CoCo Ichi’s foray into India’s foodservice market opens doors to new age experimental cuisine, says GlobalData

Following the recent announcement that Japan’s largest curry rice chain Ichibanya (CoCo Ichi) has formed a 60:40 joint venture (JV)–Ichibanya India–with Mitsui & Co to foray into the Indian foodservice market,

Sumit Chopra, Consumer Research Director at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his views:

“High levels of urbanization, increasing disposable incomes and a strong economy has made the Indian foodservice market a fertile ground for new operators to try out new food concepts. GlobalData forecasts the Indian foodservice profit sector to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% between 2017 and 2022, with quick service restaurants and full service restaurants set to grow at CAGRs of 11.5% and 12.1%, respectively during the same period. All such factors have ushered in a scenario of increased interest in India as an investment destination for foreign foodservice operators.

“In tandem with the evolving Indian foodservice landscape, Japanese and other foreign cuisines such as Mexican, Thai and European, which are currently niche, will enjoy stronger foothold in the coming years as the Indian palate will grow to accommodate global cuisines.

“In an attempt to develop direct consumer touch points and expand the geographic presence, CoCo Ichi plans to open its first restaurant early next year in Delhi-National Capital Region. The Japanese curry chain hopes to operate 10 directly-owned outlets within five years and 20 franchise outlets in the following five years. The move forms part of CoCo Ichi’s strategy to capitalize on the emerging cuisine trends in the burgeoning Indian foodservice market. GlobalData’s 2018 Q4 consumer survey reveals that 26% of Indian consumers often like to experiment when it comes to prepared meals and meal ingredients.CoCo Ichi looks to explore outside of its conventional gamut and capitalize on the growing foodservice business in India.

“The JV marks Mitsui’s entry into the restaurant business in India. The company has investments across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals and FMCG. Ichibanya India will be able to leverage Mitsui’s long-standing widespread brand presence and strong logistics and marketing capabilities to take the Japanese iteration of curry to a market, which has a population of over 1.3 billion.”

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