Indian puchkas

Focus On: World Cuisine by Carina Perkins

Download the synopsis here

Submissions deadline: 19 October

Advertising deadline 26 October


The Story

No-one knows how the chicken tikka masala was invented. Some say it was an accidental discovery. Another rumour says it was a deliberate invention in Glasgow involving a can of tomato soup. One thing is for sure: it certainly isn’t standard Indian fare. Today, times have changed. Dishes have to be authentic to make the grade for the increasingly well-travelled Brit, especially as a fresh generation fuel growth in the category. If they miss the mark, they pay the price. Just look at what happened to M&S when an Indian food writer mocked its ‘Bengali Turmeric Curry’ and ‘Punjabi Pilau Kit’. And few can forget the Jamie Oliver Jerk Rice debate. So who is hitting the mark in the quest for authenticity? Which cuisines are proving most popular? And how are brands and retailers making it as easy as possible for consumers to recreate an authentic experience at home?

Key themes

The successes and the faux pas: Who has slipped up with inaccurate recipes? And who is nailing authenticity?

New Mexican and Thai: These are the two cuisines in highest growth. What are the new dishes on the scene? To what extent are they being influenced by street food?

Regional cuisine: In their quest for authenticity, consumers are becoming far more aware of regional cuisines. Indian food isn’t a catch all for any type of curry any more – we have Keralan, Sri Lankan and Bengali. Which regional fare is becoming increasingly popular?

Meal kits/spice kits: How are brands and retailers making it easier for consumers to recreate an authentic experience? For example, meal kits will deliver unusual spices and ingredients to your door. In stores, Sainsbury’s is trialling Simply Cook spice packs designed to transform chicken and rice into punchy dishes such as Chicken Makhani. How will this develop?

Demise of the hotpot: More exotic cuisines such as Thai and Mexican are chipping away at the majority share of classic British ready meals. To what extent will this continue? Have certain British dishes had their day?

FoodSpark: A run-down of the latest cuisines capturing the imagination of the consumer using FoodSpark commentary.

World food in out-of-home: How new-wave restaurants doing away with the stereotypical tikka masalas and tacos, to change the way consumers see world food. What dishes are they serving? To what extent are they closer to the dishes actually served in those countries?

Innovations: We identify eight new world food products that ideally have not appeared in The Grocer before. including launch date, image and RSP.

Key questions the feature is likely to address:

 What consumer trends have impacted the category over the past year?

 How have promotional strategies (both in terms of price and marketing) evolved?

 How has merchandising changed in the market?

Online Listicle to go live on 9th November: The new-wave Indian products transforming consumer perceptions