From Street Food to QSR: The Evolution of India's Samosas
From Street Food to QSR: The Evolution of India's Samosas

India is known for its love affair with street food, and among the vast variety of options available, samosas hold a special place. These savory triangles filled with spiced potatoes and peas, fried to crispy perfection, have been a favorite snack for generations of Indians. But now, samosas are not just limited to the streets or local shops, they have entered the organized food market in India through the opening of many samosa Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chains.

During the course of several decades, samosas were often prepared by family-owned or family-operated companies or in the homes of individual families and sold at roadside stands or tiny stalls. The price of these samosas was typically reasonable, but the quality and hygiene of the food was frequently in question. There has been an increase in the demand for samosas that are of a higher quality and are prepared in a more sanitary manner, which has led to the establishment of samosa quick service restaurants chains.

These QSR chains are taking the humble samosa to a whole new level. From introducing new and innovative fillings to offering a range of accompaniments, these chains are changing the way Indians perceive and consume samosas. One of the key players in this market is the popular chain, Samosa Singh. Founded in 2016, the brand has been expanding rapidly, with over 50 cloud kitchens across 8 cities India.

Samosa Singh provides customers with an extensive selection of samosas to choose from, including as the traditional potato and peas, cheese and corn, butter chicken, and even chocolate-filled samosas. Because of the brand's dedication to both quality and cleanliness, they have built up a dedicated consumer base, and the distinct tastes of their products have made them a favourite among young people in India.

“Having a QSR set up that delivers and serves samosas freshly made, in a hygienic manner is certainly a value addition that the market is seeking and this will continue to thrive as long as there is a convergence of taste, quality, and varieties. Samosa Singh has always been in the business of manufacturing and supplying samosas. However, with the changing trends- we launched the B2C business wing in Dec 2019 and it has worked very well for us,” Nidhi Singh, Co-Founder of Samosa Singh stated.

She further informed that with only cloud kitchens during the pandemic, the company is now set to expanding into the QSR concept is the result of demand tailwinds. “We are confident of this market and will continue to grow and expand in this,” Singh claimed.

Another player in the samosa QSR market is Samosa Party. Quick service restaurant Samosa Party has now taken its count to more than 50 locations in India. The Kalaari Capital-backed Samosa Party is building a Global QSR on India’s most preferred snack, Samosa. Its USP is to deliver freshly fried samosas on order to the doorstep, with freshly brewed chai. Samosa Party has created a niche in the segment by incorporating menus that are specially curated keeping in mind the flavour palates, changing trends and age groups.

Back in 2022, Samosa Party aimed to hit INR 5 crore monthly revenue. “We plan to expand to 100+ outlets across Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore in the coming months.” Samosa Party co-founder Amit Nanwani said. 

The endeavour to create a brand out of the ever-present samosa has been praised by culinary critics. An specialist on Indian cuisine, KS Narayanan, claims that samosas are more well-liked than even tandoori delicacies. It's delicious year-round, is loved by people of all socioeconomic backgrounds in India and beyond, and has long dominated the snack industry while being woefully disorganised. "The momo sheets is a billion dollar business in the Southeast Asian markets, and the samosa patti could potentially be the same in India," he says.

Wow! Momo, which started as a momo chain but has since expanded also included samosas. Wow! Momo offers a range of samosas, including the classic potato and peas, as well as more innovative options like chicken tikka and butter chicken. Apart from these major players, there are several other samosa QSR chains that have emerged in recent years, such as Samosa Junction and Samosawala. These chains offer a variety of fillings, accompaniments, and even meal options, making samosas a convenient and delicious option for people on-the-go.

The emergence of samosa QSR chains has not only changed the way Indians consume samosas but has also created a new market for entrepreneurs and small businesses. With the demand for quality and hygienic samosas increasing, many local businesses and home chefs have started offering their own unique flavors and fillings, catering to a niche market that values homemade food.

Yet, the proliferation of samosa quick-service restaurant chains presents a challenge to the survival of independent retailers and companies who have been selling samosas for decades or even centuries. Many independent vendors have experienced a decrease in business since the arrival of these chains because they are unable to compete with the prices and marketing methods employed by these structured chains.

Despite this, the expansion of quick-service restaurants that specialise on samosas has been a blessing for the Indian cuisine sector. It has resulted in the creation of new job opportunities and provided an arena for solo chefs and proprietors of small restaurants to demonstrate their gastronomic prowess. The increasing demand for samosas in the organised food industry has also led to advancements in packaging and delivery, which have made it simpler for customers to get their hands on and enjoy their favourite snack.

The rise of samosa QSR chains in India has created a new market for this beloved snack. It has introduced new flavors and fillings, improved the quality and hygiene standards, and provided a convenient option for people on-the-go. While it may pose a challenge to small vendors, it has also created new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. As the market continues to grow, we can expect to see more innovations and new players entering


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