In March 2020, when the pandemic brought about complete lockdown, no one realized that it would lead to repercussions to financial implications. One of the industries that were seriously hit was Food and Beverage, which led to the rise of a viable concept which helped masses enjoy restaurant-like food at home and made it less-stressful for foodpreneurs. Pandemic has taught us that we can survive in minimalism. Having said that, the urge to savour the "restaurant food" couldn't be satisfied with home cooked meals leading to recreating the restaurant style food at home and yet be craving for what the food industry offers in terms of taste, service and experience. An, that’s where we saw a new segment grow.
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“The perception that “healthy is boring'' is what we want to break. We promote clean eating with ingredients like hydroponic and Himalayan cheese, but on the same side we provide lip-smacking recipes. Tokarii is even using innovative ways of reducing their carbon footprint by soilless farming,” shared Jatin Katyal and Aditya Kapoor, Co-Founders at Gurgaon-based cloud-kitchen brand Tokarii that has adopted hydroponic farming methods to grow different types of lettuce, red and yellow Swiss chard and microgreens, reducing 95% of our water usage.
This brand practices ethical practices and sustainability as their key very fabric—whether it is the sourcing of ingredients, the storytelling packaging, or their unique concept of educating consumers about the importance of eliminating plastic in packaging process by following the zero plastic use initiative.
Similarly, for chef Amit Puri who left the corporate world to start his own venture, he want to offer premium restaurant quality food at affordable prices at his cloud-kitchen venture.
“Our topmost priority is the standard of ingredients we use. Our menu is well-balanced and we cater to families with large portion sizes and also the independent diner who wishes to opt for a single meal or a wrap,’ added Puri whose menu comprises of comfort and popular Indian food.
Local is the new ‘Buzzword’
Homegrown, Locally Sourced, and Freshly Prepared is what has been catching customer’s attention. A brand that has a seasonal menu with an entirely unique approach towards sustainability has seen a rapid growth. “We are inclined towards catering modern recipes using natural ingredients and showcasing them with a flavorful punch,” added founder at Tokarii that sources microgreens and vegetables through Hydroponic farming, which is popularly known as soilless farming and is highly productive than conventional farming.
Similarly, Mumbai-based cloud-kitchen brand The Blue Tiffin has tied up with local vendors who procure and supply high quality ingredients from various sources.
“Our menu is meticulously created incorporating current food trends wherever practical. Since The Blue Tiffin concept is associated with comfort royal cuisines of India, we have researched about the regional and seasonal preps that not only have distinct flavours but would also be commercially accepted, retaining the true essence of the original preparation,” pointed chef Puri by adding that the pandemic has got people to take keen interest and digging deep into such local vendors. It has also seen the growth of talented home chefs, promoting and selling their regional cuisines. “We as professional chefs are thriving to meet the need of consumers, by innovating and presenting such local and regional cuisine in a contemporary manner. Grains, seeds, leaves that were used in ancient times, have now gained popularity and are making way into commercial menus in a whole different way,” he concluded.
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Meanwhile, Tokarii as a brand aims to create a warm connection between scrumptious meals and cultured millennials. “It’s been in our culture to consume freshly made products as we are an agricultural economy and food technology innovations have recently been explored in our country’. We believe we all will resort to our traditional food habits in the coming year,” the team Tokarii pointed.
Though, there is no denying that dining will remain popular as humans need to socialise and share their emotions with others, and food is the best catalyst to achieve the same. Cloud kitchen will be an alternate source, but they will not overpower the existing restaurant infrastructure around the world. There will be innovations in reducing human contact in food preparation, and overall hygiene measures will become more stringent.