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India Remains A Hotbed For Western Fast-Food Chains

LOS ANGELES, December 3, 2014 () – India remains a major battleground for western fast-food chains, with McDonald’s and KFC expanding their menu offerings in the country and Burger King and Carl’s Jr. opening their own locations.

Burger King has recently opened its first two locations in India, part of its plan to open six locations each in New Delhi and Mumbai. Meanwhile, Carl’s Jr.—whose parent company CKE Restaurants announced a development agreement in September to open up to 100 Carl’s Jrs. in the country—plans to open its first location next April.

Major fast-food chains that are already established in India are also trying to evolve with the country’s tastes. According to a recent Euromonitor report, McDonald’s—which had 339 locations in India as of 2013—began increasing its number of Indian offerings, such as its Masala Grill line, a range of grilled vegetarian and non-vegetarian products. Krispy Kreme, which entered India in late 2013, and KFC are also tweaking their menus more.

The continued movement in India comes as the nation’s foodservice sector continues to record strong double-digit growth in current value terms, according to Euromonitor. This growth has been mainly driven by an increase in the average spending on eating out by middle-class households, as well as an increase in the number of nuclear families and working women, steady growth in incomes and greater accessibility to a wide choice of restaurants. India also offers a wealth of young people, a key consumer group for food chains.

As fast-food sales in the U.S. continue to slump, the industry will continue to look toward emerging markets such as India to increase bottom lines.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.

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