A celebrated Indian chef was once asked about his opinion on healthy food and if we as a nation were moving toward being health conscious. He replied that we are a nation of salad speaking and samosa eating people. He states people eat salads in parties and social get-togethers just to send the right signal but within the four walls of our homes we still love a samosa
We Indians gorge on our food, be it the samosas, the parathas, the idlis the dosas, the curries and the biryanis. We love the authentic taste of our food. While we are adventurous in trying out new cuisines from across the world we like our daily meal to be dal chawal.
While there is a perception that our traditional food is not healthy, people are moving toward healthy food. People bought up on a dosage of coconut oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil have become health conscious and are slowly shifting to olive oil, canola oil etc. From the normal matta rice, surti kolam, sona masoori and the red boiled rice we are moving towards brown rice. Consumption of oats, green tea has increased. So also products which are labeled as ‘diet’,’sugarfree’etc.
Quinoa is one such food which has suddenly become a buzz world in the health conscious community .if you are not consuming quinoa then you are outdated. The grain has been called as a superfood. Infact the United Nations General assembly declared 2013 as the “International year of Quinoa”. Chia seed, buck wheat, amaranth are in the same category. Infact met a supplier who supplies all such products to retailers. Was surprised by sales of the product. Then a few benchmark in the stores nearby convinced me about his sales.
Infact there are quite a lot of restaurant which have opened on the healthy food platform. Some restaurants serve only organic food, some restarant serve only such food which is recommended in ayurveda and some restaurant serve merely soups & salads (the epitome of healthy food). This made me wonder if we are really a salad speaking and samosa eating nation.
If we keenly we can notice that a very few people actual struck to the healthy food diet but most of them did not. Those very few ate only salad, soup, juices, steamed food, along with products such as olive oil, brown rice multigrain atta, green tea and also made flaxseeds, quinoa etc a part of their lifestyle. These were the customers who belonged to the upper strata of the society, had very high disposable income, were well travelled, exercised regularly and did not mind paying a premium for the products. Infact they are the dream customers for any retailer. Then was a chunk of people who were not even aware that such products exist. In between is a large set of people who are aware of the products and wish to but them. But they do not actually buy for the cost reason,taste buds do not agree or lack of knowledge on the consumption of the products or even if they bought it was in limited quantity and for special occasions. It was not a way of life for them.
This category is a challenge to a retailer. He needs to work on pricing (if possible as premium products do not wish to be discounted), do sampling so that customer can taste it before buying, educate customers on the methods of preparation, recipes and its benefit. Then we will witness a slow movement toward healthy eating. If this could be done by a retailer then we won’t be far from the day when we will be nation of samosa speaking and salad eating nation
Any suggestions of different types of healthy food or the traditional Indian food which are actually healthy but are lost in the process of westernization of our food habits
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