Sofitel, “More F&B outlets began stocking products like wine and chocolate made from a single source as it not only established a certain credibility to the product but also consistency in the end product.”
  • 2013 end saw the rise of local ingredients, with more chefs using locally produced ingredients in international cuisines to bring forth better flavours. This changed the way food was presented as simple flavours saw more takers than complex dishes. Even Chef Sergi Arola decided to go hugely local with Arola by using Indian tomatoes and the naan for his menu in place of exporting ingredients from Spain. Ask him why and he would cite the ‘tartiness’ of Indian tomatoes that are better than those found in Spain.

Sociality

Sociality

What It Means?

F&B, over the last couple of years, has become more than just something to eat & drink. The fusion of Social Media into the F&B arena has dramatically changed the choices & habits of the consumers. Twitter, Facebook, Zomato, Food Blogs like Chilli & Mint, Cook in a Curry etc. has dramatically changed the decision making process of Indian Consumer when it comes to F&B. These sources has allowed Indian Consumer to be become more aware of what they are eating, & that how they should be eating. Indian consumer is currently dealing with an information overload when it comes to F&B, and has not realized that till now.

F&B has risen to become the topic of conversations on these SNS.

Commensality (eating together) is a ritualistic form of Social Interactions that circles around food within the personal & professional spaces of Indian population.

Women in India play an important role in Sociality & Hospitality around food.

Experts & Evidences

More than 75% of the people we talked to are using social media as a primary tool/influencer when it comes to making their F&B choices in terms of the following:

  1. Eating out
  2. Eating at Home
  • Planning a Party at Home

Realizing this, more than 90% of major restaurants either have their websites up & running, or have created their profiles on the likes of Zomato, further inviting their customers to write reviews about their food.

Top F&B Brands on Facebook Facebook Fans
Red Bull 42,994,624
Oreo 40,001,327
Starbucks Coffee 35,605,809
Pepsi 32,926,078
Nutella 29,257,648

Source: KDASS Research Database

 

COMMENSALITY IN FOOD

Diverse regions, religious groups and caste communities in India have different cuisines, the vast majority of which are only experienced in people’s homes, and not in majority of restaurants. Eating together a local/Glocal cuisine provides the space needed for Social Interaction.

Food served within the home is a point of pride and honour in itself, and must often be ostentatiously appreciated by guests.

WOMEN, SOCIALITY & HOSPITALITY

A women exercises power and control over home by legislating food and hygiene practices. Such authority may be expressed through elaborate expressions of hospitality.

Guests may observe and later comment upon the elaborate manner (adaa, sha’eli) in which her hospitality was operationalized.

The widely shared cultural assumption is that a woman’s feminine genius may be experienced through the flavours of the food she creates. There is therefore an alimentary relationship forged between this woman and those who have tasted ‘food made by her own hands.’

The lady of the house will often eat last. Others who share in hosting a meal event will also take care to help themselves later, only after guests have been satisfied.

Hobby

Hobby

What It Means?

F&B has emerged, in the recent years, as a major hobby enabler amongst Urban & Semi-Urban set ups in India.

Popular Cookery shows, Contests on Entertainment channels like Masterchef has developed a fan following amongst masses. A dedicated F&B channel “Food-Food” is on the cable TV subscription for a majority of households.

Entertainment channels has turned names like Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Chef Kunal, Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Harpal Singh into household names. People, especially men, have now stepped into the kitchen for weekend cooking exercises.

Beer & Barbeque has become a major get-together option in the Urban set ups over the weekends in Winters.

Cooking has been identified, & recognized by a major set of our respondents as an effective stress-buster for them.

Coffee has introduced itself in the Indian masses as a recent craze.

Experts & Evidences

More than 75% of the respondents our team interviewed last year admitted to cooking/mixing spirits for cocktail as their hobby.

Students residing in hostels admitted to cooking more so than often in their dorm rooms.

Majority female respondents, though cooking on a regular basis, admitted to the habit of experimenting with their cooking skills & using recipes from magazines/internet to learn more exotic recipes.

Cooking Competition shows like Masterchef India has encouraged people to pursue cooking as a hobby to the next level with the opportunity for the people to pursue their hobby to a higher level of social & economic achievement.

Cities like Mumbai & Bangalore are offering courses in Bartending for people interested in the same. These courses draw in a good number of students willing to pursue their hobby to a professional level.

Though Coffee is not doing well in terms of the Coffee Chain Business in India, with Turin-based coffee company Lavazza, the owner of Barista Coffee in India, selling the Indian coffee chain to Carnation Hospitality, changing the ownership of the company for the fifth time in two decades. People have been experimenting with variety of Coffee drinks within the domain of their homes.

Creativity

Creativity

What It Means?

Concepts like Molecular Gastronomy, Fusion techniques etc. have penetrated the niche segments of Indian masses to a good extent.

People have began experimenting with their F&B in its conventional form.

Glocal (The Global-Local) is the new form of food being prepared in most Indian homes today.

Entertainment Industry is playing a major role here with Global Chefs offering Global recipes, & thereby more options in the kitchen for Indian masses.

People are looking for newer ingredients to create new kinds of recipes.

Mocktail & Cocktail menus have introduced numerous offerings owing to the ever increasing demand by Indian consumer.

Experts & Evidences

Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (that owns Masala Library and Farzi Café), “Suddenly, people – diners and chefs – discovered how one could use concepts like molecular gastronomy and other sciences to ring in anew dimension to each Indian dish presented and up the dining experience. Chefs became experimental, kitchens became lab and the concept of Progressive Indian Cuisine was born. In fact, restaurants began focusing on offering high quality dining experiences, at par with international standards with a better understanding and implementation of this science.”

In the coming years, adds Zorawar, “showcasing lesser-known Indian cuisine using modern techniques while preserving the ancient culinary traditions will be biggest trend.”

With entertainment channels showcasing Global Chefs with their international delicacies, Indians feel a limitation considering their Food Culture Etiquette. Given this, there arises a need to get creative and create a Global-Local delicacy.

Our research shows that though people appreciate the varied cocktail menu, there are fewer options available in terms of Mocktails for the Non-alcoholic consumers.

Quick & Healthy

Quick Healthy

What It Means?

Owing to their ever hectic lifestyles, on an everyday basis  most respondents prefer to eat something which is available On The Go.

Indian consumer has realized the importance of healthy eating.

Indian consumer is looking for transparency in advertising & ingredients.

Indian consumer will be looking for prescribed Health food.

Food packaging will become an important part of the purchase process.

Experts & Evidences

“Earlier, you would see quick-service restaurants being used for occasions and celebrations,” said Mr. Jatia, vice chairman at Hardcastle Restaurants. “Today, the weekend and family business continues, but working adults are using the sector far more than in the past. We’ve now also become an option for young professionals with disposable income to use us for a meal on a weekday.”

Most people in the Urban & Semi-Urban set ups of India are resorting to the Quick & Healthy breakfasts like cereals, muscli, omelette, toasts etc.

As the consumer becomes more aware of their health risks, they are paying more attention to the components/ingredients of the F&B purchases they make. Some respondents pointed out the difference between the “No Added Sugar”, & “Activ” varieties of juices by Real. According to them, the “No Added Sugar” varieties contains higher calories & sugar, whereas the “Activ” varieties are totally free from any added sugar.

With an ever increasing rate of Cholesterol related disorders & Diabetes , consumers will be looking for prescribed food options for such disorders, digging deeper into the labels & ingredients.

With people becoming more & more environmentally aware, they will be looking for options with packaging more environment friendly. These choices are also indirectly influenced by children at home. With a dedicated Environment Sciences program at school, children will influence the grown ups to choose environment friendly products & packaged goods.

 

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The Need For Complicated Systems

Users in India have, more so than often, been complaining about the complicated procedures involved in an otherwise simple process. Be it customer care of an MNC, or a daily walk into another Government office. The only certainty that one has in all these processes is that your requirement will most likely, NOT BE, fulfilled at a single interaction point. You will have to enter into a system of multiple interaction points with no clarity of which to approach & in what order. Lets take the example of a regular call centre first. We will try to take a deeper look into it in the coming 3 article series, which will deal with this in the following stages:

  1. Article 1: The Need of Complicated Systems & their utilities
  2. Article 2: Complicated Systems & their negative impacts
  3. Article 3: De-Complication

The usual protocol is that whatever problem or option it is that you are choosing, your call will land up in a sales department. The executive will follow a template trying to resolve your queries, & hence the “Can I put your call on hold for a minute, Sir?” protocol. If your answer is within the template, your problem might be resolved followed by a scheme or offering by the executive. In case, the template cannot resolve your query, your call will be redirected to team leader who will assure you that your situation will be resolved in less than 48 hours. In case, it doesn’t get resolved, and you dare call after 48 hours, your call will pass through the executive, team head to the technical support advisor who will resolve your query, or highlight your alternatives and your doubts will be answered in practice. Below is the process summary,

Interaction Points

If you apply the same situation to a Government office, the interaction point may be more and hence the resolution time of your query is relatively higher. If you would have landed up directly at Interaction point 3, your query would have been resolved in no time. But that happens rarely, given this is a highly generic scenario. And furthermore, this is a problem oriented scenario. There are many which are service oriented like the filing of returns, notarization of documents, registration certificates etc. the key question before we can apply any speedy solution to these scenarios is, What is the need for such complicate systems?

Though this question has no definite answer, we can look for probable answers in its utility.

  1. EMPLOYMENT: In a country like India, where the unemployment rate is significantly high. The more number of interaction points simply means employment. And given you don’t need skilled staff at most of these interaction points, it gives you flexibility to incorporate relatively lesser educated people. Also, the more complicated a certain process or procedure becomes, it gives origin to a number of services that offer to un-complicate it, or Do It For You.
  2. MONOTONOUS EFFICIENCY: When a person is dedicated to a similar kind of routine for days, months, years of their service. A monotony of work routine comes in and you begin to operate at relatively higher speeds with higher efficiency. Its analogous to how you learn to type faster on a keyboard without even looking at it.
  3. PSEUDO-ACHIEVEMENTS: Crossing every interaction point becomes a smaller achievement in the mind of the user. Every time they pass a certain interaction point, at some point, their mind gets relieved that this is something we have already dealt through and that they have walked a certain considerable distance towards their goal. These smaller interaction points become important milestones when it comes to the whole process/scenario.
  4. USER ENGAGEMENT: This one is tricky for the organization, government or otherwise. While going through various phases of a process, the user familiarises itself with the workings of the organization or government office. This creates a cloud of information regarding that infrastructure within the mind of the user that he is very much aware of. This can result either in retention of the user to that particular organization, or a break up depending upon how the user has taken the experience.

There are a plethora of similar reasons for the origin & sustenance of complicated systems. As much as they are utility based need creations, there are negative implications of the same too. This is something we will cover in the next article, wherein we will dig deeper into their effects.

 

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Consumer Practices to Watch Out for in 2015

Localized Digital Assistant

Localized Digital Assistants | At Your Service

Localized Digital Assistants | At Your Service

What It Means?

Consumers will be looking for Digital Assistant options, which can understand their dialect & terminology. Scheduling, Reminding, Socializing, & every activity should be tracked & kept a record of by these assistants.

Evidences

  • Siri, Cortana, Google Now, HERE maps Turn by Turn Navigation have much to offer the consumers but communicating with an Indian accent often becomes a problem. In the year 2015, consumers will be looking for more options in terms of the following:
    • Local dialects
    • Local terms/tags
    • Ability to Interact with Device
    • More Personal than General
  • Most smartphone Manufacturers have already included Hindi keyboards in their text typing applications. Consumers will now e looking towards regional more than national language typing capabilities.

Implications/Inferences

Consumers are already expecting Smart & Intelligent Learning platforms in their devices. More Crowd-Sourced learning platforms will be demanded by the consumers in 2015.

Touch N Type à Not Anymore

Voice & Gesture Operated Technologies will slowly replace the Typing Habits of Consumers

Voice & Gesture Operated Technologies will slowly replace the Typing Habits of Consumers

What It Means?

Typing will be replaced majorly by alternative modes of entering text on various devices. Localized Digital Assistants will play a major role in this transformation.

Evidences

  • Consumers are looking for faster, convenient, & continuous way of entering text/commands in their respective devices.
  • Most devices have already incorporated the Swipe mode of entering text in a device, or gestures to open certain applications.
  • Consumers are opting for Voice Operated Infotainment systems when it comes to automotive & connected technologies.
  • Typing, at times, becomes a hassle to consumer in terms of time taken to type & attention span needed to look at the keyboard while typing.
  • Consumers are appreciating devices which are working on Gesture based applications.

Implications/Inferences

Consumers expect Smart Technologies to enable them interact/command their devices with minimal text entering. Something beyond Touch N Type model of devices is what they expect the Next Generations Products to be.

Education Override

I will Decide What I want to Do? Engg. & Medical is not for me.

I will Decide What I want to Do? Engg. & Medical is not for me.

What It Means?

Education seekers will move to a more functional model of education from the current conventional, & rather static state.

Evidences

  • People in Urban & Semi-Urban setups has started breaking educational taboos of Doctors, Engineers & MBAs.
  • The shift is from a structural format of collecting degrees to a functional format of developing knowledge & skill set.
  • IDEA has already started its campaign for network services (Idea Internet Network, aka IIN) focussing on the rise of informal education system in India.
  • Students & Professionals, both are looking for a more functional & skill based educational certificate programs to get a job/promotion.
  • Smart technologies, mobile & PC, will play an important role in shaping an evolved education ecosystem.

Implications/Inferences

Smart technologies, open source information will form the basis of an evolved education network with the rise of informal education programs, & various skill development Smart Certificate Programs.

Connected: Everywhere to Everyone

Connected Societies

Connected Societies

What It Means?

Consumers will be actively looking for solutions to merge the gap between their devices network & social network.

Evidences

  • Social Co-Location has become an important part of life for a majority of population. Geo tagging pictures & uploading their location information to SNS has become a practise commonly observed.
  • Consumers are beginning to appreciate the idea of Smart devices & understanding their utility & convenience.
  • Most media & infotainment devices are offering built-in connectivity solutions.
  • Staying connected on the move is an identified need within all the demographic categories, from social information & safety point of view.
  • Safety applications allowing Social Co-Location, & emergency services will be in high demand.

Implications/Inferences

The Smartphone experience of connectivity will be extended to all the other devices with the consumers. Sharing, Social Co-Location, Navigation, & Device Integration will be the features/applications for year 2015.

Uber-ization

Sociality While I travel

Sociality While I travel

What It Means?

People will be looking for more Smart & Safe options in terms of travel, whether its commuting daily to office or leisure travel.

Evidences

  • People appreciated Uber before it was shut down for allowing cab drivers to run a cab without their proper documentation & verification.
  • Meru Cabs, Ola Cabs, Easy Cabs are already running on the streets with respective smart applications & web interface to support their customers.
  • BlaBla Car is offering a Social carpooling experience for people.
  • Safety will be a major concern when it comes to choosing from a variety of cab options.
  • Credibility & User Generated Trust will be a major factor when opting for which cab service/application to choose for.

Implications/Inferences

A Smart Cab connecting the cab in terms of its location, driver information, ETA to the user & user’s selected participants will generate confidence & trigger purchase decision in the mind of the consumer.

Compare the Comparer

Which Suits me the most?

Which Suits me the most?

What It Means?

With so many offers, schemes, discounts, sales, stores to choose from, there needs to be an option wherein user can compare what is being offered in these plethora of websites at the best price & terms.

Evidences

  • Junglee for Consumer goods, & Trivago for travel purposes, Policy Bazaar for Insurance are already working efficiently in terms of allowing the users to compare a single product on a single page, being offered at different prices at different sites.
  • With multiple sites offering the same products, users feel confused, at times, making the decision of which site to pick the product from.

Implications/Inferences

There is an identified need gap asking for a product/service to empower the consumer make the right decision when it comes to purchasing stuff online.

Smart Payments

Cash No More

Cash No More

What It Means?

2015 will witness users acclimatizing to Smart Technology based payments/transactions. There will be an expectation of rewards/incentives associated in return for every payment.

Evidences

  • Consumers are opening up to the use of credit cards, safer netbanking options, online recharge services, cashless transactions, & other modes of payments in contrast to the cash payments.
  • Freecharge, Mobikwik, & other online recharge services are offering freebies with every payment made using the service.
  • Meru Cabs, Ola Cabs have introduced mobile wallets allowing their customers to recharge the amount in the mobile app, and pay in a cashless manner.
  • Mobile wallets are gaining popularity in the tech-savvy users, & are expected to reach the relatively lesser technologically advanced users in 2015.

Implications/Inferences

Consumers are adopting services that enable them enter into a cashless transaction in a safer & trustworthy manner. In 2015, adoption rate will be high for such services, if they manage to establish a trust based relationship with the end user.

Enable the Entrepreneur

Enabling Systems for Entrepreneur

Enabling Systems for Entrepreneur

What It Means?

2015 will be the year when people will want the services enabling them to be an entrepreneur. Business Accounting & Digital Media Marketing will be the primary opportunity themes in this regard.

Evidences

  • 2014 saw a relative rise in the number of entrepreneurs. In 2015, there will be a need gap identification with respect to various aspects of a small/medium scale business, established or in formative stages.
  • Accounting & File keeping softwares have been appreciated for their good ROI. Intuit Quickbooks have established a good consumer retention in terms of startup accounting problems.
  • Entrepreneurs are using services which allow them to have a quick analysis of popular public opinion for a product/service in question. Google Forms, & other online survey portals have been extensively used in this regard.

Implications/Inferences

A good product/service enabling the entrepreneur will provide a strong foundation to consumers looking forward to engage in a startup activity. Identification of Need Gaps is required for every such startup.

Stay Fit

Apps & Gear Helping me stay in Shape

Apps & Gear Helping me stay in Shape

What It Means?

Consumers will be becoming more health conscious, & will be devoting more time towards fitness centres & exercising in order to stay fit. They will be looking for information on various aspects of the same.

Evidences

  • Biking, Running, Marathon etc. have engaged a relatively larger segment of Indian population owing to increasing instances of Lifestyle diseases & their causal factors.
  • Keeping a track of their physical exercise has become a necessity. Smartphone applications allowing them to keep a track of their daily workout sessions & engaging their social network has been well received by the users, & will be used in more frequency & volume in 2015.
  • People are looking to accessorize themselves while working out. Increasing sales for Bike accessories, running accessories are an indicator in this regard.
  • Global sports chain, Decathlon has identified this need & have opened up their stores in various parts of India to a good response.

Implications/Inferences

2015 will witness an ever increasing demands for Smartphone applications & Sports gear by the consumer. Staying fit will be a priority for majority of the population & they will be looking to move out of the Arm Chair routine.

 

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