Raahil Chopra
Dec 18, 2010

All About: The new food channels

Food is one of three Indian religions, finds Campaign’s Raahil Chopra

All About: The new food channels

Niche seems to be the way forward when it comes to launching channels. After new movie specific channels launched recently along with STAR and TAJ TV’s cricket channels, food is the latest ingredient of one’s life to have its dedicated range of channels.

1 Having hit the television sets on December 8, 2010, Khana Khazana from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is the first of the three food specific channels to be launched. FOOD First from the Alva Brothers, and Sanjeev Kapoor’s association with the Astro Group to launch ‘FoodFood’ complete the trio.On the opportunity that a food specific channel offers by way of audience, Anurag Bedi, business head, Khana Khazana, believes that along with Bollywood and cricket, food forms three religions which gets the nation together on non communal grounds. “India has 3 non-communal religions – Bollywood, Cricket and Food. 47% of the Indian population is women. As we speak there are more than 100 food shows across all TV channels in India. The average Indian woman spends around three hours a day cooking and an average Indian spends eight minutes watching food content on TV. India has been demanding a food channel. We’ve just realised that and catered to our audience’s need,” said Bedi. He added, “Doordarshan used to show two movies a week and then were born dedicated movie channels. Similarly news was just a time band on a particular channel and then we had an explosion of news channels. English entertainment and music started off as specific shows/time bands and have become full fledged genres.”

2 With respect to the revenue front, along with the usual advertising revenue, all three channels, being pay channels are hoping to generate high revenues through subscriptions. On subscription revenues, Manisha Tripathi, business head of Real Global Broadcasting which will be launching FOOD First, said, “We expect subscription revenues to be significantly important going forward.” Elaborating on why he expects users to pay to tune in,  Raghavendra Madhav, executive director, Astro, said, “FoodFood is the first Indian channel that’s entirely shot in high definition. We hope to distribute FoodFood widely like a general entertainment channel (GEC) through both analog and digital.”On potential advertisers, Bedi, said, “Food channels provide an excellent opportunity for promotion of a host of goods and services of FMCG, FMCD, packaged foods and F&B industry. Technology has eased the process of cooking. Catering to this need, a variety of equipment is available in the market but they lack visibility and awareness. From table salt to the oven, everything is an advertising opportunity here.”

3 FoodFood has opted to have its programming in Hindi. Madhav, says, “The programmes have been designed keeping in mind the target audience; the middle class Indian, men and women in urban towns and cities. With food being the central element, the shows will offer different themes and recipes that the Indian viewers can connect with. Programmed in Hindi, the content will be produced and packaged in India, making the shows relevant to the Indian audience. It will also offer a lifestyle destination for Indian foodies who want to make quick, easy, balanced meals as well learn about interesting world cuisines.” FOOD First meanwhile, is looking at a younger target group. Their TG is, 18+ upwardly mobile, English speaking, male and female audiences and therefore will have its programming in English.  “With its unique positioning, we are confident that FOOD First will find resonance amongst our target audience. Affluence is rising in the country, leading to aspirations for enhanced lifestyles and as we all know, food is a definite expression of lifestyle, which is evident in the growth of food retail – across restaurants and FMCG categories,” said Tripathi.Zee has a mix of English and Hindi programming. For the English speaking audience, it has international shows which bring out the experience associated with the western cuisine. 

4 “Niche is the way forward in the television space. Considering the changing demographics and perception, audiences have far more defined tastes in terms of entertainment. Influx of more niche channels is required to cater to these increasing demands,” said Bedi. We agree.

What it means for...


  • New genre of channels    
  • Different content in different languages on the same genre


  • The chance to targetdifferent audiences: while FoodFood will cater to Hindi-speaking viewers, FOOD First will be in English, and Khana Khazana a mix of both languages    
  • Opportunities for FMCG, FMCD, packaged foods and F&B industry to advertise across these channels
Campaign India

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