Éminences grises of foodservice industry ring down the curtain on India Food Forum 2020
foodService India|March - April 2020
India Food Forum returned for its 13th edition at the Renaissance Convention Centre at hotel Renaissance Mumbai on 5-6 February where the crème de la crème of India foodservice industry came together on Day 2 of the event to offer insightful takeaways on the innovations in food retailing, HoReCa and food technology, and also ensuring that all those attending the day’s deliberations were empowered with the products and insights that would help to maximise the opportunities offered by India’s vast consumer universe.

As in the previous years, India Food Forum 2020 once again shone the spotlight on a groundbreaking agenda geared to reframe our understanding of the trends shaking up modern food retailing. Through an innovative format of Conferences, Exhibition and Awards, India Food Forum 2019 brought into play a powerful and cutting edge agenda that set an exciting tenor for two days of knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas among industry stalwarts.

The theme of the Forum this year – Charting the growth map for food grocery, foodservice and food start-ups in this fast, tech-savvy, digitally connected, demanding consumer-driven era – was aimed at building the roadmap for food retail business to accurately read the underlying opportunities and predict future consumption paths that the Indian consumer will tread. Offering unique opportunities for networking and business ideas, and for exploring growth opportunities in the dynamic world of food retail, the Forum gathered with the mission to “accelerate food retailing excellence by generating ideas, insights, innovation and opportunities for profitable growth.”

Launched in 2008, India Food Forum is an annual business event showcasing groundbreaking insights, analyses, products, technologies, emerging innovations, trends and developments in the business of food in India. Every year since its launch, the Forum – through conferences, masterclasses and specialised exhibition zones – presents and analyzes unique research findings, consumption and retail trends in food. The event puts together the most comprehensive capsule of trends and innovations that affect businesses engaged in the all aspects of the food retail value chain – from sourcing ingredients to retailing.

With thirteen years of stellar track record as India’s pre-eminent knowledge and business networking platform for food retail, India Food Forum 2020 once again brought together key decision makers from every part of the food retail eco-system. The two-day event was power packed into 30 conference sessions & masterclasses by global experts on every aspect of food innovation, marketing and retailing. In addition, there was a powerful exhibition featuring food innovation, ingredient showcases, foodtech, startups and retail technology companies. Another highlight of the business event this year was the ‘Startups & innovation Convention’, held on both days of the event with the focus on food retail and foodservice start-ups. The Forum this year witnessed the participation from over 200 speakers, 100+ brands and hundreds of delegates who came together at India’s largest and most powerful food retail intelligence event.

Commenting on the key highlights and objectives of India Food Forum 2020, Amitabh Taneja, Chief Convenor, India Food Forum, said: “The Indian food consumption market comprising food retail and foodservice sectors is valued at USD 900 billion. This in itself presents a tremendous market opportunity but at the same time it also happens to be a very challenging time for operators as consumer behaviour and technology are seriously disrupting the traditional models. The deep intelligence and wide-ranging innovations showcased here are aimed at driving businesses towards higher growth and profitability despite the challenges.”

Day 2 of India Food Forum, designated as India Food Service Forum, comprises highimpact conference sessions, skill development and knowledge workshops and product demonstrations by the country’s finest cuisine specialists, food manufacturers and foodservice chains. It offered the perfect meeting place for industry leaders, hearing remarkable case studies on outstanding restaurant concepts, and mastering your understanding of future foodservice trends.

A bevy of thought leaders, industry stalwarts and business icons this year participated in masterclasses, conference sessions and roundtables for food & beverage brands, restauranteurs, foodservice procurement and purchasing managers, chefs, investors, startups and support organisations. The concluding star highlight of the day was the presentation of the PepsiCo IMAGES Foodservice Awards, which saw trophies being presented to brands, personalities and concepts for exceptional initiative, outstanding/focussed performance, setting efficiency benchmarks, innovation and broader impact to the HoReCa industry.

Setting the tone and the pitch right for the lineup of conferences and panel discussions to follow during the course of the day, the opening session on Day 2 of India Food Forum began with market research and intelligence leaders Technopak, PwC, Nielsen and Deloitte shedding light on the future of the foodservice industry. In the opening session – on Indian Food Service Market, Saloni Nangia, President, Technopak, highlighted some of the trends observed. According to her, the organized sector will rapidly outpace the unorganized in this space. Even in the organised sector, casual dining is leading the way. Among the top eight cities that account of 42 percent are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, etc. She said that the top five trends observed in Foodservices and Food Retailing are the exploring of convergences, emergence of captive dining spaces, delivery platforms competing in mass-to-mid play, urban consumers becoming more homogenous, and locations moving beyond malls and plazas.

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