Friday, December 30, 2011: 12:46:15 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Traditional, modern desserts battle it out

Availability of new and processed ingredients and consumers’ affinity towards new tastes are boosting demand for international desserts on Indian menus

For many, dessert is the most important part of the meal. With tastes of the Indian consumer changing quickly, confectioners are coming up with new and innovative recipes that are a far cry from the traditional kheera or barfi. The biggest reason for the transformation is the influence of international cuisines on the dessert menu and various processed ingredients of international origin becoming available in the country.

 
A recent survey by FoodProcessing360 saw majority (67%) of voters opining that international desserts are replacing traditional sweets on the menu. While none of the voters opposed this, one-third of the respondents could not come to a conclusion which might indicate a gradually changing pattern.
 
According to Kolkata based advertising professional and food blogger Shiny Das, “I think traditional desserts have their own charm but there are really few confectioners selling the authentic variant. Making those desserts at home is also a major challenge as traditional sweets and savouries have a complicated procedure involving raw ingredients. Most households now prefer easy-to-make desserts that are either ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook or available at the closest bakery.”
 
All things new
 
The typical Indian consumer has affinity towards all things new and this is precisely the reason why some of the bakeries and confectioners dealing in international desserts have made it big. Lilavati Gupta, proprietor of Gupta Food Products, a small-sized food products supplier and seller in Varanasi, says, “The demand for traditional sweets has definitely come down in comparison to the growth in demand for modern varieties of sweets. There is also more scope for innovation in the market and a lot of experimentation is going on by merging the two dessert categories.”
 
While the market looks set to embrace the new dessert menu, it is likely that there will be a revival of the traditional desserts in the near future. The concept of fusion food in the category will increase significantly when this happens.
 
Tias Chakraborty
 

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