It's delicious when the talk is about food

It's delicious when the talk is about food

It's delicious when the talk is about food

Look around and you may find many people who may not know anything about the combination of spices in different cuisines or even the basics of simple cooking. But ask them about food shows, and they definitely with enthusiasm, will reel off names of the international and desi food shows.

Such is the craze of food related shows/channels in India, which over the years has experienced a remarkable evolution. No surprise here, given that Indians are fond of food which is one of the reasons driving the popularity index of food-related entertainment.

“In the last few years, lifestyle and food channel space has evolved exponentially. Lifestyle of people has changed over the years, and they are exposed to more channels and content across the globe. Now they are making informed choices based on their liking and preferences,” says Amit Nair, business head, Zee Khana Khazana.

Nair says food has evolved from three meals of a day to a larger platform of innovation and experimentation, which he attributes to the expansion of culinary tourism. “Indians are exploring new cuisines and concept restaurants, both in India and internationally. People with high incomes not only want to taste the food of a region but are also keen to understand and experience the history and the background,” says Nair.

So, with food and lifestyle beginning to complement each other, conventional cooking shows takes on a larger picture. “When we speak of food and lifestyle it goes beyond the conventional cooking shows to shows where there is discovery, delight and revelling in food, adventure, culture and experience,” says the Khana Khazana head.

But what has actually changed Indian audiences’ way of viewing food is MasterChef. “Indians have always loved good food, but MasterChef has given Indian au-dience a larger perspective. This platform gives them a unique window into international cooking, in a fun, engaging way” says Yogesh Manwani, head, English GEC, Star Network. 

“MasterChef Australia and US have been among our most engaging programmes till date and hold the strength to drive new audience tune-ins on the category. In the latest week i.e. Week 31, MasterChef US Season Four was the most watched English general entertainment show. The show has just been replaced with the latest season of our flagship property, MasterChef Australia,” says Manwani.

Nair too agrees that the Gross Rating Point (GRP) has increased for all the international channels over the past few years but domestic shows still rule the television. “International shows like Master-Chef, Eat Street and Man vs Food have created a lot of viewer interest in the genre, but in terms of absolute viewership we find that homegrown channels like Zee Khana Khazana and Food Food have a better reach and TVTs as they reach out to a more mass-premium audience and in a language and style that is closer home,” explains Nair.

Meanwhile, Manwani calls it very subjective. “I would say the entire game relies heavily on the quality of content of a show, be it domestic or international. If viewers are provi-ded with superior content which appeals to them, then the show/channel is sure to taste success irrespective of whether it is domestic or international,” he says.

As channels gauge a revo-lution in Indian culinary scenario, Manwani says, “The future of food-related entertainment shows are huge and ever increasing. It looks pro-mising and bright.”

Reiterating his views, Nair says, “As per industry sources, we hear this is the next big thing. So food channels should do very well with larger audiences tuning in and corner a greater revenue share as well in the coming days.”