“MLC has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth and popularity of South Asian cuisine in America’: Abhinav Arora

“MLC has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth and popularity of South Asian cuisine in America’: Abhinav Arora

MLC is thrilled to welcome Royal as the signature food partner for a second consecutive season.


Mumbai: MLC is thrilled to welcome Royal as the signature food partner for a second consecutive season, bringing authentic South Asian flavors to cricket fans across the United States. As an official partner continuing their fantastic commitment to building cricket in America, fans flocked to sample Royal’s authentic South Asian dishes at the matches last summer and that added to a unique atmosphere for professional sports in America

This recurring collaboration again offers a unique opportunity for Royal to engage with cricket enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

Indiantelevision.com has caught up with LT Foods America president Abhinav Arora, who provided insights on how an AmericanT20 Cricket tournament is helping in the amplification of food market in America

Edited excerpts

On feeling about returning as the signature food partner for the MLC for a second season

Being an official partner during Cognizant Major League Cricket's (MLC) inaugural season was a milestone for Royal and we are thrilled to extend our partnership with Major League Cricket for its second year aiming to bring the rich culture, authentic cuisine, and vibrant flavors of South Asia to cricket enthusiasts across the United States. The success of the inaugural season has only fueled our excitement for the upcoming season and the chance to further enhance the cricketing and culinary experience for fans nationwide with a taste of Royal’s delicious basmati rice & Indian food offerings. Royal’s partnership with MLC is the perfect opportunity to showcase our new brand identity and connect with cricket fans on a cultural level, embodying the essence of "the many flavors of you." Just as cricket brings together people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, our brand vision celebrates this diversity and individuality.

On this collaboration between Royal and the MLC unique particularly in the context of the American sports scene

As cricket continues to gain traction in the United States, this partnership introduces an emerging sporting option to American audiences and offers crossover appeal beyond traditional cricket fans.

Similarly, Royal offers the finest and most authentic Indian ingredients and foods but Indian ingredients need not be confined to making only Indian Foods. Royal aims to create a food community united by the love of authentic and diverse flavors of India.  Through our products, we aim to inspire culinary innovation, connecting people across cultures.

This partnership represents an exciting opportunity to foster the growth of cricket within the American sports scene while creating a unique sporting experience that combines tradition with innovation and blends sports and cuisine for shared memories.

On planning to engage with cricket enthusiasts and food lovers during this season's matches

During this season’s matches, cricket fans will once again enjoy the opportunity to sample an array of Royal’s best-selling and new product innovations, participate in exciting consumer giveaways and contests, starting on opening night. The experience of high-energy Major League Cricket matches coupled with Royal’s distinctive South Asian dishes delivers fans an authentic taste of India. Royal aims to create memorable experiences for fans both on and off the field, increasing its visibility and appeal among a diverse audience of sports enthusiasts and food connoisseurs alike. In addition to fans sampling Royal’s authentic Indian dishes, we also plan to recognize cricket excellence through sponsorship of the award for MLC’s leading run scorer, with the superstar batters of world cricket set to battle it out for the prize.

On the MLC contributing to the growth and popularity of South Asian cuisine in America

MLC has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth and popularity of South Asian cuisine in America by providing a platform for cultural exchange and celebration, especially with its partnership with Royal. As cricket gains traction in the American sports scene through MLC’s second season, it creates opportunities for Royal to showcase the fusion of tradition, cuisine, and cricket, emphasizing the diverse traditions and flavors that make cricket an essential component of South Asian culture. By incorporating South Asian food offerings into the fan experience at MLC matches, Royal can introduce these flavors to a wider audience and foster appreciation among both South Asian and non-South Asian fans alike. The presence of South Asian cuisine at these matches can further elevate the visibility and appeal of these culinary delights, ultimately contributing to its growth into the American culinary landscape.

On the specific dishes do you offer that resonate particularly well with cricket fans in America

Royal’s Basmati rice can be paired well with popular dishes that are likely to appeal to cricket enthusiasts including Biryani, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chana Masala, Palak Paneer. These classic South Asian dishes are known for their aromatic spices, vibrant colors, and satisfying taste, making them the perfect dish for enjoying a thrilling cricket match. The American fans can also use Royal basmati to prepare a range of sweet dishes like Kheer, Phirni, and sweet Zarda rice to celebrate the win of their favorite teams.

For a quick and convenient meal when watching cricket matches from home, Royal's Ready-to-Heat Basmati Rice offers a range of dishes that resonate particularly well with cricket fans in America due to their convenience and authentic flavors. Fans can easily enjoy these flavorful dishes with a convenient 90 seconds preparation, allowing them to enjoy the game while savoring the essence of South Asian cuisine.

On envisioning this partnership benefiting both MLC and Royal in terms of brand exposure and market expansion

Our partnership with MLC marked such a significant milestone in the growth and development of cricket culture in the United States during the inaugural season, which was brought to life through the fusion of the exhilarating sport and South Asian cuisine and as we continue to extend our partnership for the second season, this presents a mutually beneficial opportunity for us to increase our visibility and credibility as the number one brand of basmati rice in the U.S. For MLC, aligning with a globally recognized brand like Royal attracts not only cricket enthusiasts but also fans of Royal. Royal's extended partnership with MLC provides the brand access to unveil its new brand identity with our audience as well as a diverse audience of sports enthusiasts within the American market, offering opportunities for product promotion and market expansion. Royal continues to strengthen its presence in the U.S. and establish itself as the #1 choice for authentic Basmati rice among cricket fans and beyond.

On the feedback you have received from fans who had the opportunity to sample Royal's South Asian dishes at previous MLC matches

Fans who had the opportunity to sample Royal's South Asian dishes at last year's MLC matches expressed  appreciation for the authenticity, flavor, and convenience of Royal's offerings. During the inaugural season, attendees at the stadium were treated to a complimentary "Build Your Own Bowl" game day snack, featuring Royal's signature basmati rice and an array of toppings, including Green Mango Chutney, Mint Chutney, and Tikka Masala. Many fans praised the quality of Royal's Basmati rice in our dishes noting its aromatic aroma and fluffy texture. Overall, the feedback reflects a strong cultural connection between Royal's South Asian dishes and the cricket fans, further solidifying the brand's association with the MLC fan experience. We look forward to sampling our new innovations again to cricket fans this year!