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Expats fuelling demand for specialist food in Delhi

In the UK, many people enjoy having an Indian curry, but expatriates living in Delhi often miss the tastes of home, which is having an impact on the produce being offered.

More specialist food shops are cropping up, allowing those expats in the city to buy the types of meat and cheese they would expect to see where they come from. This in turn is seeing more aspirational Indians eating these items too.

Frenchman Roger Langbour spoke to the BBC about the business he set up in response to being frustrated at the quality of meat available in Delhi 20 years ago.

He started a farm outside the city, rearing ducks, poultry and pigs for food and the market has grown so much that he cannot meet the demand.

Other items from Europe are also widely sought out and eating pasta and the like is now much more widespread in Delhi.

It is predicted that pasta consumption will continue to grow by 25 to 30 per cent annually over the coming years.

In the past it was difficult for the few small businesses supplying these products to keep them cool and fresh, but now there is a different challenge.

Special licences need to be procured for anyone wanting to import luxury foods into India with restrictive laws in place.

This makes the process harder and longer, but those who stick with it see the rewards, as items at this top end of the market command a price tag three or four times the usual spend for the Indian equivalent.

Many supermarkets now have a foreign foods section, just like you would see in the UK, and the shops that were small delis a few years ago are now franchises with several stores across the city.

Even local markets now have separate sections that cater to those prepared to spend a little bit more on less traditional items in India.

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