Publication : Economic Times
Edition : New Delhi(29.10.2014)

NEW DELHI: Global ice cream and fast food restaurant chain Dairy Queen wants a quick bite of India's fast growing QSR (quick service restaurant) market. After initial talks with Reliance Retail to introduce its dairy business fell through, it is learnt that the company is looking for new partners to launch its burger chain in the country.

Dairy Queen, which is owned by American conglomerate funny pajamas Berkshire Hathaway, operates around 6,000 stores in 19 countries. Headquartered in Minneapolis in the US, it is best known for its signature soft serve ice cream. "The company would initially want to look at opening around 100 burger stores here," said a person familiar with the matter. However, several phone calls to the company's headquarters were not returned.

Dairy Queen is not the only one. Over the last few months, pjs some of the world's top burger chains including Carl's Jr, Wendy's, Burger King, Fat Burger and Johnny Rockets have announced their entry into the country. Samir Chopra, group chairman of Cybiz Corp, which is bringing American burger restaurant chain Carl's Jr to India, says pyjama bottoms that burgers are fast replacing pizzas as the fast food of choice."Also, if you look at India's QSR market, it has, surprisingly, been growing despite the inflation," says Chopra.

The country's QSR market pegged at Rs 5,500 crore in 2013 by management consultancy firm Technopak is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25% to reach Rs 16,785 crore by 2018. An Assocham study reveals that Indians are eating out more often these days, as many as eight times a month, though less than the people in the US (14 times), Brazil (11 times), Thailand (10 times), and China (9 times).

When it comes to quick bites like burgers, Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak, says that there is a growing number of urban consumers in the country who are looking beyond mass-market burgers. "I wouldn't say that people are looking for a luxury experience when it comes to burgers, but they are plus size pajamas definitely looking at better ingredients and more choices," Singhal says. American doughnut company and coffee house chain Dunkin Donuts tasted success in India only when it included its now popular 'Tough Guy' burger in its menu.

The total size of India's burger market is estimated to be around Rs 1,000 crore. The unorganized sector accounts for 40% of sales while McDonald's controls 75% of the market share pyjamas online in the organized sector. This is Dairy Queen's second try at entering the Rs 2,47,680-crore Indian food services market after 2011.

 

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