Two earlier posts (here and here) detailed how large Western businesses that pioneered the Chinese consumer economy have recently stumbled because they were blindsided by shifting consumer attitudes and the rise of newer competitors, including homegrown companies.  The Wall Street Journal reports the same development is also occurring in India’s fast-food sector.

As in China, consumers in India are becoming increasingly sophisticated and demanding, in the process finding that the fare offered up by market trailblazers like McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and Yum Brands no longer measures up to their changing tastes.  The newspaper quotes a young Indian professional as saying: “Earlier when we thought burgers, we thought McDonald’s.  Now there are so many cooler options.”

Such sentiment helps explain why McDonald’s share of the Indian fast-food chain market has eroded from 38 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2014, just five years later.  The beneficiaries of this shift have been newer entrants like Starbucks, Burger King, Wendy’s and a string of domestic outlets – all of which are perceived as doing better at keeping pace with changing consumer appetites.


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