If the indulgence had a name, it would be the hamburger, as the quintessentially American meal was among the most popular foods of the year.
Over the past few months, burgers have become a part of the top F&B orders. The uniquely American meal gained traction as quick service restaurants (QSRs), cloud kitchens, and takeout platforms offered burgers as safe, hygienic and personalized orders. Blame the pandemic on fast-delivery home meal orders or the ever-smart consumer millennials, burgers have become a satisfying instant meal.
India’s growing appetite for fast food has taken Comfort Meal to a level where gourmet foods and fresh ingredients have highlighted new and niche offerings. “Burger is the vada pav of the future,” says celebrity chef and author Vicky Ratnani, who launched a burger brand Speak Burgers, with actor Kashishh Rajput and entrepreneur Alberto Bestonso, in November this year. Taking the food to another level by offering premium fresh ingredients, cheese, brioche, sauces, patties and meats without antibiotics, all made in-house, Ratnani says he felt the need to ‘open a true chef-centric gourmet burger brand in India.
“Burgers are considered junk food, but we offer everything home-made: brioche, ketchup, kettle chips. There is no filling in the galette, and everything is cooked to order. Plus, new ingredients at affordable prices make this meal a favorite for all ages, ”says Ratnani. The Harissa Lamb Burger and Baja Style Beer Batter Fish Burger are a tasty treat at Speak Burgers which are now delivered to Mumbai, with the founders now planning to expand to other regions and cities across the country.
A Green Revolution: Paneer & Green Pea Burger priced at `349 has a creamy paneer and green pea pancake, basil pesto, arugula leaves, spicy ketchup, wasabi mayo and homemade pickles, served in a potato bun peppered house. Udta Punjab Tandoori Chicken Burger in a similar price range includes charcoal grilled and spiced tandoori chicken thighs, mint sauce, aachari mayonnaise, pickled tomatoes, homemade pickles and sliced cheese, served in a homemade brioche bun; SurfBoard – Baja Fried Fish Burger consists of two crispy fried fish fillets, collard greens, coleslaw, salsa verde, pickled tomatoes and chipotle lime mayonnaise, served in a homemade brioche bun .
A fast food staple, the hamburger – or what is now known as the gourmet burger – is in high demand. It seems like a perfect and practical food for all seasons with a variety of options for vegetarian and meat lovers. Brands like Louis Burger from restaurateur Zorawar Kalra have revolutionized this staple by offering a dash of gold varq (leaf) in two premium gourmet burgers.
As Managing Director of Massive Restaurants, Kalra launched this takeout business in July 2021 and introduced Louis Burger as a virtual brand that surprised burger lovers in Mumbai. It was then launched in Delhi and is now ready for multi-city expansion by March 2022. “We have been working on it for over a year before launching it. Thousands of trials were done to make this product, we wanted to come up with burgers that we would like to eat ourselves, ”says Kalra.
Burgers lend themselves perfectly to an all-time favorite, as they are not heavy on the stomach and provide the ease of eating on different occasions – watching the binge at home, in the office, or looking for a quick bite on the table. inch. “Indians are getting used to the concept of burgers more and more, especially as brands come in different formats, ranging from the epitome of fast food to trendy and now gourmet burgers, it’s a satisfying meal. Says Moksh Chopra, Marketing Director of KFC, whose iconic Zinger Burger is 100% crispy and juicy chicken fillet. Zinger Burger was welcomed to Madame Tussauds as the ‘Original Celebrity Burger’ in India in 2019.
Trends like binge eating or special treats on an otherwise mundane day are setting in and it has worked well with offering full meal options. “With value and variety, both in the menu and in the combos on offer, we cater for different group sizes and occasions,” adds Chopra.
Restaurants have also revamped their design and approach to ordering for the growing delivery market. For example, Burger King plans to introduce concepts like drive-thru, food lockers, conveyor belts, and outdoor dining areas soon. A QSR brand like Subway, which serves sandwiches and packaging to order, plans to expand to more than 2,000 new restaurants to open in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh over the next 10 years. The brand has signed a master franchise agreement with Everstone Group, a leading private investment firm focused on South Asia.
According to ‘Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Market in India 2021’, a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, during the period FY 2016 – FY 2020, the QSR market has grown by 17.27% and is now expected to reach ~ Rs 827, 63 billion by FY 2025. Fast food has grown in popularity due to increasing eating habits, increasing disposable income, changing lifestyles and growing delivery system food online. Chained QSR and Autonomous QSR segments are expected to equally contribute to the development of the market during the forecast period. The major players operating in the Indian fast food market include Burger King India, Jubilant FoodWorks, Burman Hospitality and Jumboking Foods among others.
Location is the key
Innovations, taking into account local knowledge and nuances like Zinger Tandoori, have helped deepen consumers’ connection with KFC. “We brought back the Double Down Burger, the breadless chicken burger that was a chicken lover’s dream come true. Consumers love the distinctive taste of chicken, and we continue to
explore different formats. The strategy is to deepen the relevance of our brands while retaining their distinctiveness, ”says Arora. This year, KFC launched a new line of budget burgers starting at $ 69.
Local flavors have inspired many of the menu’s signature items, such as the McAloo Tikki burger, the Maharaja Mac burger (a beefless version of the Big Mac). “We’re a global brand with a local appeal and burgers are our primary category. We introduce new products based on the occasions, tastes and preferences of food and drink consumption. India was the first market other than McDonald’s beef and the first market to introduce a vegetarian menu, ”said Rajeev Ranjan, chief operating officer of McDonald’s North & East, who believes that the local culture and beliefs religious prevail and influence eating habits in India.
McAloo has been around for a long time. Recent launches include the Dosa Masala burger, Schezwan burgers in vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations, the McAloo Tikki chaat twist burger and masala noodle seasoning.
Affordable price, for example, three-piece meal starts at 99, menu localization with vegetarian menu (McAloo Tikki burger, Dosa Masala burger, Pizza McPuff, McVeggie burger, Maharaja Mac burger (vegetarian), McSpicy Paneer burger, Paneer wrap, Dosa Masala, are a few factors that have found takers for the brand. Over the past decade, Burger King has introduced black burgers in Japan and the UK as part of the limited-edition Burger King Halloween line. Barcelos, too, introduced black burgers in 2015 because consumers only ate to experience the product.
Mania is not new
Let’s not minimize the original version of our homemade aloo tikki sandwich in mini burger buns with chutney spread, onion and tomato slices. Traditionally Maharashtra is known for its vada pav which can never be underestimated as it is an anytime street snack or a bread mask to quench hunger at tea time. Goan Chorizo pao is made with Goan sausage, a perfect breakfast or an evening snack.
While brands attract ever-more consuming generations with Burger Singh’s original ‘Made in India’ burgers, there’s also the ubiquitous falafel wrap that has its controversial origin. It is said to come from Egypt, but this street food is now a popular wrap in India, North America, the Middle East, Mediterranean and Jewish quarters, and restaurants, served in pita bread. with vegetables, falafel balls and a tahini vinaigrette. Reports reveal how its popularity prompted McDonald’s to reintroduce McFalafel to Israeli restaurants in 2021, a decade after introducing McFalafel to Israel in 2011, but took it off the menu due to a low take-off rate. American hot dogs are another favorite hamburger brother that goes well with the city’s upbeat culture.
Make it a special meal
Brands see the need to stay relevant to introduce a signature taste, collaborate on celebrity campaigns that help consumers learn about the brand. Recent KFC campaigns feature celebrities Anil Kapoor and Prakash Raj, who have expressed their displeasure with bun tikkis masquerading as burgers, as well as The Great Khali who has felt quite reinvented since he tasted #KhaliOfAllBurgers, The Double Down.
According to Kalra of Massive Restaurants, ingredients are a game changer. A special matured and imported cheese, the homemade milk-washed rolls make the difference. “It has become a favorite meal and there is a huge potential for growth as it still hasn’t hit the general frame of mind as a meal replacement. However, that is changing quickly as millennials love the ease of eating aspect as well as its ability to travel well in the delivery process, ”says Kalra.
A crowd favorite, there is also a huge increase in demand for freshly made burgers in recent times. BOSS Burger by Impresario Handmade Restaurants brings non-gourmet restaurant-style burgers to those in the comfort of their own homes. “We didn’t let convenience take precedence over taste. It’s not the same old frozen pancake out of a freezer cooked in a fat fryer. Baked breads, salad and fresh ingredients with flavor combine an innovative concept. Besides the burgers, there is a range of fries, wings, nachos, dips, lemonades, shakes and desserts to go with Holy Guacamole! Black bean burger, filet mignon hamburger with 3 truffle cheeses, juicy Lucy mutton burger, Ring Is King! (BB Special Onion Rings) and Piri Piri Chicken Wings, ”says Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Manager, Smoke House Deli, who supports Cloud Kitchen development at Impresario Handmade Restaurants.
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