Innovation, the relationship between supplier and retailer and the place of small “mom-and-pop” stores in India’s fast-developing market took centre stage at the first day of the Food Forum India event in Mumbai yesterday (6 May). Here are a round-up of the top quotes from yesterday’s session.

“Indian consumers will pay for quality; this is the truest form of lifestyle change in this country now” – Avinash Joshi, CEO, fruits and vegetables division, Pantaloon Retail

“We are now in a transition period in lifestyle choices” – Sadashiv Nayak, CEO, Food Bazaar

“There is a perceptible shift in consumer behavior and the Indian retail industry needs to move towards synergizing efforts of all stakeholders” – Dr. Ashok Gulati, Asia director, International Food Policy Research Institute, US

“Brands have a lot of shelf space in Indian retailing but there still isn’t enough to provide variety” – Ireena Vittal, Principal, McKinsey & Co

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“From plough to plate was yesterday’s story; today, it is plate-to-plough. It’s the consumer who dictates what should be farmed” R Subramanium – MD Subishka Retail

“Market and farmer is somewhat disconnected and we are here to act as a bridge in that vertical integration” – Martin Dlouhy, MD, Metro India

“In my belief it is the responsibility of the retailer to monitor the supplier chain, to maintain quality consistency” – Dlouhy

“The power of kirana stores is their ability, and more importantly, their independence in adapting to the needs of the community they are in. Franchising them is not an option for us” – Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group

“Food is part of culture and therefore any innovation must be initiated from here, in India” – Guninder Kapoor, president and chief executive, Foods Business, Reliance Industries

“New ideas for food are a good thing but we must not forget that Indian food is growing in popularity worldwide, so we cannot change what we eat here just yet” – Pawan Gupta, manager retail operations, Vishal Retail.