The gourmet food market in India has witnessed a transformational change over the past few years and is expected to continue its growth trend in coming times. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent to touch US$ 2.8 billion by 2015, up from the current levels of US$ 1.3 billion. At a time when most of the mid-segment consumer goods brands are stepping up promotions and discounts in order to push sales, retailers in the gourmet food market in India are confident of a bright road ahead. While names like Godrej Nature's Basket, Le Marche and Future Group's FoodHall have been working in this space for quite some time now, US based The Counter and Japan's Royce are the recent entrants in the gourmet food market in India.
Divided into the café market, casual/ fine dining market and the retail market, the gourmet retail space, in particular, has witnessed rapid expansion in the last five years and is expected to grow manifold over the next few years. For instance, the imported cheese market in India is growing at a pace of 30 per cent with varieties like Parmigiano, Reggiano and Stilton topping the consumer preference charts. At the same time, the increasing number of specialty restaurants in India is also an encouraging sign for the players in this industry. The pasta market, for instance, is growing at 20-30 per cent annually and pastas like Barilla, De Cecco and San Remo are increasingly becoming a part of the consumer's choice.
The well-heeled Indian consumer's increased exposure to global cuisine and to some extent, the rising number of expatriates, are contributing to this trend. In fact, being a high margin segment and with a consumer base that is willing to spend for quality and variety, the gourmet food market in India can be expected to grow in strong double digits.