Thursday, May 31, 2012

E-Commerce India - Sweets & Snacks

Quote on Pizza and Police
Everyone likes to munch a few snacks in the evening along with tea. Home made snacks still have preference, though the trend is slowly changing. When it comes to occasions, sweets are a must. I guess no other country consumes sweets like India and no wonder we are one of largest consumers of sugar. Apparently, we are also a nation of large diabetes population. Could it be anything other than direct correlation?

We love Rotis and everyone likes to make them fresh at home. Eating them out once in a while is becoming a norm, at least in cities. Not sure when the 'Italian Rotis' (Pizzas) have come into existence in India, they certainly have become popular. First there were dining outlets, then came only delivery outlets and now they can be ordered online. Isn't this evolution very natural for pizza companies? But I wonder what makes the Indian Rotis not consumable like the Italian ones - just like snacks? Or perhaps, we made the Italian Roti a snack :-)

Dominos (Jubiliant Foods) and Pizza Hut are dominant players in India from size and coverage perspective. They do have online presence and one can order their favorite pizzas from their website over Internet. With half the population in India being youth and smartphones becoming omnipresent, it is but logical to extend the service to hand-held devices.

Buying sweets on the street corner is not unusual in any part of India. Unlike in advanced countries, sweets are not just chocolates in India - there are mysore-pak, jhangri, kaju roll and hundreds of varieties more. Vendors got established and created brands from their products. They also expanded to multiple locations across the country and made more people happy during occasions. Employing a cook and getting the sweets prepared at home for occasions is slowly dwindling. 'Outsourcing' is happening at all the households as well.

I know folks who ordered birthday and anniversary cakes online for their family members, when they were travelling. Sweet Chariot is one popular cake shop online for such occasions.

Some of the online sweet vendors in India I encountered while surfing are Anand Sweets, Almond House, Madhulika, Mitha4All and Oder Your Choice.

One interesting aspect to note is that the original sweet / snack vendors do not seem to sell their products directly online. There is a 3rd party who is selling for them online. This is the case for Sri Krishna Sweets, K C Das Ghantewala or Haldirams.

If you have sweet tooth or like to gift sweets to your loved ones, you might not need to visit a physical shop in the future.

I guess there is a lot of scope for innovation and development in this space. Fresheness, quality and quick delivery are the key ! Any takers?