The rapidly increasing consumer demands for food items like fruits, vegetables, ready-to-eat foodstuff and other processed food, have resulted in tremendous leap in the number of food retail outlets. Nowadays, India is not an exception to this food retail boom. There has been a tremendous rise in the number of restaurants, eateries, bakeshops and snack houses offering variety of food items from global brands to local ones. The rapid growth in population has also inspired several companies to set up shop in the Indian market. The retail food segment is witnessing an explosive growth due to several factors.
Rising availability of land and manpower: The agricultural production in India has been consistently high; thus, there has been an urgent need to keep pace with rising consumer demand. The exponential growth in the manpower is another factor responsible for the success of the fast food sector in India. According to recent reports, the number of people earning higher than `Spartan' wages has encouraged the small scale and cottage industries to invest in food retailing. The rise in the number of fast food restaurant outlets in different parts of the country is another pointer to the increasing demand for this type of food.
Increase in the consumption of ready-to-eat food: The demand for ready-to-eat products from home was high before; however, it declined with the increase in the number of industrial food retailing. As per the `National Household Budget Surveys', the per capita intake of ready-to-eat food has also increased in the past few years. However, it has picked up momentum in the last two to three years. This rise in the consumption of ready-to-eat food can be attributed to two major factors - rise in the number of job opportunities in the manufacturing sector and increase in the demand from urban families.
Improved Nutrition: The food retailing industry is focusing more on improving the quality of the nutrition. Research has indicated that the nutrition needs of an individual have shifted as a result of an overall change in the eating habits. Therefore, fast food restaurants are focusing more on offering ready-to-eat healthy alternatives to traditional food. It also intends to offer the best quality foods at reasonable rates to woo customers towards its fast food restaurants.
Promotions and special offers: One of the prime reasons attributed to the success of the fast food retailing industry in India is the implementation of various promotional and special offers by the food companies. Special offers are offered to customers who spend more money, as part of the company's marketing strategy. These deals help the company in meeting its multiple targets, such as increasing its customer base, and gaining greater profit margins. These deals also help the company in overcoming the challenges posed by the rapidly growing middle class in India.
Improved Equipment and Processes: As a result of recent technological advancements, the food retailing companies are able to maintain the quality of the products it sells at a higher level. Due to this, customers are provided the option of buying healthy, fresh ingredients, while enjoying the convenience of buying food items in a convenient manner. Apart from improved equipment used in the food retailing industry, technological advances also allow companies to manage their inventory more efficiently. This results in quick turnaround of orders and ensures timely delivery of items to customers. This has made the Indian food retailing industry one of the most profitable ones in the world.
Brand Building: The Food Retailing industry has played an important role in brand building among the masses. Various food companies now offer a wide variety of products ranging from the conventional to the exotic. To keep pace with the demands of customers, many food retailing companies have launched websites that display the variety of items available for sale. In fact, the World Wide Web has become a vital part of the Indian life. The rapid growth of the Indian economy has made online shopping and buying an increasingly popular trend.
With so many advantages offered by the Food Retailing sector, it is not surprising that companies have seen tremendous demand for their services in India. A large number of people prefer to buy food items over ordering takeaways or snacks from a fast food restaurant. As the country is becoming a preferred market for buying goods ranging from clothes to appliances, buying food online is proving to be a better option. Moreover, the country offers a lot of flexibility for people wishing to establish a food retailing business.
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