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Pinwheel Samosa in Mumbai, Makhni Pasta in Delhi: Tim Hortons goes desi

Tim Hortons' cheapest food item in India is Timbits, or 'donut holes' priced at Rs 39

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons

Sharleen Dsouza Mumbai

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Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee brand, came to India last August and its expansion strategy also includes customised regional food on its menu, seeking to differentiate itself from competitors.

It serves Makhni Pasta and will soon offer Pinwheel Samosa and Baida Roti Cigar-rolls as it moves to West India after focusing on the north.  

“India is a very different market in terms of the choices and taste preferences, so when we launched in India, there’s a lot of work which went into the backend, to kind of put forward a menu which has got decent amount of variety and lot of local adaptations,” said Tarun Jain, chief executive officer of Tim Hortons India.

“When we launched in the north, we had makhni pasta for example, which was more suited to the localities there. Now, when we are coming to Mumbai, we have added a couple of products like a Samosa and a Baida roll which is more in sync with the local taste preferences in Mumbai.”

Starbucks India, another coffee chain , recently increased Indian options on its menu. It added masala chai, elaichi chai and milkshakes and pre-packed sandwiches and other food items.
Tim Hortons’ cheapest food item in India is Timbits, or ‘donut holes’ priced at Rs 39.

Jain believes that Tim Hortons has entered the Indian market at the right time. He said, “I think this is a great time to enter India.” 

Jain said the company is considering tier 1 markets for expansion now. The chain has 13 stores in North India.

“I think this is a great time to enter India, because the market is going through a lot of evolution and a lot of change. The cafe market is really imploding with the opportunity. So, I think it's a great time to be into the market,” he said.

“The demand is growing at a great pace. I think cafes have outperformed the F&B industry in India and I think coffee houses are probably the largest share of that growth.”

According to IMARC Group, the India pub, bar, café and lounge (PBCL) market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3 per cent during 2023-2028.

The report also said that India’s PBCL market has been witnessing healthy growth due to people’s increasing need to socialise and get together with their peers in eateries offering unique ambiance, entertainment, and a variety of food and beverages.

“The primary factor driving the India pub, bar, café and lounge market is the growing disposable incomes across the country… Moreover, brands are increasingly focusing on factors such as varied food offerings, ambience, and customer engagement to ensure the longevity and strength of their businesses and create a niche for this segment,” the report said.

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First Published: May 25 2023 | 10:49 PM IST

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