Majority of Urban Indians are open to trying out food from different regions or cultures: Ipsos Study

Majority of Urban Indians are open to trying out food from different regions or cultures: Ipsos Study


MUMBAI - Global tastes are diverse and nowhere are that more prevalent than in the kitchens and dining rooms of urban Indian families. Indians are increasingly becoming global citizen and trotting the globe, they have good exposure to global cuisine, and it is no surprise that 57 per cent people are open to trying out food from different regions or cultures, according to the latest findings of a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest, a division of global research firm Ipsos.

Indian consumers indicated a wide array of interests, reflective of increased accessibility to food options from all over the world which are well stocked in large departmental stores that can be easily cooked at home as well as a broader acceptance of different types of food.

"We live in a world of greater food choice, with a heavier emphasis on health, freshness and variety. But that also means that consumers are more willing to experiment with different types of foods, including some that might be considered unique or foreign to their traditional family meals," says Biswarup Banerjee, Head of Marketing Communication, Ipsos in India.

"Ipsos‘ most recent study on ‘unique food consumption interest‘ found that urban Indian consumers are most interested in foods from different regions and cultures as well as restaurant brands that are available in the grocery store." added Banerjee.

With increasing urbanisation and women going to work in nuclear family; paucity of time is a big challenge to cook full course meal at home. Forty five per cent urban Indians now prefer to buy restaurant brands that are available in the grocery stores and 39 per cent prefer to buy ‘Do-it-yourself food kits‘, which are simple to cook.

Traditional Indian food is also very popular among Indians, especially home cooked regional food. Thus 39 per cent Indians like to savour traditional dishes (Retro‘ or ‘Vintage‘ foods) that reminds them of earlier times, like the foods they grew up with.

Only three in ten (31%) urban Indian prefer to consume Artisanal Foods (packaged foods which have a handmade quality) as it is not a concept that has yet caught up in India. This is primarily because normally most of the Indian dishes cooked at home by an Indian mother or cooks are typically handmade.

The Global Picture:
Marginally less than half (45%) Global consumers expressed a keen interest in foods from different regions or cultures, 44 per cent stated an interest in artisanal foods and 41 per cent expressed a desire for retro or vintage foods.

Do-it-yourself food kits and restaurant brands found in grocery stores met with lukewarm response, with 36 per cent and 23 per cent of global consumers expressing interest, respectively. And, despite the current trend of celebrity chefs putting their names on products from canned soup to pasta sauces to marinades, only 17 per cent of global consumers showed an interest in food products by famous chefs.

Not surprisingly, different at-home dining options find their hot spots in different markets. Foods from different regions or cultures draw the most interest from consumers in the UK, Australia and Germany (70%, 61% and 60% respectively), while artisanal foods gain the most attention from consumers in Italy, Poland and Sweden (70%, 69% and 69% respectively). For products associated with famous chefs, they are bound to get more traction in India, China and Singapore (37%, 29% and 29% respectively) where a larger percentage of respondents indicated an interest in such products.

"The varying levels of interest in packaged food options indicate that what may be exotic in one part of the world, may be rather pedestrian in another," says Banerjee. "For food marketers looking to develop new ideas and launch products in new markets, it is essential that they identify the size of the opportunity early on, taking into consideration local tastes, eating patterns and customs."

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories