Dark kitchens/ghost kitchens/cloud kitchens refer to professional kitchens that prepare food specifically for delivery and take-out, without a dining area. These kitchens allow restaurants to reduce their costs by operating out of a shared commercial kitchen space and focusing solely on delivery and take-out. As disposable incomes rise in India, consumption of ready-to-eat and delivery foods has increased significantly over the past few years. The popularity of food delivery platforms and mobile apps has revolutionized the food industry in India. Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats and numerous regional players allow users to browse menus, view photos of dishes and track orders from thousands of restaurants across cities.
The India Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens/Cloud Kitchens Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 552 Mn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15% over the forecast period 2023-2030, as highlighted in a new report published by CoherentMI.
Market Key Trends:
Rapid Adoption of Mobile Apps for Food Delivery (as stated in the heading): The adoption of smartphones in India is helping drive the growth of online food delivery services. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users in India is expected to reach 859 million by 2022. Food delivery platforms have made online ordering very convenient by letting users browse menus, view item photos, track orders and pay securely using mobile wallets or debit/credit cards. Platforms like Swiggy and Zomato became hugely popular during the COVID-19 lockdowns as they allowed people to order safely from the comfort of their homes. This shift towards online food delivery and the growing preference for convenience formats among time-strapped consumers has fueled the demand for dark kitchen spaces in India.
Changing Lifestyles and Busy Work Schedules: Rapid urbanization, dual income households and hectic schedules have reduced dining out occasions in India. People now prefer home-delivered meals on weeknights and weekends instead of cooking or dining out. This has opened up opportunities for shared commercial kitchen businesses that can cater to the surging demand for delivery-only meals prepared via centralized locations. Dark kitchen operators are able to achieve economies of scale by operating multiple restaurant brands from a single facility, thus making delivery meals more affordable.
The India dark kitchen market can be segmented by type into independent cloud kitchens and chains/franchised cloud kitchens. The chains/franchised cloud kitchens segment is dominating the market currently as large chains are expanding rapidly through the franchise business model and establishing standardized processes. The major chains/franchised brands are Rebel Foods, Swiggy Access, EatFit, FreshMenu etc. which are investing heavily in infrastructure development and supply chain management.
India Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens/Cloud Kitchens Market Segmentation:
- By Type
- Independent Cloud Kitchens
- Shared Kitchen Spaces
- Kitchen Pods
- By Product Type
- Fast Food
- Bakery Items
- Salads & Wraps
- Biryani & Rice Bowls
- Others (Pizzas, Burgers, Rolls)
- By Nature
- By Ordering Method
- Online Channels
- Offline Channels
- Hybrid Model
Political: The FSSAI and state food safety acts regulate the functioning of cloud kitchens. However, some local authorities try to restrict large dark kitchen hubs through zoning laws which can hinder market growth.
Economic: Rising income levels, nuclearization of families and preference for convenience are fueling the demand for delivery food. Shortage of rental properties for commercial kitchens in cities also supports the growth of centralized dark kitchen models.
Social: Changing lifestyles, dual working professionals and popularity of online food delivery apps have made ordering-in a mainstream habit among Indian consumers especially metro cities youth.
Technological: Advancements in online food delivery platforms, hyperlocal delivery, cloud kitchen tech and automated processes have enabled robust on-demand food delivery experience fueling the adoption of cloud kitchen models.
The India Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens/Cloud Kitchens Market Size is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period of 2023-2030. The India Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens/Cloud Kitchens Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 552 Mn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15% over the forecast period 2023-2030.
The southern region led by Bengaluru and Hyderabad is currently the fastest growing regional dark kitchen market in India supported by high density of startups, young tech-savvy population and prominent online food delivery brands presence.
Key players operating in the India dark kitchens/ghost kitchens/cloud kitchens market are Rebel Foods, Swiggy, Zomato, FreshMenu, Box8, EatFit, Faasos, Holachef, Biryani By Kilo, Licious, Foodpanda, InnerChef, UberEats, Oven Story, Hoi Foods, Eatonomist, Happy Eats, Box C, Curefoods Brands. Rebel Foods is the dominant player known for its large network of cloud kitchens and centralizing food preparation for multiple brands.
1.Source: CoherentMI, Public sources, Desk research
2.We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it