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‘Eating right and healthy’ over ‘not eating’: The changing food habits and its impact on the restaurant business!

A lot of changes are coming amid a changing lifestyle factors among Indians. Everyone will agree that the consumers increasing involvement in food is a positive development. The unhealthy food culture has spread its tentacles across the world. It has created a large pool of obese population. The food habits of the millennial are being dictated by convenience food, processed food and snack food culture. With the processed food that is readily available, its nutrition and safety are the biggest challenge. 

India has recently seen a rapid growth in the fast food and restaurant culture. Due to this culture, the way people eat in India has radically changed. We were a nation which was very particular about its food. People used to prefer home cooked and fresh food, but this trend is gradually changing. The increased number of people eating out, the food industry has opened up major opportunities to capture a larger consumer base. This was the prime reason why players like Pizza Hut, McDonalds, etc. invested and made huge profits from the Indian market. In addition to it, we have a huge unorganized sector as well, which include the roadside eateries, dhabas, stalls, etc. On top of it, the ‘Ready To Eat’ food market in India has gained popularity. Positioned as ‘value for money’ products, they are strongly correlated to organised retail formats such as supermarkets and hypermarkets.

The growing health concern among the consumer is a good reason for the hospitality professionals. In fact, this segment is growing immensely, creating a vast market for the hospitality industry that cater to the health-conscious guest. With middle aged, affluent and well educated foodie, every domain under hospitality is working to appeal and capitalize the health-conscious customer. As more and more people look to improve their lives through a healthy routine, hotel industry innovators are working to make sure that routine isn’t broken even when people are eating out. A lot of brands have taken things to the next level. For the guests, they even offer showers with vitamin-infused water, in-room yoga mats, in-room workout equipment, etc.

The size of the Indian food services industry is estimated to reach INR 4,08,040 crore by 2018. The consumer is now more inclined towards places with strong food ethics. They have become very particular about how fresh or organic is their food, from where is their food coming from, etc.  They count the calories and prefer not to eat the food that might lead to weight gain. Today, ‘eating right and healthy’ is preferred over ‘not eating. Even the gyms, nutritionists, health groups, etc. all emphasize on eating healthy rather than not eating at all. To cash such opportunities, a lot of restaurants have started showcasing their ingredients and product claiming to be low fat, low carb, gluten-free, sugar free, low salt, no trans fats, and so on… !

In conclusion, we are creatures of habit. Our daily eating habits revolve around patterns and routines and have a direct impact on our wellness. When things go wrong with our eating routines, we develop lifestyle illnesses and diseases. When it comes to our diets, unhealthy food along with our lifestyle habits like lack of exercise, etc. make it worse. So, though healthier food options which are not always the tastiest may sound boring in the short term, but cures us in the long term.

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