Nidhi Sinha
Nidhi leads India’s research team and specialises in analysing and providing insights to better understand the Indian marketplace and consumer behaviour.

The foodservice industry, in particular, multi-cuisine dining restaurants and quick-service restaurants (QSR), is playing a pivotal role in popularising both global and local flavours in India. In fact, Mintel research highlights that almost a quarter of Indian consumers believe that restaurants can help flavours become more popular in household cooking.

In an attempt to establish a unique selling point for themselves, foodservice businesses are fuelling flavour innovation across the country. Such multi-cuisine dining restaurants and QSRs are doing it all; from fusion foods combining traditional Indian with exotic global flavours with premium ingredients to ethnic flavours derived from the interior of the country.

Opportunities for snack brands

The influence that the foodservice sector has on consumer sentiments towards new flavours is something that Indian companies and brands in the packaged snack industry should take note of.

People dine out to experience new cuisines. This makes India’s foodservice scene the perfect inspiration for packaged snack brands to identify new snack flavours. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows that Pizza, American, Szechuan and Barbeque are among some of the emerging international cuisine flavours in Indian snacks, primarily inspired by foodservice flavours.

McDonald’s India-exclusive peri-peri flavoured fries, which launched a couple of years back, have played a huge part in boosting the peri-peri flavour locally. As a result, peri-peri-flavoured snack launches in India are growing, according to Mintel GNPD.

Pitato Pizza Flavoured Baked Pita Chips
These are made from real, fresh and authentic pita bread and claim to be a healthier alternative to fried snacks. Described as delicious, crispy and crunchy, they are said to have less fat and salt than traditional potato chips. These twice baked, never fried bread snacks claim to be free from cholesterol, trans fat and MSG.

Teebite Peri-Peri Flavoured Roasted Millet Bites
These are said to have been made from healthy, traditional Indian grains with bold, contemporary flavours that have been created to excite the palate while allowing a healthy, guilt-free eating experience. This product is claimed to contain minimal oil, is suitable for vegetarians and is free from gluten and preservatives.

Leveraging the adventurous taste bud

Mintel research indicates that Indians love trying new flavours; companies and brands in India should tap into this desire and explore new, innovative flavours across the spectrum of international cuisines to enhance their snack offerings.

Aside from international flavours, snacking companies and brands could also start exploring the large variety of Indian flavours available across the country. Brands can establish connections with age-old flavours, rekindling consumers’ love for the traditional by packaging them in new and interesting formats.

Kurkure Andhra Twist Snack
This snack is described as a delicious, baked snack with a topping of real sesame. The vegetarian product is said to contain quality rice and olive oil.

Kurkure Hyderabadi Hungama Namkeen Snack
This snack is said to be made from kitchen ingredients including dal, corn and rice.

What we think

Packaged food companies and brands should enhance their flavour offerings to be in line with evolving local and globally-inspired taste buds. It is imperative that they strike a balance between today’s modern consumers who love traditional tastes but are also looking to experience more global options.