Niche international food brands ready to enter Indian market

December 3rd, 2011 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) International niche food brands have begun scouting for partners to set up shop in India to take advantage of the country’s fast growing food and beverage market.

Brands like Italian Ci Gusta, Sarpino’s Pizzeria, Bahrain-based Shawarma Xpress, BinHendi Enterprises of Dubai and Singapore’s Berrylite, which offer mouth watering pizzas, shawarmas, soups and frozen yogurt, are ready to enter the Indian market through the franchise route.

“India represents a great opportunity for us. We are interested to bring in our F&B; brands like Japengo, Havana and Bella Donna here. Though the plans are at an initial stage, we are making progress,” George Kunnappally, general manager, Franchise operations, BinHendi, told IANS on the sideline of the ongoing Franchise India 2011 summit here Saturday.

Shawarma Xpress wants the Indian customers to experience the “real” Middle Eastern snack which has layers of meat or chicken. The firm plans to open 150 outlets through licensing in the next five years.

“We have divided India into three marketing zones. The most modest estimate right now is that we will operate 150 restaurants,” said Saleh Al Khor, the company vice chairman and partner.

According to Al Khor, Shawarma Xpress has tweaked its offering to suite the Indian pallet. “We understand the sensitivities here and that’s why our three-size shawarma will be accompanied by 10 flavours, which will include chicken and vegetables,” he said.

Others like the Ci Gusta restaurant chain of Italy, which serves authentic Italian soups, gelato and coffee, has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Franchise India and Octagona India to launch their brand through the franchisee route.

“Even the Italian vegetarian food offering will attract many Indian customers,” said Massimo Vinciguerre of Ci Gusta’s international business development division, adding “Our plans are at an initial stage, but we will be offering all of our 1,900 offerings in an international ambience.”

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