MUMBAI (Diya TV) — ‘Dosas’ are a breakfast staple in South Indian and most recently, fast food giant McDonald’s announced the launch of Masala Dosa burgers in an attempt capture the breakfast market in India. Of Course, making dosas at home every morning can be one tiresome job, and the option of grabbing a ‘McDonald’s Masala Dosa burger’ could be just want the people want!
McDonald’s, is the largest fast food chain in India and the breakfast items include more than just the Masala Dosa Burger with a side of Molagai podi (chili powder) sauce, there are options such as ‘Anda Bhurji’ aka as scrambled eggs with a bun and hash browns and waffles.
McDonalds has been in the Indian market for two decades successfully adapting the brand’s taste profiles to the Indian palette with options such as Aloo Tikki Burger & Masala Fries. This latest attempt however is not just about adapting to the regions taste buds but really going after breakfast marketshare.
“Breakfast convenience on the go will increase as more people enter the segment. As a western pick service restaurant, we are going to grow the Indian breakfast market dramatically,” says the Vice-Chairman of Westlife Development who runs over 240 McDonald’s restaurants.
While McDonalds seems confident with their brand new addition, Twittersphere has its own thoughts…
Masala Dosa Burger is basically what you call an NRI from Bangalore working at Google in the US and has an accent.
— Harish Iyengaar (@scaryhairyman) January 11, 2017
McDonald's masala dosa burger – when you want your wife to be modern but still be a "virgin". #masaladosaburger
— Varun Agarwal (@varun067) January 11, 2017
Now waiting for McDonalds to announce Sambhar Smoothies and Banana Chips to go with their Masala Dosa Burger so it becomes a complete meal.
— Bhayanak Puppy (@BhayanakPuppy) January 11, 2017
All kidding aside, Banana chips sound delicious! However, for Devaiah Bopanna, this globalization of Indian food may require looking foreign policy measures.. ?
McDonald's Masala Dosa Burger is the reason why we need to have strong foreign policy measures in place.
— Devaiah Bopanna (@devaiahPB) January 11, 2017
“We continue to look at inspiration from Indian cuisine and bring it as a McDonald’s format which will give you flavors from the west but the familiarity of Indian,” said Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development, which runs McDonald’s outlets in west and south India.
There are more than 400 McDonald’s restaurants in over 65 Indian cities, and the company may well be looking to grow further in the enormous market after selling most of its China business earlier this week.
The Economic Times contributed to parts of this report.
Whole Foods invests in Instacart at 2014 valuation
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — As more Whole Foods customers began to avoid the store and get their deliveries to their front door, the high-end supermarket chain is taking a stake in the four-year-old startup.
The company authorized the sale of new equity earlier this year, letting Whole Foods Market Inc. buy shares in the startup in conjunction with an expanded partnership, said people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Analysis by private stock market operator Equidate, based on a regulatory filing, pegged the total equity authorization at about $36 million.
The shares added to Instacart’s previous funding round at the same share price from late 2014, which valued the company at about $2 billion, according to the filing.
Before the Whole Foods investment, the San Francisco-based startup had raised more than $270 million. Instacart and its peers have benefited from a shift in an overcrowded food delivery market this year. Grocery delivery startups have received more investor dollars than companies that deliver prepared meals, a reversal from previous years, according to research firm CB Insights.
However, as the fundraising market becomes more competitive overall, startups are making cuts and emphasizing how close they are to supporting themselves with their own earnings. Instacart is no exception: Apoorva Mehta, the startup’s chief executive officer, said on stage this month at a TechCrunch conference that his company will be cash-flow positive in the next 12 months. He also dismissed questions about whether Instacart would sell to Whole Foods. “It just doesn’t make sense for us to even think about selling to a grocery store,” Mehta said.
Whole Foods and Instacart first partnered services on a delivery program in 2014 and has since expanded to more than 25 markets across the U.S. It allows customers to order food and other products directly from the Whole Foods website and have them delivered.
Grocery delivery is a key initiative as Whole Foods tries to claw its way out of its biggest sales slump since 2009. As conventional grocers have expanded their organic offerings and pushed prices down, Whole Foods has suffered under the weight of its reputation for being overpriced. That’s added pressure on the grocer to make its shopping experience more convenient.
“With more outlets for natural and organic foods, they don’t drive as far, and they don’t come as frequently,” John Mackey, the co-CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, said during a presentation in June. “They just want convenience as the overriding value. I think that Whole Foods wants to compete for those customers to be sure, and we have a lot of things in the works.”
Walter Robb, the other CEO, said on a recent earnings call: “We feel really good about the partnership with Instacart and the results we’re seeing.”
Indian-American youngsters attend fifth annual Kids’ State Dinner
WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — One of the most exciting and endearing events at the White House, the Kids’ State Dinner was hosted this year by First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to recognize winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest for children to promote cooking and healthy eating.
This year, three young members or the Diaspora took their talents to Pennsylvania Avenue to be recognized for their winning recipes in 2016. Shakthi Ramachandran, 8, for her chicken tikka pita with cucumber raita; Priya Patel, 10, for cooking a healthy and delicious Tex-Mex veg-head lasagna; and Abhijith Jenkins, 11, for his tropical vacation with catfish and quinoa delicacy.
All 56 contest winners were welcomed to the White House by the First Lady, the young aspiring chefs were treated to a meal with Mrs. Obama. “You guys blew us away with your creativity and your skills in the kitchen,” she said to the assembled youngsters.
The White House recipe contest is part of her “Let’s Move” initiative to keep kids healthy. Since 2012, the initiative has hosted five such dinners, welcoming more than 270 young people and their families to the White House. More than 6,000 recipes have been reviewed as a direct result of the program.
“And, of course, we ate a whole lot of good food,” the First Lady added.
About her recipe, Shakthi said “My dad is from India and I like Indian food, especially chicken tikka masala.” She’s also a fan of eating a lot of vegetables. “This recipe combines all these things and is very tasty and delicious. In the summer, most of the vegetables we eat are from our garden. The cucumber raita dressing makes it delicious.”
Young Priya revealed a secret at the dinner: She was the first to concoct her recipe back home. But she had a little inspiration.
“I was first inspired to make this recipe by my Mom. She always tells us to add vegetables to everything we make and to experiment,” she said, adding, “you can substitute any veggies and fruits you like. The possibilities are endless. My Mom says not having or liking one ingredient is not an excuse to not try a recipe or to buy fast food.”
Mrs. Obama implored the children to continue with their cooking habits, and to get their friends involved as well.
“I know you guys can do this”, she said. “I see this every year. I see the work of kids, the magic you all do. People change because of kids. They change how they eat. They change the way they think. They change the way they see one another. You guys are so powerful and you don’t even know it.”
Komal Ahmad, Nandeet Mehta inaugural Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 award winners
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — U.C. Berkeley graduate Komal Ahmad and UCLA student Nandeet Mehta have been named to the inaugural Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 award winners, the University of California announced this month.
The award was established to recognize 30 young pioneers and innovators who are working relentlessly to solve world hunger by making extraordinary contributions in a wide array of food-related fields. It will recognize both of those within and outside the U.C. system who have made significant contributions to fields including food production, food access and security, food sourcing, food education and communication, and food policy and public impact.
Ahmad, Mehta and the additional 28 honorees were selected through a nomination via review process by a committee of industry leaders and influential voices in the food movement.
“Today we honor 30 young people who have devoted their lives to addressing some of the most important topics of our day,” U.C. president Janet Napolitano, who launched the Global Food Initiative in 2014, said in a statement. “Food is at the heart of issues related to sustainability, climate security and healthy communities.”
Age 26, Ahmad is the founder and chief executive of Copia, a website and mobile app which serves as a bridge to bring together excess food inventory to communities in the most need. Since its inception, Copia has fed more than 660,000 people worldwide and recovered more than 800,000 pounds of food, enough to feed the entire country of Luxembourg.
Copia this year partnered with the National Football League for Super Bowl 50 in an effort to recover more than 28,000 pounds of food, and feed more than 23,000 people in need.
Mehta, a 22-year-old Edison Scholar, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and a UCLA class of 2016 student majoring in history and minoring in global studies.
He is the founder and CEO of Pyur Solutions, a company that develops nontoxic, biodegradable, plant-based pesticides, herbicides and insecticides for agriculture. This past fall, Mehta, who also serves as a contributor for the Huffington Post, co-founded SNAC, a student nutrition advocacy group.
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