Mumbai

Home fires no longer alluring, says study

Playing it safe: The study shows that desire for experimentation in restaurant choices has shown no upward trend.

Playing it safe: The study shows that desire for experimentation in restaurant choices has shown no upward trend.  

more-in

‘People looking at non-home-cooked food as sources of comfort and convenience’

The kitchen is rapidly turning into a redundant space in urban Indian households, according to a study released on Thursday by food delivery service UberEats, in collaboration with market research firm IPSOS.

The study, Food Moods of India, aimed to understand the changing ecosystem of out-of-home food consumption. It found that while people are increasingly looking at non-home-cooked food as sources of comfort and convenience, their desire for experimentation in restaurant choices has shown no upward trend.

“Choice allows consumers to enjoy a sense of power, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to action,” said Sreyoshi Maitra, executive director of IPSOS.

At least 82% of the respondents said they stick to five or fewer restaurants when ordering food. “This, we have found, is closely linked to them functioning on autopilot, repeating the same restaurants irrespective of the need or occasion,” she said.

Conducted over a month, the study covered 4,000 respondents in the 15 to-50 age group, who consume non-home-cooked meals at least once a month.

“Ordering food online has become an indistinguishable and normal part of daily life and this will only become more entrenched in consumers’ lives in the next few years,” Bansi Kotecha, head of operations in India for UberEats, said.

The study revealed that one out of four occasions for ordering in was to avoid the chore of cooking at home, and 19% of the occasions linked ordered food to unwinding and relaxing alone.

Breaking monotony

“Across genders, the trigger to order in was to break the monotony of everyday life. In four out of 10 occasions, due to the rising stress levels in urban India, consumers look towards food more as a source of comfort, as well as a more economical alternative to hiring a cook,” Ms. Maitra said.

Another growing trend was that one in three consumers prefer ‘all-in-one’ meal bowls, and 35% eat straight from the box. “The convenience of ordering in is not limited to just not having to cook but also not having to worry about using utensils and cleaning them,” said Mr. Kotecha.

Ms. Maitra also talked about an increased tendency of ordering outside of normal meal hours as well as an increase in delayed meals in the younger generation. “This is a new phenomenon and while we are not sure if a time will come when all meals will be ordered online, the trend is definitely heading there,” she said.

Inclinations towards specific diets like keto as well as choosing a vegetarian option over meat was also highlighted in the report. “While consumers are always seeking variety and are conscious about their health, their choices when ordering in don’t always reflect that. This could be a function of autopilot or of seeking healthier choices in familiar formats,” Mr. Kotecha said.

He also referred to breakfast as a missed opportunity that could be easily addressed by restaurants.

“At present, we see a lot of consumers browsing through the app in the morning, but this doesn’t result in ordering. This could be due to the paucity of time and a limitation in terms of restaurants offering breakfast,” he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:26:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/home-fires-no-longer-alluring-says-study/article30226302.ece

Next Story