After seeing a dip in 2010, the food and lifestyle genre saw steep growth in 2011, claiming a genre share of close to 0.25 per cent. The year saw stiff competition for established channels like NDTV Good Times and Zee Khana Khazana from new players like Sanjeev Kapoor’s FoodFood channel and TLC.
According to TAM Media Research data released for 2011, FoodFood ruled the charts, beating NDTV Good Times on the ratings front. Zee Khana Khazana did well initially, but couldn’t match up to the onslaught by FoodFood. For years Zee TV has ruled the audience with their popular show, ‘Khana Khazana’. They went ahead and launched an exclusive channel, Zee Khana Khazana, in December 2010. However, the year 2011, ended on a different note for the channel.
Commenting on FoodFood’s ratings, Anindya Ray, VP, Lodestar UM, remarked that the channel didn’t have that much ratings so far to say that it was doing extremely well. He pointed out, “India is not ready for niche channels on food. The country sure is warming up to channels like TLC and shows like ‘MasterChef India’ have done well. ‘MasterChef Australia’ on Star World has done well. If you see, TLC had done a lot of shows during Christmas. However, a complete niche channel will take time to make a landmark. The future is good, but it will take time. Thus, the ratings comparison between FoodFood and NDTV Good Times should not be a reason to gauge.”
Stating that TAM was not geared to ideally showcase the power of niche channels, Ray pointed out, “You won’t get 3 per cent or 4 per cent ratings like a GEC does. The genre in its initial stage and hasn’t reached a saturation point where a channel starts eating into another channel’s share.”
“If you have a good programme, people will follow it. If channels fail, it would be because of the content,” he added.
Agreeing with this, Amin Lakhani, Principal Partner, Mindshare, said, “People are coming up with newer content and that is good. In 2011, so many channels had a poor start; it is the content and distribution that decide a channel’s performance. You can’t compare FoodFood and NDTV Good Times as both have different content. I expect the channels to show good and relevant content in the year 2012.”
Commenting on the future trends that he would like to see in this segment, Ray said, “In 2012, I would like to see how these channels cater to different segments. India is a big country and it has plenty of food, so it is difficult to settle everywhere. Either you would be a good North Indian or South Indian food channel.”
Meanwhile, reacting to his channel’s success, Sanjeev Kapoor, MD, FoodFood, said, “I am very happy that this has happened. We believed that our channel would be the best, and it happened.”
He affirmed that one needed to have a deep understanding about the category. “It is not cricket or a music channel. You need to understand food and need to think like a foodie for your channel to work. Have passion for food and you will do well,” he advised.
The year of 2012 could see food and lifestyle channels firming base and getting greater acceptance from the Indian audience.