New age farmers are selling exotic vegetables - a major boost to the food service sector

New age farmers are selling
exotic vegetables - a major boost to the food service sector
India’s young generation with disposable income, a penchant for good food and tendency to eating out is giving Indian agriculture a major boost. While earlier, exotic vegetables like baby rucola, wild arugula, butternut squash, malabar spinach, chia, kale and baby kale needed to be imported, things are better with local farms growing the same. As compared to before, the products are now fresher and priced lower.
Many a times, it’s not the traditional farmers who are working in the farms. Couples like Sanmitra Pandharpur and Amrita Chaudhury are also there. This couple owns Offering Farms some 40 kms always from Pune and grows vegetables, grains and herbs to suit the tastes of connoisseurs and their favourite dishes.

This farm supplies to hotels like JW Marriott and Westin in Pune and several others in Mumbai, Goa and Gurgaon making sure the cherry on your cake, mushroom in your curry and avocado in your salad taste perfect.

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"The best part about these farms is that their produce is completely organic and that compliments the freshness of the dishes,” Chef Mayur, the executive chef at JW Marriott, Pune told the Economic Times. "Offering, gives us exotic rocket lettuce, iceberg lettuce and endive lettuce which are fresh and give our salads the right punch,”he added.

Alongside having envious list of clients that include mostly five star restaurants and boutique hotels these new age farm entrepreneurs also steal the show by bringing to table exotic varieties of king oyster mushroom, Japanese greens, lettuce, vanilla, pepper, nutmeg, cocoa, nutmeg and many more are being cultivated to suit the tastes of connoisseurs and their favourite dishes straight from nature's basket.

The food services market, according to the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), an apex body of food service operators, and advisory firm Technopak, is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 10% over the next five years. This is ahead of the 7.7% the market registered annually between 2013 and 2016. While a discretionary slowdown is still a challenge for most players, especially, organised players, a robust outlook for the market hints that most remain bullish about food services in the country over the medium to long term.