Rise of food driven events in India proves there's always room for some more
While food events have been a celebrated asset for any western country, India too, is not left far behind gaining popularity for food driven events. In recent years, there has been a rage amongst food entrepreneurs to experiment with ways of delivering food to its customers both indoors and outdoors.
When speaking of food festivals The Grub Fest is a classic example of an event that has witnessed accelerated year on year growth. Since the festival launched in 2015 it has been to Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh and is today sponsored by heavyduty brands like Muruti Suzuki and Yes Bank among many others. With over 100 stalls and thousands of foodies flocking the venue through the 3-day event, the event has resulted in the emergence of several hopefuls.
There are certain food fests such as the Palate Fest, which have been around for a long time, whereas some food truck festivals like Horn Ok Please and Delhi Food Truck Festival, commenced its journey recently in a bid to get a share of the pie.
Speaking to Everything Experiential, organizers open up about their voyage as food entrepreneurs, demographic that they target, dos and don’ts in a food business, and food festivals gaining momentum in the country.
The Co-founders and Directors of the Palate Fest Pvt. Ltd, Aditi Kapoor and Ruchi Sibal, talked about their source of inspiration for starting a food fest. They said that witnessing rarity of families sitting together and eating, and also, a desire to offer people to sit outside in a park and dine, is what gave birth to the Palate Fest.
“Before Palate Fest, there was no such place where one could go and enjoy a gourmet meal in the park, with their friends and family accompanied by great music. Thus when we created Palate we were keen that there was something for every member of the household, and nothing could be better than getting people together to enjoy good food,” said Kapoor.
Whereas, for the Founder and Organizer of Horn Ok Please, Digant Sharma, undying love for food trucks, offering lip-smacking food at reasonable prices paved a way for the launch of Horn Ok Please. “I figured this was one concept too good to be true and the idea of a food truck festival just fit in perfectly, so I went ahead with it,” he said.
Echoing similar sentiments was the Founder of Delhi Food Truck Festival, Abhishek Deo, who grabbed the opportunity to commence a food truck festival at a time when it was gaining momentum among millennials and other sections of the society in major cities like Delhi. “With the rise in the number of food trucks in India, particularly in metro cities like Delhi, we wanted to create a platform where food-startups can come together and exhibit their brands and change people's perception about them,” he said.
While talking about experiential that they propound in their food festivals other than food, Ruchi Sibal said that in the Palate Fest they have a huge market zone to offer, wherein budding food outlets get an opportunity to showcase their food products. People come and shop the products to take home and this ensures that they are able to enjoy the fest even after it is finished.
Those who are fond of cooking get an opportunity to interact with the top chefs of the country who perform live cookout sessions for the audience who are able to ask questions to their favorite chefs, claimed Kapoor and Sibal. “Every year the festival has a renowned celebrity to interact with the audience. Also, what makes the festival even more popular are the live performances by the top artists and bands of the country,” Kapoor explained.
Answering the same question, Deo said that in Delhi Food Truck Festivals they keep other popup stalls from across other F&B brands. “Along with this, there are other fun and entertainment related activities in the form of games, live performances etc. to enthrall the crowd at its best,” he added.
Explaining experiential at his food fest, Sharma said that at the second edition of Horn Ok Please, along with great food and food trucks they had offered mini flea market called the Quirk Bazaar. At Bazaar, they had crowded together a bunch of the most Boho chic brands. Also, they had their own version of the human library called the breathing books, where people could borrow a book and hear that particular person’s life story, he claimed.
“We also tied up with Robin Hood Army, an organization that takes excess leftover food from restaurants and event companies and distributes it to the hungry and underprivileged,” he said.
Off late the category of food events has broken down to more niche concentration at a certain segment or a limited food type. The Kids Culinaire is a unique event targeted at children and parents while Dessertarian Festival is one that celebrates the ubiquitous love for desserts .
While food entrepreneurs might experiment and innovate to come up with different ideas to deliver food, it would be all for nothing if food lovers cease to multiply. So while organisers increase their number of such platforms, foodies should keep doing what they're doing- Increase their appetite!
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