Indian Street Food: The new global favourite

What makes us optimistic about the future of Indian street food? For one thing, industry experts recognize it as a global trend. Read this article to find out.

Street food has always been the dirty secret of the F&B industry – quite literally. While the low prices are attractive, poor hygiene has often been a barrier. But now, as young entrepreneurs introduce creativity and good marketing, along with better hygiene, business is booming. In the US, the food truck business alone has crossed $1 billion, generated from just over 4000 food trucks. In London, food halls are one of the fasted growing segments of the food business. Companies like Market Stalls are converting defunct tube stations and opening food halls of up to 40,000 square feet, with over 50 varieties of street food in each.

Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines have helped to drive this boom, but it seems like Indian street food is the next big thing. The signs have been there for some time. Former Chef Angus Duncan fell in love with Calcutta street cuisine during a visit in 2007. He started 'Everybody love, love Jhalmuri Express', which serves the puffed rice concoction in London. He goes back to Calcutta every year to refresh his skills. Film professional Payal Saha imported the Gariahat kathi roll to New York, with the highly successful Kathi Roll Company, just off Times Square. In Paris, Le Passage Du Pondicherry attracts regular crowds in the upmarket locality of Strasbourg St. Denis. Upmarket Indian restaurants such as Bombay Palace, Dishoom, Wahaca and Masala Zone are also getting in on the trend, as are retailers like Schwartz, Rubicon and Street Delights.

What makes us optimistic about the future of Indian street food? For one thing, industry experts such as Suitcase and Hospitality Insights recognize it as a global trend. Logic is on its side as well. It's something new. Bao is delicious, and noodles are wonderful, but how much can one person have? It fits in with the rising preference for vegetarian food, as witnessed by the growth of Pao Bhaji in New York. It provides endless variety, from Kashmir to Kerala. So if you're wondering what your next big business idea could be, Indian street food is definitely worth a look.

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