Cat­e­gory Watch

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Front Page - By San­jay Ku­mar

Re­tail­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers see huge scope to grow the break­fast cat­e­gory

In­dia’s vast mar­ket holds a huge po­ten­tial for the grow­ing base of break­fast foods, which in­cludes ce­re­als like oats, corn flakes, muesli, dalia and mixes of tra­di­tional break­fast like idli, dosa and upma, among other choices. Ris­ing ur­ban pop­u­la­tion, in­crease in dis­pos­able in­come, and higher con­sumer health aware­ness are key sales driv­ers for the cat­e­gory, which has wit­nessed healthy yearon-year growth in the past cou­ple of years and re­tains bright prospects for busi­ness in the fu­ture. With sales in the cat­e­gory con­cen­trated largely in first- and -sec­ondtier cities char­ac­ter­ized by fast-paced, modern life­styles in which con­ve­nience and, in­creas­ingly, health are prized, play­ers in the break­fast mar­ket are fo­cus­ing on prod­uct of­fer­ings with en­hanced va­ri­ety and in­no­va­tion, and on ef­forts to boost con­sumer tri­als and penetration.

Break­fast in In­dia is con­sid­ered to be one of the most im­por­tant meals of the day just like any­where else in the world. Here, by and large, tra­di­tion dic­tates that break­fast is a fam­ily meal where the woman of the house en­sures that her fam­ily is served a whole­some break­fast at the start the day. Our home-cooked break­fast tra­di­tion is quite un­like the norm in Amer­ica or Europe where grab­bing a quick break­fast on one’s way to work is very pop­u­lar and con­ve­nient.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search done by a lead­ing food­ser­vice op­er­a­tor, as high as 98 per cent of the In­dian pop­u­la­tion prefers to have break­fast at home. The re­search re­veals that there are many rea­sons why the cul­ture of eat­ing out has not grown in the break­fast seg­ment in In­dia. The out-of-home break­fast mar­ket in In­dia is very lim­ited and con­cen­trated mostly in either 5-star ho­tels or on the street. The mid-seg­ment has been miss­ing, un­like in the West, where a wide choice of op­tions ex­ist at ev­ery cor­ner, elim­i­nat­ing the has­sles of cook­ing or clean­ing. Cost is an­other fac­tor here, es­pe­cially when there is easy ac­cess to fresh, home-cooked meals.

The easy avail­abil­ity of a cook or do­mes­tic help en­sures that it is con­ve­nient to eat at home. Also, in def­er­ence to tra­di­tion, a lot of peo­ple choose to eat spe­cific or re­gional In­dian dishes like paran­tha, aloo-puri, dhokla, idli-dosa, etc. These dishes are of­ten per­fected to taste in ev­ery house and served in a ba­sic home-style man­ner. So, there is lit­tle need to ven­ture out.

Be that as it may, the trend of eat­ing break­fast at home has been chang­ing in re­cent years. Peo­ple’s life­styles have been evolv­ing in re­sponse to var­i­ous so­cial and cul­ture stim­uli. Con­sumer in­sights tell us that In­dia has been wit­ness­ing a marked in­crease in higher

dis­pos­able in­comes, the num­ber of young adults in the no-kids cat­e­gory is steadily ex­pand­ing, nu­clear fam­i­lies are on the rise, and work­ing hours and com­mute time too are in­creas­ing. All of these fac­tors leave peo­ple with very less or al­most no time for in­dulging the tra­di­tional, elab­o­rate home­cooked break­fast ex­cept, per­haps, on week­ends or hol­i­days. Paucity of time and an in­creased fo­cus on con­ve­nience are push­ing peo­ple to eat out nearly seven to eight times a month com­pared to three to four times un­til just a few years ago. At the same time, In­dian con­sumers, in in­creas­ing num­bers, are gain­ing ex­po­sure to in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ments and cul­tures, which is cre­at­ing a de­mand for world-class prod­ucts at af­ford­able prices. To­day, the pro­file of the In­dian con­sumer has evolved to be­ing hy­gien­econ­scious, taste-con­scious, brand-con­scious, ex­per­i­men­tal and seek­ing not only in­ter­na­tional stan­dards but also value. All of these fac­tors are re­spon­si­ble for the shift that we see to­day in a large num­ber of In­di­ans pre­fer­ring break­fast on the go rather than sit­ting down to a home-cooked meal.

While global food habits and prac­tices are grad­u­ally shap­ing the way peo­ple en­gage with food in In­dia, a ma­jor­ity of In­di­ans still pre­fer break­fast at home to eat­ing out. “Tra­di­tional break­fast op­tions con­tinue to be a part of the In­dian break­fast ta­ble and there is a big seg­ment of peo­ple who still pre­fer home-cooked food for break­fast. How­ever, given the grow­ing im­por­tance of health and well­ness in our lives, con­sumers are now mak­ing an ef­fort to ‘health­ify’ tra­di­tional meal items by us­ing health­ier in­gre­di­ents,” says Mo­hit Anand, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor at Kel­logg In­dia and South Asia. For the most part, In­di­ans are in­clined to con­sum­ing their quin­tes­sen­tial hot, cooked break­fast. Paran­tha re­mains a pop­u­lar break­fast item in north, idli and dosa in south, flat­tened rice flakes (chivda/ poha) with milk in western and cen­tral In­dia, whole wheat grits (dalia), and a mélange of re­gional sta­ples in many other parts of In­dia.

Pop­u­lar Break­fast Foods and Brands

Bread and eggs con­tinue to be a pop­u­lar break­fast sta­ple for many house­holds. But the choices have in­creased even in this seg­ment. The range of breads avail­able to­day in­clude white bread, brown bread, whole wheat bread, multi-grain bread, sand­wich bread, multi­grain oats and flax, baguette, and crois­sant. For egg lovers too, there has been an ex­plo­sion in choice at the re­tail level – there are brown eggs, white eggs, quail eggs and free-range eggs (cage free) to choose from. Lead­ing egg pro­duc­ers like Venky’s and Su­guna are mak­ing in­no­va­tions re­lated to pack­ag­ing, nu­tri­tional con­tent (the ad­di­tion of omega-3s), egg color, and pro­duc­tion method (cage-free, or­ganic and free-range). As a re­sult of such ini­tia­tives, the mar­ket share for or­ganic and cage-free eggs, while small, con­tin­ues to rise as egg com­pa­nies in­crease their fo­cus on cage­free egg pro­duc­tion.

Apart from bread and eggs, su­per­mar­kets across the coun­try are re­port­ing growth in sales across many break­fast cat­e­gories. At Food­world, a chain of su­per­mar­ket stores, which is owned by Hong Kong based Dairy Farm In­ter­na­tional Hold­ings Ltd, the break­fast ce­real range has been per­form­ing well with of­fer­ings that in­clude muesli, all bran wheat, corn flakes, ragi flakes, al­mond corn flakes, straw­berry corn flakes, gra­nola, Spe­cial K (for women), and mil­let muesli. In the oats cat­e­gory where Quaker, Kel­logg’s, Saf­fola and Ba­grry’s are its top per­form­ing brands, the chain has been record­ing good sales for clas­sic oats, masala oats and oats shake. In the mil­lets cat­e­gory, brands such as Manna, 24 Mantra, Or­ganic Tattva, and Arya are the sales pullers at Food­world, which rakes in about 3% of its over­all sales from break­fast cat­e­gory.

Along­side good sales of break­fast ce­re­als, the chain has also seen an im­pres­sive show put up by In­dian break­fast mixes com­pris­ing prod­ucts like upma mix, rava idli mix, rava dosa mix, vada mix,

At Ba­grry’s, we have been in­no­vat­ing our oats cat­e­gory and have cre­ated oats for atta, suji and poha. The idea be­hind these in­no­va­tions is to make oats a sta­ple for In­dian con­sumers. — Aditya Ba­gri Direc­tor, Ba­grry’s In­dia

oats upma mix, ragi dosa mix, ver­mi­celli mix, poha mix, multi­grain dosa mix and oats idli. MTR, 24 Mantra, Maiyas, and Pills­bury are its top brands in the In­dian break­fast mix seg­ment. In the kid’s break­fast seg­ment, honey loops, choco’s, pan cakes, oat-bites and choco-fills are the pop­u­lar of­fer­ings with Kel­logg’s, Soul­full, Pills­bury and Betty Crocker as the best-sell­ing brands. Other brands – Trop­i­cana, B-nat­u­ral, Silk, Sun­drop, Fun Foods, Veeba – are also big sales pullers at Food­world, which al­lo­cates 4-5% of its shelf space to the break­fast cat­e­gory that has been clock­ing 15%-20% growth.

At SPAR Hyper­mar­kets, which en­joy a strong pres­ence of its own store brands in each of the break­fast sub cat­e­gories, south In­dian RTC mixes, mil­let flours, oats and breads are the pop­u­lar break­fast foods in de­mand. “This is one of the fastest­grow­ing cat­e­gories, wit­ness­ing strong dou­ble digit growth. How­ever, we are ex­cited to see the re­gional brands wit­ness stronger growth in this seg­ment com­pared to the na­tional brands, led by prod­uct cat­e­gories like mil­let flours, brown breads, oats, etc,” says Ra­jeev Kr­ish­nan, MD & CEO.

At HY­PER­CITY, an­other large chain known for its great mix of break­fast food items, in­stant break­fast mixes, ce­re­als, ce­real bars, muesli, oats, gra­nola & en­ergy bars, fresh fruits, fresh juices, cold-pressed juices, green juices, etc, are the most pop­u­lar of­fer­ings in the break­fast cat­e­gory. The to­tal sales con­tri­bu­tion from break­fast foods at HY­PER­CITY is about 4%-8% on av­er­age. “While rou­tine prod­uct of­fer­ings like ce­re­als, oats and muesli are show­ing on­go­ing sta­bil­ity in sales, we have ob­served an ag­gres­sive growth of around 30% in the new range of pre­mium break­fast cat­e­gory prod­ucts com­pris­ing quinoa, muesli and oats. We are also see­ing an up­surge in the con­sump­tion of in­stant ready-to-eat/ cook break­fast mixes be­cause of the chang­ing eco­nomic sce­nario and the needs of evolved ur­ban con­sumers,” ob­serves R. Sankara­narayanan, Vice Pres­i­dent - Buy­ing & Mer­chan­dis­ing, HY­PER­CITY Re­tail (In­dia) Ltd. The chain al­lots, on av­er­age, about 8% space to the break­fast range at its stores across In­dia. While brands such as Kel­logg’s, Ba­grry’s, Quaker, Saf­fola, Nib­ble Box, MTR, Soul­full and Patan­jali have been re­ceiv­ing great re­sponse from HY­PER­CITY cus­tomers, re­gional brands like Ruchi, Kwal­ity, Mohan’s and Gits are also in de­mand at its stores.

Rise of Ce­re­als and Other Break­fast Foods

For some time now, a quiet revo­lu­tion has been sim­mer­ing on the break­fast ta­ble. The home-made idli is be­ing re­placed by a pack­aged branded readyto-cook bat­ter. A bowl of ce­real is el­bow­ing out the hot-from-the pan aloo-paran­tha. Even the reg­u­lar quick-fi x kanda-poha is be­ing shoved aside by multi-grain oats flaunt­ing health ben­e­fits. So even as re­gional and eth­nic break­fast eats have their fol­low­ers, the need for con­ve­nience and health con­scious­ness is driv­ing many to re­place tra­di­tional sta­ples like atta, suji and poha with oats, mil­lets and muesli.

Given the rushed ur­ban life­styles of to­day, con­sumers are look­ing for con­ve­nience with­out com­pro­mis­ing on health and taste. So food mak­ers are pick­ing up pop­u­lar break­fast recipes like idli, dosa and upma and mak­ing them health­ier. The need for con­ve­nience and health is also the rea­son why

Ev­ery Soul­full prod­uct bears out our com­pany’s USPS: hon­esty, good­ness of in­gre­di­ents, an­cient grains, In­di­aness, con­ve­nience and taste. — Prashant Parameswaran MD, Kot­taram Agro Foods

pack­aged and ready-to-eat break­fast ce­re­als – both hot and cold – have risen as an im­por­tant cat­e­gory in the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try. While the rise of oats and muesli as a cat­e­gory is a global trend, multi­na­tion­als and large do­mes­tic food com­pa­nies are all now fight­ing for a pie of the fast-grow­ing break­fast cat­e­gory, which in­cludes oats, corn­flakes, muesli, dalia and mixes of tra­di­tional break­fast like idli and upma.

In the ur­ban ar­eas es­pe­cially, ow­ing to fac­tors like a faster pace of life, time poverty, in­creas­ing spend­ing power, need for con­ve­nience, and health con­scious­ness, peo­ple are opt­ing for ready-to-eat, pack­aged hot and cold break­fast ce­re­als. The break­fast ce­real mar­ket is di­vided into hot ce­re­als viz. mostly oats, but also oat bran and wheat bran, and ready-to-eat cold ce­re­als such as corn flakes, wheat flakes, and muesli. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port ti­tled In­dia Break­fast Ce­real Mar­ket Out­look, 2021, “In­di­ans pre­fer hot break­fasts, so hot ce­re­als are grow­ing at a faster pace than ready-to-eat cold ce­re­als.” Ow­ing to ur­ban­iza­tion and in­creased in­come of peo­ple, western In­dia has the largest mar­ket share in break­fast ce­re­als, fol­lowed by north and south. Nowa­days, man­u­fac­tur­ers have also in­tro­duced a range of brands ap­peal­ing sep­a­rately to kids, adults and the en­tire fam­ily. RTE ce­re­als, for in­stance, for­ti­fied with vi­ta­mins and min­er­als and po­si­tioned at chil­dren, are prov­ing in­creas­ingly suc­cess­ful.

“Ready-to-eat ce­re­als are su­per-fast, nu­tri­tious and taste great. The ce­real’s role in a nu­tri­tious break­fast goes be­yond the nu­tri­ents in the ce­real it­self. Ce­re­als serve as an ex­cel­lent cen­tre piece for a bal­anced break­fast, which in­cludes milk and fruit. Ready-to-eat ce­re­als of­fer the good­ness of grains (which are an ex­cel­lent source of complex car­bo­hy­drates), are nat­u­rally low in fat, are a source of fi­bre (with many be­ing high in fi­bre) and, in our case, are en­riched with key vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Over the past two decades, Kel­logg has in­tro­duced con­sumer-rel­e­vant prod­ucts in the mar­ket and con­tin­ues to in­no­vate and in­vest in both ready-to-eat ce­real and hot ce­real cat­e­gory to in­tro­duce dis­tinct and rel­e­vant prod­ucts in the mar­ket. Kel­logg has been in­volved in cre­at­ing and de­vel­op­ing the ready-to-eat ce­real cat­e­gory in In­dia and has es­tab­lished it­self as a leader in the break­fast ce­real cat­e­gory,” states Kel­logg’s Mo­hit Anand.

With health and well­ness emerg­ing as one of the fastest grow­ing seg­ments in In­dia, the break­fast ce­real cat­e­gory has been on a growth tra­jec­tory and the seg­ment is grow­ing both in ur­ban and semi­ur­ban mar­kets. The in­creas­ing trend of healthy eat­ing with em­pha­sis on well-bal­anced meals is re­flected in our break­fast con­sump­tion habit to­day with the rise in the fre­quency of pur­chase and penetration of of­fer­ings such as oats and muesli. The em­pha­sis now is on hav­ing a healthy, nu­tri­tious break­fast that helps the con­sumer get a head start on his/ her day. Also, with more women join­ing ac­tive careers, more fam­i­lies are look­ing for con­ve­nient ready-to-eat yet healthy op­tions in all meals. Ready-to-eat break­fast ce­re­als fit the bill as they are tasty and are for­ti­fied to meet In­dian nu­tri­tion needs.

Break­fast Con­sump­tion Trends

1 Fo­cus on health and con­ve­nience In­dian break­fast habits and food choices have seen some very in­ter­est­ing shifts over the last decade. “There is in­creased snack­i­fi­ca­tion of food in gen­eral and break­fast in par­tic­u­lar. This shift is rid­ing on the big trend driven by the rise of ‘health & well­ness’ and ‘con­ve­nience’, the two big pegs con­sti­tut­ing this trend. On-the-go so­lu­tions have also started to gain trac­tion, again due to con­ve­nience,” says Kel­logg’s Mo­hit Anand. For a com­pany that is widely cred­ited with cre­at­ing and de­vel­op­ing the break­fast ce­real cat­e­gory in In­dia, Kel­logg has been in­stru­men­tal in grow­ing the cat­e­gory by 1.5X over the past five years and it con­tin­ues to hold a lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the cat­e­gory by a sig­nif­i­cantly large mar­gin. Speak­ing of Kel­logg’s port­fo­lio of prod­ucts, Anand says that they not only cater to the health and well­ness mar­ket but also meet spe­cific needs that have be­come rel­e­vant for our times. “Our Spe­cial K break­fast ce­real acts as an ally to peo­ple on their weight man­age­ment jour­ney. Our muesli is full of nour­ish­ment and so are our other prod­ucts. As long as con­sumers have health and well­ness and con­ve­nience on their minds, we will be part of their break­fast choice.”

Health and con­ve­nience are the two driv­ing fac­tors for many new com­pa­nies en­ter­ing the break­fast cat­e­gory. Ban­ga­lore-based Pa­gariya Food Prod­ucts Pri­vate Lim­ited, which is a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer, im­porter, ex­porter and sup­plier of a wide va­ri­ety of break­fast ce­re­als, masala, spice pow­ders, in­stant pow­ders and soup pow­ders, en­tered the break­fast ce­re­als cat­e­gory by adopt­ing health and con­ve­nience as its two ma­jor planks. The com­pany’s prod­ucts, mar­keted un­der the brand name Kwal­ity, cov­ers one of the big­gest range of break­fast ce­re­als across In­dia and in­cludes corn flakes, cho­cho flakes, Fruitoooos (fruit fla­vored rings), choco de­light and berry de­light (cream filled snacks), oats, ragi flakes, a range of muesli, fla­vored corn flakes, and wheat flakes. Kwal­ity prod­ucts are mar­keted in In­dia and also ex­ported to over 12 coun­tries now. “We have been grow­ing in this cat­e­gory for over 50% plus year on year for last 3-4 years and we will con­tinue to grow at the same pace or even higher in the years to come. The bulk of con­sump­tion of break­fast ce­re­als hap­pens in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities be­cause of the long work­ing hours and the grow­ing share of work­ing women, which is push­ing them to look for faster ar­range­ments for break­fast. Af­flu­ent con­sumers who shop at modern trade out­lets and A-class out­lets are our tar­get cus­tomers and the key mar­ket for our prod­ucts,” says Naresh Pa­gariya, MD & Founder, Pa­gariya Food Prod­ucts Pvt. Ltd.

We have ob­served an ag­gres­sive growth of around 30% in the new range of pre­mium break­fast cat­e­gory prod­ucts com­pris­ing quinoa, muesli and oats. — R. Sankara­narayanan Vice Pres­i­dent - Buy­ing & Mer­chan­dis­ing, HY­PER­CITY Re­tail (In­dia) Ltd.

We are ex­cited to see re­gional brands wit­ness stronger growth in the break­fast seg­ment com­pared with the na­tional brands, led by prod­uct cat­e­gories like mil­let flours, brown breads, oats, etc. — Ra­jeev Kr­ish­nan MD & CEO, SPAR Hyper­mar­kets

Re­al­iz­ing the huge po­ten­tial of In­dia’s grow­ing health and well­ness in­dus­try, Gaia was founded in 2009 in the be­lief that na­ture, through earth’s di­ver­sity of flora and fauna, of­fers the best so­lu­tions for all our health needs. “We are a one-of-its-kind healthy food pro­ducer for the high-end fit­ness­con­scious con­sumer. Our prod­ucts range from nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments to a com­plete set of health foods. In the break­fast cat­e­gory, we have seven ex­cit­ing vari­ants in muesli and two vari­ants in oats,” says Dolly Ku­mar, Founder & Direc­tor at Gaia, adding that the com­pany is fo­cused on im­ple­ment­ing a va­ri­ety of ini­tia­tives to en­hance its brand iden­tity and make its prod­ucts more vis­i­ble in the mar­ket. Founded at a time when the health food in­dus­try was at a bud­ding stage, Gaia’s fruit & nut muesli and real fruit muesli are record­ing a max­i­mum growth among all the prod­ucts in its break­fast port­fo­lio. “Con­sumers to­day seek out for a break­fast op­tion that is not only healthy but also con­ve­nient. Since these two mues­lis con­tain real fruit ex­tracts and crushes, they are health­ier than the other choices and are record­ing max­i­mum growth. With the grow­ing in­ci­dence of life­style re­lated dis­eases like di­a­betes and obe­sity, con­sumers world­wide are show­ing great in­ter­est in a pre­ven­tive life­style rather than a cu­ra­tive ap­proach, which is lead­ing to the evo­lu­tion of the health food in­dus­try in In­dia and else­where,” ex­plains Ku­mar.

An­other com­pany with its sight firmly fo­cused on healthy liv­ing is Maple­leaf Dis­tri­bu­tion Pvt. Ltd, which has over 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in re­tail and whole­sale trade along­side sup­ply and dis­tri­bu­tion

ar­range­ment with the Horeca sec­tor. The com­pany is look­ing to beef up its break­fast range by ty­ing up with more in­ter­na­tional brands and dis­tribut­ing/ mar­ket­ing their prod­ucts in In­dia. “We have grown and es­tab­lished our­selves as one of the largest im­porters of Asian and Mex­i­can cui­sine in In­dia. We im­port ap­pro­pri­ate prod­ucts from our in­ter­na­tional clients and then dis­trib­ute them across the coun­try through our net­work of whole­sale, in­sti­tu­tional and re­tail stock­ists,” says Ni­raj Mu­rarka, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Maple­leaf Dis­tri­bu­tion Pvt. Ltd, which dis­trib­utes a range of Ori­en­tal, Mex­i­can and Ja­panese cui­sine prod­ucts from in­ter­na­tional food com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the ready to eat, con­fec­tionery and break­fast cat­e­gories.

The lat­est ad­di­tion to Maple­leaf’s grow­ing ros­ter of global food brands is Sante, which has been a ma­jor food op­er­a­tor in the Pol­ish mar­ket since 1992. The Pol­ish food ma­jor spe­cial­izes in the pro­duc­tion of healthy food and over the years it has suc­cess­fully diver­si­fied from sell­ing para-phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, herbs, ce­real prod­ucts, sun­flower seeds, lentil seeds and soy beans to be­com­ing a pro­ducer of a whole range of health foods spawn­ing break­fast prod­ucts like muesli and oat cook­ies to nat­u­ral and healthy plants’ prod­ucts like wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germs, soy prod­ucts, kasha and grains be­sides much else. “As of to­day, we dis­trib­ute and mar­ket a com­plete su­per mar­ket range of food prod­ucts cov­er­ing 380 SKUS across var­i­ous cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing break­fast range, su­per­foods and 100% nat­u­ral co­conut wa­ter,” re­veals Mu­rarka.

The bulk of con­sump­tion of break­fast ce­re­als hap­pens in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities be­cause of the long work­ing hours and the grow­ing share of work­ing women. — Naresh Pa­gariya MD & Founder, Pa­gariya Food Prod­ucts Pvt. Ltd.

2 Adop­tion of al­ter­nate grains As con­sumers search for ce­re­als that are nat­u­ral, or­ganic, gluten-free, high in pro­tein and lower in sugar, these need are gen­er­at­ing in­creased in­ter­est in an­cient grains, su­per­foods, su­per­seeds, lowg­lycemic sweet­en­ers, in­creased fiber and pro­tein, as well as or­ganic and non-gmo prod­ucts. With life­styles chang­ing and our lives be­com­ing busier, con­sumers are hold­ing back to val­ues and tra­di­tions that are giv­ing rise to an emerg­ing trend for foods with nat­u­ral good­ness. Brands like Soul­full by Kot­taram Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd. fo­cus on an­cient grains like mil­lets and it has de­vel­oped in­no­va­tive prod­uct for­mats for de­liv­er­ing the nat­u­ral good­ness of age-old In­dian grains to con­sumers. “Soul­full’s core spe­cialty is to bring out the good­ness of In­dia’s rich culi­nary her­itage and we do it by cre­at­ing prod­ucts that are truly in­no­va­tive and cus­tomized for the modern and dis­cern­ing In­dian con­sumer. Ev­ery Soul­full prod­uct bears out our com­pany’s USPS: hon­esty, good­ness of in­gre­di­ents, an­cient grains, In­di­aness, con­ve­nience and taste,” says Prashant Parameswaran, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Kot­taram Agro Foods, whose ragi flakes and mil­let muesli are a great hit with health con­scious ur­ban con­sumers

Our strat­egy is to pro­vide good qual­ity prod­ucts at the right price and of­fer good value for money. Also, we have a range of value packs priced Rs.10 and be­low to tar­get Tier 2 cities and smaller towns. — Dheeraj Jain Direc­tor, Pa­gariya Food Prod­ucts Pvt. Ltd.

across the coun­try and es­pe­cially in the mar­kets of Ban­ga­lore, Mum­bai and NCR.

With mil­let meal sub­sti­tut­ing con­ven­tional break­fasts in thou­sands of homes across the coun­try seek­ing healthy and hot break­fasts, Soul­full Ragi Bites are a par­tic­u­lar fa­vorite of moth­ers across the coun­try. Ragi Bites scores big as healthy ce­real for kids since it ticks off on all the nu­tri­tion re­quire­ments for grow­ing chil­dren. “Kids love the fla­vor and it makes break­fast fun. Sim­i­larly, our Loop­ies are pre­ferred by kids and teenagers who en­joy the mild sweet­ness cou­pled with the choco­late fla­vor. Our lat­est launch of desi muesli is a per­fect fit for health­con­scious con­sumers who also love to en­joy the fla­vors in each meal. The fla­vors and the good­ness of our prod­ucts come from In­dia’s own culi­nary his­tory,” in­forms Parameswaran, adding that Ragi Bites has the big­gest mar­ket share in its prod­uct port­fo­lio and wit­ness­ing faster growth. “Our mil­let muesli and Loop­ies are rel­a­tively newer to the mar­ket but have seen the largest per­cent­age growth over the past two quar­ters. We be­lieve that our desi muesli will be a game changer and ex­pect it to clock un­prece­dented growth in the in­dus­try, which will also help re­tail­ers to grow the muesli cat­e­gory sig­nif­i­cantly.”

To­day, in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple in In­dia are tak­ing to al­ter­nate grains for mak­ing pop­u­larly con­sumed dishes. Aditree Nat­u­rals, whose fo­cus mar­ket is Ban­ga­lore, is one such com­pany lever­ag­ing this trend with its range of ready-to-cook prod­ucts, which are made of health­ier grains to give max­i­mum nu­tri­tion. “We be­lieve that a lack of time should not trans­late to a lack of nu­tri­tion, so our range is ready to cook and in­cludes upma and khichidi mixes for our break­fast line. We have sub­sti­tuted com­monly used suji rava in upma with a va­ri­ety of grains like wheat daliya, fox­tail mil­let and even quinoa. Sim­i­larly, with khichidi, we have sub­sti­tuted white rice with brown rice and mil­let. Our fo­cus is on the fact that com­fort food need not be un­healthy. So our seg­ment con­sists of peo­ple with fast-paced life­styles who are also health-con­scious and want to main­tain a healthy life­style but not at the cost of time, says Likitha Bhanu, CEO & Co-founder, Aditree Nat­u­rals.

The com­pany, whose fastest mov­ing prod­uct is its mil­let line, is fo­cus­ing on al­ter­nate grains in com­fort food to stand out in the mar­ket. “Mil­lets have gained lot of pop­u­lar­ity in the Ban­ga­lore mar­ket over the past cou­ple of years. Since or­ganic food is an in­te­gral part of healthy eat­ing, we use or­ganic in­gre­di­ents to make our prod­ucts and we are not in the more com­monly found ready-to-cook seg­ments,” in­forms

Pad­maja Bhanu, Co-founder, Aditree Nat­u­rals,

which has re­cently launched chikki in three vari­ants and will bring out its line of jowar noo­dles and soya noo­dles shortly.

3 Yo­gurts, bars, bev­er­ages as break­fast foods

While the pop­u­lar­ity of break­fast ce­re­als con­tin­ues to grow, fast food joints and chains are be­gin­ning to make their pres­ence felt in this seg­ment. Al­ready, an in­creas­ing num­ber of fast food restau­rants such as Mcdon­ald’s, Wendy’s, Sub­way and Taco Bell of­fer break­fast items. It is ex­pected that go­ing for­ward, In­dia will see the emer­gence of spe­cial­ized break­fast providers that cater to of­fice-go­ers who in­creas­ingly have lit­tle time to make and have a sit-down break­fast at home. This space is likely to grow as con­sumers start to de­mand greater choice and con­ve­nience for break­fast. Break­fast ce­re­als also face stiff com­pe­ti­tion from al­ter­nate break­fast choices such as Greek yo­gurt, pro­bi­otic drinks and even milk­shakes. Once con­sid­ered a nov­elty, prod­ucts like yo­gurt and pro­bi­otic drinks are now fast-grow­ing cat­e­gories in the healthy food uni­verse and find­ing a grow­ing and ready ac­cep­tance with con­sumers seek­ing healthy, lean, pro­tein-rich foods. Also, health-con­scious peo­ple are now ever more con­cerned and aware about their gut health. “About 70% of the body’s im­mune cells are present in the in­tes­tine, which plays vi­tal role in main­tain­ing our over­all health. Through our prod­uct Yakult, we are fo­cus­ing on in­testi­nal health be­cause in­clud­ing Yakult as a part of daily diet helps im­prove di­ges­tion and build your im­mu­nity,” says Amitabh Chaturvedi, Head Mar­ket­ing, Yakult Danone In­dia Pvt. Ltd., a 50:50

We are a one-ofits-kind healthy food pro­ducer for the high-end fit­ness-con­scious con­sumer. Our prod­ucts range from nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments to a com­plete set of health foods. — Dolly Ku­mar Founder & Direc­tor, Gaia

JV be­tween Yakult Hon­sha of Ja­pan and Groupe Danone of France, both of which are global pro­bi­otic lead­ers. The JV was formed in 2005 to man­u­fac­ture and sell pro­bi­otic fer­mented milk prod­ucts in the In­dian mar­ket. Yakult, a pro­bi­otic drink, was launched in In­dia in 2007, and is presently avail­able in Delhi/ NCR, Nasik, Chandi­garh, Pun­jab, Jaipur, Mum­bai, Pune, Ahmed­abad, Hy­der­abad, Chen­nai, Ban­ga­lore, Kolkata, Luc­know and Goa. As a func­tional food, Yakult can be con­sumed any time of the day; how­ever it can be an es­sen­tial part of break­fast as a daily diet mix. “Con­sumers are be­com­ing more aware of the im­por­tance of in­testi­nal health and are in­clud­ing Yakult in their daily diet, which is help­ing the brand to grow at a rate of about 15%-20% cur­rently,” re­veals Chaturvedi.

Apart from health and prod­uct pu­rity, taste con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant driver in the break­fast cat­e­gory. Con­sumers want foods that are pro­duced with higher-qual­ity and bet­ter in­gre­di­ents but also health­ful and tasty grab-n-go items and spe­cialty break­fast prod­ucts like cheeses, spreads and may­on­naise. Ad­di­tion­ally, for many play­ers in the break­fast seg­ment, sell­ing strate­gies re­volve around the prod­uct’s ver­sa­til­ity as an any­time snack or meal, or even as a recipe in­gre­di­ent. Re­tail­ers con­firm that they re­ceive lots of in­ter­est from con­sumers about unique recipes that mix ce­re­als and other healthy foods to make great-tast­ing and nu­tri­tious snacks. “Our prod­ucts in the break­fast cat­e­gory, which in­clude may­on­naise, sand­wich spreads, peanut but­ter and milk­shake mixes, help con­sumers cre­ate ex­cit­ing recipes at home and as­sure culi­nary suc­cess to moth­ers who want to serve their kids with ex­cit­ing food ev­ery day. We have the largest range in veg­e­tar­ian may­on­naise and an ex­cit­ing range in milk­shake mixes (MSMS), which the kids love. The USP of our sand­wich spreads range is that you can ap­ply them di­rectly on bread and eat. No ad­di­tional veg­gies are re­quired to make a great tast­ing sand­wich,” points out Oliver Mirza, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor & CEO, Dr. Oetker In­dia, which op­er­ates the Fun Foods brand, a lead­ing pur­veyor of western cui­sine in In­dia. May­on­naise is the star prod­uct in Dr. Oetker’s break­fast range and has grown at nearly a 100% rate last year, and con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to the com­pany’s mar­ket lead­er­ship in the cat­e­gory. “May­on­naise is a magic in­gre­di­ent, which helps a mother to cook restau­rant style recipes at home - from juicy sand­wiches, wraps, burg­ers to even a creamy white sauce for mac­a­roni. What makes this one prod­uct unique is its ver­sa­til­ity, as it can be used as a spread, bind­ing agent, dip or sauce. This one cat­e­gory of prod­uct sim­ply em­pow­ers peo­ple to ex­per­i­ment with food at home and cre­ate mul­ti­ple recipes,” af­firms Mirza.

Ac­cord­ing to re­tail­ers and food man­u­fac­tur­ers, a grow­ing base of con­sumers in the age group be­tween 30 and 40 years are em­brac­ing spe­cialty break­fast ce­re­als like Spe­cial K, muesli with yo­gurts, or­ganic food and mil­lets. At the same time, the younger gen­er­a­tion is mov­ing away from reg­u­lar break­fast ce­re­als to break­fast bars and drinks to save on time. Due to the change in our life­styles, peo­ple pre­fer to have on-the-go break­fast on work­days and leisure break­fast on week­ends. So there is a huge de­mand for prod­ucts like ready to eat, ready to cook, break­fast bars, pro­tein shake and pro­cessed meat that is healthy and re­plete with pro­teins needed for a healthy body. “Due to an in­crease in the de­mand for on-the go break­fast prod­ucts, ma­jor mar­ket share­hold­ers such as Kel­logg’s, Quaker Oats, Ba­grry’s, Saf­fola, and oth­ers should fo­cus on prod­ucts like ready to eat that have enough pro­teins and calo­ries suf­fi­cient for main­tain­ing a health

Ma­jor mar­ket share­hold­ers should fo­cus on prod­ucts like ready to eat that have enough pro­teins and calo­ries suf­fi­cient for main­tain­ing a healthy body. — Eby Mathews COO, Food­world Su­per­mar­kets Pvt Ltd.

Con­sumers are be­com­ing more aware of the im­por­tance of in­testi­nal health and are in­clud­ing Yakult in their daily diet, which is help­ing the brand to grow at a rate of about 15%-20% cur­rently. — Amitabh Chaturvedi Head Mar­ket­ing, Yakult Danone In­dia Pvt. Ltd.

body,” opines Eby Mathews, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer, Food­world Su­per­mar­kets Pvt Ltd.

A nat­u­ral and of­ten nec­es­sary ac­com­pa­ni­ment to a healthy morn­ing break­fast is the ubiq­ui­tous cup of tea. Tea is an in­te­gral part of our daily con­sump­tion, from the time we wake up and till the end of day. In­dian con­sumers pre­fer a strong fla­vor­some cup with break­fast to kick-start the day. Given the grow­ing de­mand for con­ve­nience, the younger gen­er­a­tion and, typ­i­cally mil­len­ni­als, pre­fer teabag over loose tea. Peo­ple in the age group 25-38 years, young work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, fre­quent trav­el­ers and those look­ing for con­ve­nience and a pre­mium life­style are key con­sumers of pre­mium brews in teabags. “Each of Typhoo’s large va­ri­ety of teas and in­fu­sions are spe­cially cre­ated to ac­com­pany all our food mo­ments. A few of our va­ri­eties are a per­fect com­pan­ion to all types of break­fast. Typhoo serves three types of black teas and seven va­ri­eties of green teas, es­pe­cially cre­ated for the break­fast oc­ca­sion. Typhoo English Break­fast, a unique blend of As­sam ortho­dox and CTC with a rich taste, bright liquor, strength and aroma to match, is per­fect to go with an English/ Con­ti­nen­tal break­fast. For all types of tra­di­tional In­dian break­fast, the Typhoo clas­sic As­sam teabag, or its loose ver­sion with milk, is an ideal ac­com­pa­ni­ment. Typhoo nat­u­ral green tea and the six va­ri­eties of fla­vored Typhoo green tea com­bine per­fectly well with a rather heavy break­fast. Sim­i­larly, Typhoo fla­vored masala tea is an all-time fa­vorite to go with other break­fast prod­ucts. Typhoo’s blend of nat­u­ral In­dian spices with pre­mium As­sam tea acts as the best com­ple­ment to the In­dian break­fast,” avers Subrata Mukherji, Busi­ness Head, Typhoo In­dia, which en­joys an over 100 years of brand legacy in bring­ing the finest tea drink­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to con­sumers.

Prod­uct In­no­va­tions and New Of­fer­ings

Break­fast food mak­ers need to in­tro­duce con­stant in­no­va­tion in or­der to en­sure that the cat­e­gory stays on the growth track and con­sumers re­main en­gaged in the prod­uct. This calls for new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, prod­uct in­no­va­tion, and ren­o­va­tion to keep the cat­e­gory rel­e­vant. “Our R&D is con­stantly work­ing to­ward de­vel­op­ing new prod­ucts, keep­ing the health and nu­tri­tional per­spec­tive in fo­cus. We were one of the first food mak­ers in In­dia to come out with prod­ucts like ragi flakes and Fruitooos and we have plans to come with three to four newer prod­ucts in the ce­real range this year, which will be quiet in­no­va­tive and dif­fer­ent than what the com­pe­ti­tion is of­fer­ing,” says Naresh Pa­gariya of the Kwal­ity brand. In fact, the key to suc­cess­ful in­no­va­tion that will ac­tu­ally grow the cat­e­gory is to of­fer the right prod­uct at the right price for the right con­sumer. “Our strat­egy is to pro­vide good qual­ity prod­ucts at the right price, and at a good value for money. Also, we have a range of value packs, which are priced Rs.10 and be­low to tar­get Tier 2 cities and smaller towns,” in­forms Dheeraj Jain, Direc­tor, Pa­gariya Foods.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers will need to con­tinue to in­vest in taste and health im­prove­ments across their port­fo­lio so as to keep in­creas­ing the con­sumer ap­peal for their prod­ucts. Keep­ing in mind the palate of In­dian con­sumers and re­al­iz­ing that un­like Western­ers, In­di­ans will not be at­tracted to plain bor­ing grain just be­cause of the health pitch, global ce­real mak­ers like Kel­logg’s and Quaker have in­cor­po­rated fla­vors in their of­fer­ings. For in­stance, Quaker was one of the first play­ers to of­fer a range of fla­vored oats with real fruits such as straw­berry with ap­ple, ke­sar with kish­mish as well as tomato. It is there­fore es­sen­tial that break­fast brands cu­rate in­no­va­tive prod­ucts ac­cord­ing to the needs of the mar­ket. Such prod­ucts will surely en­sure sub­se­quent growth in the cat­e­gory. “We have a team of ded­i­cated researchers who work very closely with In­dia’s an­cient grains like ragi and other mil­lets. We also work with es­tab­lished re­search cen­ters to in­no­vate on mil­lets to make them more adapt­able as break­fast food. Our food researchers con­stantly in­no­vate to in­crease the health and taste quo­tient of our prod­ucts. For ex­am­ple, we have added dhals to our ragi bites to in­crease the crunch­i­ness and nu­tri­tion value of the end prod­uct. At the same time, we are driv­ing growth for our prod­ucts through con­stant in­no­va­tion, ex­tend­ing mar­ket reach through sam­pling, by ed­u­cat­ing con­sumers on the good­ness of the age-old mil­lets, and by dint of strong pro­duc­tion and re­tail sup­port. But our re­tail­ers un­der­stand that our aim is to grow the cat­e­gory by bring­ing in new con­sumers and not just gain­ing share within the cat­e­gory,” says Soul­full’s Parameswaran.

Savvy man­u­fac­tur­ers are ris­ing to the chal­lenge by for­mu­lat­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts for the break­fast food aisle, many with the kind of con­ve­nient, healthy nu­tri­tional pro­files that more and more con­sumers seek. Man­u­fac­tur­ers know that con­sumers are search­ing for ce­re­als that are nat­u­ral, or­ganic, gluten-free, high in pro­tein and low in sugar, and so they are

Given the grow­ing im­por­tance of health and well­ness in our lives, con­sumers are now mak­ing an ef­fort to ‘health­ify’ tra­di­tional meal items by us­ing health­ier in­gre­di­ents. — Mo­hit Anand MD, Kel­logg In­dia and South Asia

We dis­trib­ute and mar­ket a com­plete su­per mar­ket range of food prod­ucts cov­er­ing 380 SKUS across var­i­ous cat­e­gories in­clud­ing break­fast range, su­per­foods and 100% nat­u­ral co­conut wa­ter. — Ni­raj Mu­rarka MD, Maple­leaf Dis­tri­bu­tion Pvt. Ltd.

bring­ing in va­ri­eties that fit these needs. “The health food cat­e­gory in the break­fast seg­ment is huge and con­stantly grow­ing. We don’t want to just stop at health foods and nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments. That’s why we launched two spe­cial­ized lines, i.e., Gaia Sport and Gaia Lite. These spe­cial­ized lines cater to the needs of weight watch­ers, di­a­bet­ics, go-get­ters or any­one look­ing for health­ier choices. Fur­ther­more, we are also ven­tur­ing into or­ganic foods this year,” in­forms Dolly Ku­mar. Go­ing ahead, the in­dus­try will see more break­fast prod­ucts come on the mar­ket that have bet­ter taste and of­fer ex­cel­lent nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits. Go­ing ahead, the break­fast mar­ket will con­tinue to evolve, which will cre­ate more room and scope to over­come the chal­lenges of spread­ing prod­uct aware­ness, cre­at­ing brand loy­alty, un­der­stand­ing con­sumer buy­ing be­hav­ior, and de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts that tan­ta­lize the taste buds be­sides of­fer­ing health ben­e­fits.

With de­mand for healthy break­fast foods ex­pected to shoot up ap­pre­cia­bly in the fu­ture, there is also a need for man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­vide healthy, con­ve­nient, and taste­ful op­tions. “Con­sumers to­day ex­pect very high qual­ity food prod­ucts. Their pref­er­ence was ear­lier price driven but now it is qual­ity driven. At Ba­grry’s, we have been in­no­vat­ing our oats cat­e­gory and have cre­ated oats for atta, suji and poha. The idea be­hind these in­no­va­tions is to make oats a sta­ple for In­dian con­sumers,” says Aditya Ba­gri, Direc­tor, Ba­grry’s In­dia Ltd, point­ing out that the ma­jor­ity share of the break­fast cat­e­gory in In­dia is taken up by corn­flakes and choco flakes (around 60%). “But oats and muesli are the fastest grow­ing cat­e­gories. In the US and UK, corn­flakes as a cat­e­gory is al­ready de-grow­ing as peo­ple now know they are not as healthy and have no fi­bre. But we have cre­ated a range of all nat­u­ral and de­li­cious tast­ing corn flakes with 2X fi­bre than reg­u­lar corn flakes. We also make high fi­bre ad­di­tives of wheat bran & oat bran, which are ex­tremely nu­tri­tious and are rec­om­mended by lead­ing di­eti­cians for weight loss, in­forms Ba­gri who, like his com­peti­tors, is look­ing to tap In­dian fla­vors.

The com­pany has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly in mak­ing pop­u­lar break­fast ce­re­als healthy through its in­no­va­tive re­search and de­vel­op­ment and has also helped cre­ate some key cat­e­gories of break­fast ce­re­als and health foods that ex­ist to­day. The Ba­grry’s range of prod­ucts to­day in­cludes a va­ri­ety of whole­some prod­ucts such as muesli (11 vari­ants), oats, corn flakes, bran and makhana (foxnuts). “We have pi­o­neered oats as a cat­e­gory in In­dia. Our quick cook­ing white oats are ex­tremely pop­u­lar. We also have a range of all nat­u­ral masala oats, and steel cut oats. We have cre­ated a spe­cial range of oats – Oats for In­dia – which is a unique in­no­va­tion in bring­ing the good­ness of this grain to In­dian dishes. We have cre­ated oats for atta, oats for suji/ rawa, oats for poha and oats for daliya with the ob­jec­tive of mak­ing ev­ery­day dishes health­ier by us­ing oats,” says Ba­gri, adding that his com­pany has made re­cent for­ays into many new prod­ucts. “We have re­cently launched or­ganic su­per­foods such as quinoa and chia packed with pro­tein and fi­bre be­sides mak­ing our foray in healthy snack­ing with nu­tri­ent dense foxnuts (makhanas) in three ex­cit­ing flavours. Also, we have de­vel­oped an­other brand Lawrence Mills, which brings the promise of in­ter­na­tional qual­ity and great taste at af­ford­able prices. We have two prod­ucts un­der Lawrence Mills – corn flakes and choco crunch.”

Speak­ing of ce­real of­fer­ings and in­no­va­tive prod­uct in­tro­duc­tions, Pep­sico In­dia re­cently launched ready-to-cook idli, dosa, upma and khichdi, all of which are tai­lored to lo­cal tastes and can be cooked in 3-5 min­utes. To be sold un­der the la­bel Quaker Nu­tri Foods, the prod­ucts have been

We be­lieve that a lack of time should not trans­late to a lack of nu­tri­tion, so our range is ready to cook and in­cludes upma and khichidi mixes for our break­fast line. — Likitha Bhanu CEO & Co-founder, Aditree Nat­u­rals

Since or­ganic food is an in­te­gral part of healthy eat­ing, we use or­ganic in­gre­di­ents to make our prod­ucts and we are not in the more com­monly found ready-to-cook seg­ments. — Pad­maja Bhanu Co-founder, Aditree Nat­u­rals

de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with celebrity chef Vikas Khanna and seek to tap into lo­cal nu­tri­tion needs and of­fer lo­cal prod­ucts that suit the palates of the In­dian con­sumers. The com­pany also plans to launch, in the months ahead, a few more prod­ucts un­der Quaker Nu­tri Foods brand based on dif­fer­ent re­gional palates.

Pep­sico’s strat­egy seems to be a sound one go­ing by the suc­cess that Kel­logg has courted in the In­dian mar­ket by adopt­ing a sim­i­lar tack. Re­al­iz­ing that In­dia is a coun­try of di­verse cul­tures, many lan­guages and dis­tinct tastes in food, cloth­ing and ri­tu­als, the one way for a food com­pany to build fa­mil­iar­ity for its prod­ucts is by adapt­ing to the unique palates of In­dia, which change ev­ery 300 kilo­me­ters. Ac­cept­ing the fact that the pref­er­ence for nat­u­ral lo­cal food is in­grained in our food cul­ture, Kel­logg looked at syn­the­siz­ing moder­nity with In­dian tra­di­tions as borne out by some of its re­cent launches.

Kel­logg’s in­no­va­tion through ragi chocos is a per­fect ex­am­ple of bring­ing tra­di­tional In­dian grains to the cen­tre, while re­tain­ing the cre­den­tials of taste and con­ve­nience. Its port­fo­lio of flavoured oats is an­other ex­am­ple that at­tempts to bal­ance tra­di­tion and moder­nity, while re­tain­ing the core of what Kel­logg’s stands for. “We un­der­stand the need to in­no­vate and be more lo­cally re­lat­able. Hence we launched ragi chocos by us­ing a lo­cal grain. Moth­ers in In­dia in­tro­duce ragi to their child as the first ce­real. We are proud that through ragi chocos, we are able to pro­vide this nu­tri­tious op­tion to moth­ers across In­dia. Fur­ther, we have in­cluded lo­cally loved flavours in our break­fast ce­re­als. In­dia spe­cific fla­vors such as Kel­logg’s corn flakes with honey and al­mond and mango fla­vor are some ex­am­ples. In or­der to cater to the ‘hot break­fast lov­ing con­sumers’, we have de­vel­oped sa­vory vari­ants within our oats port­fo­lio like Mast Masala, Sim­ply Pon­gal and Shahi Kheer. This, again, is a first in the global Kel­logg’s world. While Ragi is pop­u­lar in the south, Shahi Kheer is a trend­ing north In­dia food phe­nom­e­non. We look at such re­gional pock­ets and op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate brands like ragi chocos or shahi kheer oats to cater to the dif­fer­ent palates. We are also look­ing at more op­por­tu­ni­ties for snack­i­fi­ca­tion and I strongly be­lieve in its po­ten­tial. We ex­panded our port­fo­lio in In­dia last year by launch­ing the Pringles brand, which is off to a great start,” says Mo­hit Anand.

Chal­lenges and Op­por­tu­ni­ties

While there is no doubt about the po­ten­tial of the break­fast mar­ket in In­dia, chal­lenges abound. The big­gest chal­lenge is com­pe­ti­tion, as there are more than 50 re­gional play­ers in the seg­ment apart from ma­jor play­ers like Kel­logg’s, Pep­sico’s Quaker Oats, Ba­grry’s, and oth­ers. The am­bi­tions of play­ers like Marico and Heinz will in­ten­sify the com­pe­ti­tion fur­ther in the break­fast cat­e­gory. Patan­jali has al­ready launched its prod­uct range in cat­e­gories such as flour, rice, and noo­dles, which is push­ing com­pa­nies like Quaker, MTR and ITC to fo­cus on the re­gional food cat­e­gory. Com­pe­ti­tion is also ex­pected from other FMCG chains, which are not cur­rently fo­cus­ing on pack­aged break­fast as their core prod­uct of­fer­ing.

Re­gional play­ers have a com­pet­i­tive edge over big­ger brands with their strong and ro­bust lo­cal dis­tri­bu­tion net­work. Re­gional man­u­fac­tur­ers are tar­get­ing not only ki­rana stores but also us­ing mul­ti­level and con­sumer-to-con­sumer mar­ket­ing ap­proaches to deepen their mar­ket penetration. These play­ers are not spend­ing ag­gres­sively in brand­ing; how­ever, they of­fer rel­a­tively bet­ter mar­gins to ki­rana own­ers to push their prod­ucts. Again, their prod­ucts are rel­a­tively eco­nom­i­cal, com­pared to the big­ger brands, and suit the pock­ets of the mid­dle and lower eco­nomic classes. Big­ger brands will need to de­velop a wholly new busi­ness model that can ex­tend their reach amid such cut­ting edge com­pe­ti­tion. “In-store sam­pling has worked very well for us as well as the wide avail­abil­ity of our prod­ucts. We have en­sured in­creased brand aware­ness of con­sumers for our prod­ucts through tra­di­tional me­dia and brand com­pre­hen­sion by reach­ing out to opin­ion lead­ers as well as by en­sur­ing so­cial me­dia pres­ence in new mar­kets (both de­mo­graph­i­cally as well as ge­o­graph­i­cally). The strat­egy has worked well for us in the past, and con­tin­ues to be our thrust. Our on­line part­ners help us reach out to mar­kets where our pres­ence is lim­ited,” says Soul­full’s Parameswaran.

In­fla­tion in raw ma­te­ri­als’ prices is an­other big hur­dle not only be­cause of in­creas­ing prod­uct prices, but also via lim­it­ing profit mar­gins. This is in­creas­ing the cost passed on to the fi­nal con­sumer, who might be tempted to switch over to rel­a­tively eco­nom­i­cal break­fast op­tions. An­other chal­lenge is that In­dian con­sumers have en­trenched be­hav­iors in their food con­sump­tion pat­terns, which can be hard to change. It’s a chal­lenge that ex­ists for the en­tire pack­aged food in­dus­try across the globe but is some­how

Typhoo serves three types of black teas and seven va­ri­eties of green teas, es­pe­cially cre­ated for the break­fast oc­ca­sion. — Subrata Mukherji Busi­ness Head, Typhoo In­dia

Our prod­ucts in the break­fast cat­e­gory, which in­clude may­on­naise, sand­wich spreads, peanut but­ter and milk­shake mixes, help con­sumers cre­ate ex­cit­ing recipes at home. — Oliver Mirza MD & CEO, Dr. Oetker In­dia

more per­ti­nent in the case of In­dia where con­sumer be­hav­ior shows a marked pref­er­ence for home-cooked food made by a home maker. The pack­aged food in­dus­try is un­der pen­e­trated be­cause of this habit. Ce­re­als form an im­por­tant part of the break­fast plat­ter but, to a large ex­tent, peo­ple are still in­clined to­wards con­sum­ing a quin­tes­sen­tial hot, cooked, savoury naashta. Given our tra­di­tional break­fast eat­ing cul­ture, it will take time for the cat­e­gory to gain mass ap­peal, not to men­tion fo­cused ef­forts from the in­dus­try. Peo­ple will con­tinue to eat break­fast at home for a few more years and un­til then, it is dif­fi­cult to craft a busi­ness model based purely on break­fast, even though some play­ers seem to have cracked the code suc­cess­fully.

As break­fast prod­ucts still ac­count for low sin­gle digit per­cent­age share of store sales, there ex­ists a sub­stan­tial room to grow the cat­e­gory. In­take of break­fast ce­real is still lim­ited in In­dia and re­search by Min­tel shows that per capita con­sump­tion was just 0.032kg in 2015. “Break­fast ce­re­als in In­dia are still in in­fancy but the cur­rent size of the mar­ket is ex­pected to grow ex­po­nen­tially once the seg­ment at­tains a crit­i­cal mass. If we look at per capita con­sump­tion of this cat­e­gory in or­ga­nized mar­kets such as the UK, it is 8 kg of ce­re­als per per­son ev­ery year! That said, the seg­ment is tak­ing off as it of­fers time-pressed con­sumers a vi­able break­fast op­tion, which is healthy and suit­able in terms of taste,” opines Soul­full’s Parameswaran. And while

there is sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial for break­fast ce­re­als to grow, there is also a sim­i­lar scope for pre­pared or semi-pre­pared tra­di­tional In­dian break­fasts to take flight as well. This growth po­ten­tial will be driven pri­mar­ily by the con­ve­nience that the prod­ucts of­fer as well as the va­ri­ety avail­able.

To ex­pand and grow the cat­e­gory, meal so­lu­tion based mer­chan­dis­ing can be a use­ful tool that re­tail­ers can tap. Cre­ative mer­chan­dis­ing that sat­is­fies the shop­per’s need for so­lu­tions and hit on key con­sumer driv­ers, in­clud­ing health-and-well­ness ben­e­fits and a de­sire for home-made meals and con­ve­nience can work im­pres­sively for re­tail­ers while also pro­vid­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to dif­fer­en­ti­ate from the com­pe­ti­tion. To be suc­cess­ful in ce­real, smart re­tail­ers will need to op­ti­mize their shelf sets to ‘fix the mix’ for their con­sumers and their neigh­bor­hoods, and pro­vide the right prod­ucts at com­pet­i­tive and ev­ery­day pro­mo­tional prices.

For re­tail­ers in In­dia, break­fast food can be a huge cat­e­gory as it is in the West where it is a sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness driver. In the US, ce­real is the sec­ond-largest break­fast cat­e­gory be­hind fruit and one of the most eco­nom­i­cal break­fast op­tions avail­able to con­sumers. Ad­di­tion­ally, re­search shows that when ready-to-eat ce­re­als are in the gro­cery cart, the av­er­age cost of all gro­ceries is 25%-40% higher than when ce­real is not in the cart. Health-savvy su­per­mar­ket op­er­a­tors can repli­cate the suc­cess of their Amer­i­can peers by ex­plor­ing and of­fer­ing an ex­panded se­lec­tion of prod­ucts and in­creas­ing pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­ity to de­liver not only the prod­ucts that shop­pers are look­ing for, but also of­fer­ing them at a value. Re­tail­ers can col­lab­o­rate with brands to pro­mote the trend of ce­real be­ing con­sumed at var­i­ous times out­side of break­fast – as a snack as well as a dif­fer­ent dessert op­tion, and ac­cord­ingly cre­ate some mar­ket­ing that fo­cuses on this as­pect. “Even in our port­fo­lio, we see a sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence of con­sump­tion be­yond break­fast for our ce­re­als. Chocos is a great ex­am­ple of food that is see­ing strong trac­tion as a snack food. Our on-the-go con­sump­tion with smaller packs at con­ve­nient price points of Rs.5 and Rs.10 is help­ing us drive the snack­ing codes,” re­veals Kel­logg’s Mo­hit Anand.

Or­ga­nized re­tail can help pioneer the break­fast cat­e­gory to a new level by in­tro­duc­ing more va­ri­ety and through in­creased as­sort­ment, which can help to sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the con­sumer’s in­ter­ac­tion with the cat­e­gory. “An­other im­por­tant thing is to en­cour­age tri­als and sam­pling to de­velop the con­sumer habit for break­fast ce­re­als. Aware­ness through cat­e­gory fo­cused in-store mar­ket­ing will also help it see a steady in­crease in adop­tion,” feels Ba­gri. Ac­cord­ing to Typhoo’s Mukherji, brands will need to bet­ter un­der­stand the shop­per be­hav­ior, which is key to cat­e­gory man­age­ment. “Brands will need to keep evolv­ing var­i­ous tools for staying rel­e­vant and in­no­va­tive to the re­tail so that the lat­ter ac­cords more promi­nence and at­ten­tion to the cat­e­gory. The fo­cus should be on brand en­gage­ment and ac­ti­va­tions with re­tail store own­ers who can en­sure con­sumer en­gage­ment at the store.” On his part, Ba­gri be­lieves that modern trade with its ad­van­tage of a steep learn­ing curve in grow­ing the break­fast cat­e­gory can of­fer valu­able in­sights for brands, which can help the lat­ter add value to prod­ucts.

Go­ing for­ward, greater de­mand for health­ier and more whole­some prod­ucts will be the key growth driver for the break­fast cat­e­gory. As aware­ness rises, con­sumers will look for op­tions that give them func­tional ben­e­fits in their en­deavor to stay fit. An­other trend play­ing out and ex­pected to gather fur­ther mo­men­tum in the days ahead will be the merg­ing of eth­nic tastes with con­ve­nient life­style habits and a need for nu­tri­tion. These will present re­tail­ers and pro­duc­ers plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for cre­at­ing con­tem­po­rary break­fast of­fer­ings that are con­ve­nient, healthy and tasty.

Re­tail­ers can col­lab­o­rate with brands to pro­mote the trend of ce­real be­ing con­sumed at var­i­ous times out­side of break­fast – as a snack as well as a dif­fer­ent dessert op­tion, and ac­cord­ingly cre­ate some mar­ket­ing that fo­cuses on this as­pect.

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