Sumary of Japanese chain CoCoIchi making inroads in curry’s toughest market:
- Although Ichibanya Co, which operates CoCo Ichibanya curry, was forced to temporarily close its first outlet near the capital New Delhi due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been successful nonetheless in attracting a loyal local clientele — employing some creativity to appeal to Indian tastes and diets.
- Ichibanya started considering entering the Indian market a decade ago as it had been waiting on an opportunity to take “a gamble in the home of curry,” said Nakamura.
- When the shop opened it was initially frequented mainly by Japanese businesspeople but gradually began to lure more and more locals, according to Nakamura.
- Indian customers started to outnumber Japanese around December last year.
- Since reopening following a two-month closure from mid-May amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Indian customers has jumped to roughly 70 percent of the total.
- Whereas pork loin cutlets and cheese are popular as sides for the curry served to customers in Japan, Indian patrons prefer vegetables and chicken cutlets.