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Foodhall Case Study

09-18-2021 10:13 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: YourRetailCoach

While Big Bazaar, the flagship company of Future Group’s retail arm Future Retail, replicates the local India bazaar with its chaotic nature, Foodhall the retail giant has a different story to tell. Foodhall has been built as the premium lifestyle food superstore, aimed at the affluent Indian customer who appreciates gourmet markets. Avi Biriyani, the concept head of Foodhall. states in a Yourstory article, "Before launching Foodhall, we noticed a gap in the retail industry for gourmet food. There was an absence of brands that sold premium and exotic food. Foodhall identified the gap in the food market and attempted at closing it with an exhaustive range of offerings curated specially for the food connoisseur."

Foodhall, founded by Avi Biyani, is the answer to India’s elite gourmet's love for global cuisine. The food hall offers an exhaustive range of products from daily essentials to exotic foods to premium fresh and packaged foods in International and Indian cuisine. It stocks everything from that resonates to an International grocery store with offerings ranging from tomatillo (green tomatoes of Mexico) to gluten-free bread such as pizza dough, bagels, to a range of superfood options such as Greek yoghurts, fat-free organic milk, tofu, gourmet chocolates, avocado, truffle oils, smoked salmon, vegan mock meats, speciality cold cuts, teas, fresh truffles and various food delights, including a variety of Indian delicacies and traditional cuisine mix.

Founded in May 2011, Foodhall is the one-stop premium destination for well-travelled urban customers who have a deep appreciation for the nuances of gourmet cooking. Foodhall was set up with the vision to make food shopping a holistic experience through a luxury food store curated with both inventory and premium experience. In a short span of time, the concept store that was launched in Palladium, Mumbai gained a discerning customer base and loyalty. Within 8 years Foodhall has established itself as the luxury food destination in three of the major metro cities – Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi. Future Retail is spawned across 240 cities in India and occupies 11 million sq. ft in retail space and is focused on exploring the Indian retail space through diversion formats.

To add to its mojo and burnish the store’s reputation, Foodhall has launched a string of its own highly renowned brands which include spices from Foodhall has also launched a tier of its own highly acclaimed brands, which includes the spices brand Arqa, The House of Tea, dry fruit brand Bustaan, a traditional food range under Traditions, personalized chef service Party Chef and gifting brand Blue Ribbon. Recently another premium dessert brand with chef Pooja Dhingra, WhisQ was also added to its branches, which led to the production of a nine-piece macaroon set under the brand.

Typical Customer Profile

The potential customers varied from - the ex-pats, the well-travelled male and female in their 40s and the homemakers in their 60s looking for upgrades in their lifestyle through food. These imbibe shoppers who have travelled a lot and are aware of global cuisine. Foodhall stores are strategically placed in neighbourhoods that are a brisk walk distance for expatriate communities - in areas such as Saket and Vasant Kunj in Delhi and Whitefield in Bengaluru. There are also a lot of curious customers who are keen to explore new food trends and want to buy ingredients. Tourists who wish to take back a flavour of India when they return are also some of Foodhall’s common visitors.

Customer Proposition and Market Positioning

Foodhall is focused on the urban traveller who has a global taste palette. It showcases itself as the foodie’s paradise with an exhaustive range of offerings from daily essentials to exotic food. It provides a one-stop shop for people looking for “exotic, hard-to-find” cooking ingredients like avocado and truffle oil to the equipment required for specialized gourmet cooking. Foodhall makes sure they stay ahead with the world trends to update their product line to retain and attract a new customer base to cook better, plate better and even eat better. The growing fad for travel to foreign countries, the emergence of varied food channels, increasing NRI and ex-pat population, growing numbers of food explorers, rising disposable income among others are some of the few factors that have accentuated the growth of gourmet and international cuisine category. Foodhall aims to give people a 'food lifestyle' and an experience, wherein they can enjoy all the finer nuances of food and the goodness that comes with it.

Customer Interaction and Marketing

Not only does Foodhall provide a multisensory experience for the elite customer but also makes sure they educate and inform the customer about newer things. Foodhalls’ visual merchandising team does a wonderful job at making sure the products are displayed beautifully with all the required information using guides, recipe cards and how-to manuals placed around it. Negating bay breakers with unique bite-size information to engage and excite the customer with information on various products the curious customer may not be familiar with. Apart from this, ‘experience zones’ engage the customer's taste buds with product samples. Foodhalls’ strategy of engaging the customers through all the senses – taste, touch, feel and thus make them comfortable with the product that they long wanted to try but was hesitant to. Nothing remains the same about these interactive zones as the themes are changed every other month.

Future Plans and Omni-channel retailing

The brand aims to make Rs 250 crore revenue and is introducing some new categories like pet food, health supplements, functional beverages and are also extending the already existent categories which are showing growth. Store expansion is also underway in Mumbai with another store launch set to open at Foodhall@Vama on Peddar Road. With the surge in omnichannel retailing ( ) Foodhall is now pinning its hopes on the digital model. With 12 Foodhall stores and three Café by Foodhall in the country, the company is planning to take the e-grocery route for expansion. With stores set up in all the large metropolitan cities in the country, Foodhall believes these would cater to a large customer base in the e-grocery model. E-commerce offers greater choice, value, and convenience for the elite Indian consumers of Foodhall. As lines between online retail and brick-and-mortar stores ( ) are blurring for the new-age consumers, it is vital that the brand be present in both these channels. The fact that the urban Indian customers spoilt by a multitude of choices want to touch, feel the products they chose to buy as much as they want to shop from the comfort of their homes has made it necessary for the premium brand to embark upon a multi-prong retail strategy ( ).

Acquisition by Reliance Group

In August this year, the Future Group reached an agreement to sell its retail, wholesale and logistics and warehousing units to the Reliance group led by Ambani. Reliance will take over Future Retail operating around 1550 stores including its flagship brands like Foodhall and BigBazaar.

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