Already established in China, Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), operator of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, recently outlined its growth plans for India. The company intends to open 1,000 fast-food outlets by 2015 to tap into India's growing youth movement. While investors invariably think of China when it comes to overseas growth, a closer look at India offers enticing potential as well.

Like China, India offers the promise of an exploding population of middle-class consumers. But India's differentiates itself through the sheer size of its youth population -- the median age in India is 25, and a stunning 30% are under 14 years old. These are young consumers preparing to make their first foray into the workforce, and they represent potential life-long customers. Aligning with India's youth culture presents an exciting growth proposition for companies like Yum! Brands.

As I experienced during my recent trip to Shanghai, Yum! is already huge in China, where it makes about a third of its operating profit. While its current footprint in India is small compared to competitors like McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Domino's (NYSE:DPZ), Yum! has done an excellent job of adapting to China, a skill that should help it catch up quickly in other emerging markets.

As the Motley Fool Global Gains team found while visiting India, the country needs major boosts in infrastructure, education, and health care, all of which should offer excellent investment opportunities. Increased middle-class spending will create great opportunities as well. In its report "The Rise of India's Consumer Market," consultant group McKinsey estimates that private consumption in India should quadruple from 2005-2025, and that growth in disposable income should account for a whopping 80% of that gain. Combine those figures with a sprouting population, and you can see why YUM! thinks that Indians will spend a lot of money on pizza and other fast foods.

McKinsey agrees. Despite their forecast that spending on food, beverages and tobacco will grow at a relatively modest CAGR of 4.5% through 2025, that sleepy rate will create new sales of $223 billion. So if Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC snare even a small piece of that pie, Yum's bottom line should benefit. Beverage makers like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) should benefit as well -- items like soda and packaged snacks offer affordable luxuries as emerging consumers move themselves up the economic ladder.

What other global companies can take advantage of India's youthful population and nascent consumerism? Share your thoughts below.

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Fool contributor Tom Winner does not own any shares of companies mentioned in this article. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Coca-Cola and Pepsico are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.