More people are expected to be interested in hyper-regional cuisine, vegan diets, and mindful snacking, according to the sixth edition of the Godrej Food Trends Report, launched recently in Mumbai.
Multi-millet shahi tukda was served for dinner at the recent Godrej Food Trends Report (GFTR) 2023 launch in Mumbai. It was topped with mango and vanilla bean ice cream. Ragi buttermilk soup and nachni mille feuille were also served to the guests. The sixth GFTR issue highlighted the continuing enchantment of this robust and nourishing crop in light of the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
Over 350 food professionals from across the nation, including chefs, home cooks, mixologists, food producers, nutritionists, sommeliers, and bloggers, share their knowledge in the Godrej Foods Trends Report 2023. Featuring a variety of voices, including culinary anthropologist Dr. Kurush Dalal, renowned chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent Restaurants, and restaurateur Sameer Seth, co-founder of The Hunger INC, which owns Bombay Canteen, the exhibition was curated by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal.
“The Godrej Food Trends Report 2023 is the sixth edition of what we launched in 2018. The vision was to spark conversations around contemporary food trends and provide a platform for food industry specialists to cross-pollinate ideas and set trends. When I look back at its evolution and the expansive range of trends-related conversations the report has driven, I feel grateful to all who have contributed to it and made it possible, year after year. This year, India is in focus for its rich culinary heritage and more. I am sure, like me, you will be wonderstruck at the staggering variety of food and culinary cultures India is home to. I hope you enjoy discovering some of that through the variety of essays and insights in this edition!” added Sujit Patil, Vice President and Head- Corporate Brand and Communication, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies.
Rashina, who has been curating the report all these years, says she reached out to more people across the country this year in an effort to be more inclusive. “Our regional perspective section has tried to cover as much part of the country as possible. Also, this time we have equal, if not more, women representatives than before,” she says, adding that later her. This was important to her because the food industry in India does not give enough recognition to women. She says that over 300 people have responded in different industry verticals across India.
One of the first trends the report predicts is about recognizing this country as an atlas of food. Over the years, the notion that Indian cuisine is a monolith has gradually eroded, with people from all over the world discovering the diversity and nuances of the cuisine.
“In the last five editions, the focus has been on regional and extra-regional cuisines. For example, Maharashtrian cuisine Koli, Konkani, Pathare Prabhu, and many more. Micro level and community-level recipes are being explored. With everyone cooking at home during the pandemic, we started exploring recipes other than our own and realized that we all eat daal in different regions. They are just cooked differently,” says Rushina.
Since its inception in 2018, the Godrej Food Trends Report has emerged as one of the most credible platforms on themes that significantly impact the food industry each year. Over the last 6 years, the report has drawn on insights from over 1500 experts and thought leaders from food, beverage and allied industries spanning across industry verticals and geographies.
“Godrej Food Trends Report is a good barometer on what’s going to happen, where to invest, and, most importantly, to safeguard the security of our cuisine, which now has custodians. India’s soft power is our cuisine, its sheer diversity, and the power of our history, plurality, and continuity. And I’m happy to see it finally valued for being authentic and unapologetically true to itself”, shares Masterchef India Judge and celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna.
Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar said, “The Godrej Food Trends Report is the food equivalent of fashion trend forecasts. A food trend forecast by the Indian food industry for the Indian food Industry. For the longest time, we have been carpet-bombed with a generalised idea of Indian food defined by political boundaries. But whatever prism you use to break it down by, the context for regional cuisines will always be the geography, agriculture, climate, and culture of a place.”
The report predicts a greater proliferation of collaborative pop-ups, which in turn will lead to new ideas, themes, recipes and formats. And suppose you’re seeing a lot more mushrooms in restaurant dishes. In that case, it’s because the world of mushrooms is expanding with the inclusion of different varieties on vegetarian, vegan and plant-based menus.
Some key insights from The Godrej Foods Trends Report 2023 are:
Some key insights
Exploration of Cuisines:
64% panel foresees the yearning for adventure for the palate will drive people to explore cuisines other than their own such as regional cuisines
Locally Produced Artisanal Products:
62% panel sees a significant consumer focus on locally produced small-batch artisanal products such as cheese, pickles, kimchi, dips and preserves to augment meals with flavour and textures.
Conscious Spending & Mindful Consumption:
76% panel forecasts people buying From local farmers and food producers will be a top consideration. 70% predict seasonal and local ingredients like desi rice and millet varieties, doodhi (bottle gourd), tinda (apple gourd), and bhindi (Okra) will see more demand in 2023.
Rise of Traveling Bars & Restaurants:
71% panel predicts that travelling restaurants/bars with chefs/ mixologists/restaurants popping up in other cities is a top trend.
Cuisine-Agnostic Chef-Driven Menus:
65% of experts feel chefs are increasingly coming into their own as creators and artists patronised by a loyal following of diners looking for new adventures in cuisine-agnostic chef-driven menus. 64% panel forecast regional Indian cuisine concepts continuing to see traction.
75% panel believe Northeast states are where people will flock most to discover food experiences, followed by Goa (73%), Tamil Nadu (60%) and Uttarakhand (58%). Globally, the panel predicts people will visit South Korea (53%) followed by Vietnam (52%) and Spain (45%).
75% expert panel predicts that Instagram Reels and short-form video content will trend.
Clean, Hygienically Packaged Meats and Seafood:
Hygiene being foremost since 2020, 43% of the expert panel predicts the demand for clean, hygienically packaged meats and seafood will continue to grow in 2023.
Gourmet Premium Ghee:
With health, nutrition and immunity all play a significant role in choices regarding ingredients used in home kitchens and dietary fats and cooking mediums being the cornerstones of cooking in any home, their quality and provenance will always register the change. No wonder 50% of the panel predicts an increased focus on gourmet premium ghee.
72% panel predicts that 2023 will see a rise in gourmet Indian-origin, artisanal coffee and tea. 75% panel is firm in the fact that global fermented beverages (e.g. tepache, kombucha, kvass, etc.) will be the top non-alcoholic choice in 2023.
Special diet versions of traditional Indian mithai will be in demand, as per 99% of experts. 75% panel also sees a rise in interest in hyper-regional sweet offerings (like the Chena Poda of Orissa or Pootharekulu of Andhra Pradesh). 75% of experts forecast a growing interest in gourmet and artisanal ice creams. An equal number of experts predict a rising demand for clean ice cream that is transparent, simple, wholesome, and understandable, i.e. ‘clean’ labelling.