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Kellogg bets on India-centric innovation to grow market share

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 - 9:36am IST | Agency: DNA
Kellogg, the world's largest breakfast cereal maker, is looking at improving penetration and growing the overall breakfast segment in India, which is pegged around Rs 1,000 crore. Under Sangeeta Pendurkar, MD, Kellogg India, the company has picked up its pace of innovation and has been growing at a robust rate. Pendurkar tells Nupur Anand that the new leg of growth will be coming from a combination of innovation, right price points and improved distribution. Excerpts from the interview:

You have already crossed the Rs 500 crore sales mark last fiscal, where is the next leg of growth going to be coming from?
I think the opportunity is huge in cereal and overall breakfast segment in India because the penetration is very low. What we have done in the last 20 years in India and more so in the last 5-7 is we have invested heavily in building a large portfolio of products and will continue to innovate around that. So, going ahead we will be looking at improving our brands and our distribution and that will help us stay ahead of the curve.

You have managed to close to double your turnover in the last three years, so by when do you think Kellogg’s India will be able to reach Rs 1,000 crore turnover?
There are too many variables at play so it will be difficult to say by when can we get there. But we are hoping that we will be able to sustain the growth momentum we have built. A combination of innovation, right price points and improving distribution has helped us drive growth and we plan to continue to do that.

You have been taking a lot of innovations and localisation steps, what are the India-centric innovations that have paid off for you?
We have been innovating in the overall portfolio and also around our brands. For instance, in Kellogg’s we have introduced Mango flavoured or honey almond cornflakes, which are very specific to the Indian market. We have also launched the savoury oats with tomato salsa and pudina variant which are also India-centric. Then we also have functional innovations such as the special K weight management programme which are aimed at a consumer group who are looking at maintaining their weight.

Then there are innovations around pack and price points. So we have launched smaller packs, first Rs 10 packs and now Rs 5 pack also, as the idea is to increase penetration. But while we have launched these smaller packs we have also launched large value packs to cater to a different set of consumers.

You have missed the bus in the Rs 250 crore in the fast growing oats category, how do you plan to improve your market share in this segment?
First the Kellogg’s brand is strong enough and that’s the reason why we have a double-digit market share in the crowded oats market. So the mantra here will be the same, to continue to innovate and offer economy price point and plus to continue offering a very targeted and differentiated advertising in the market.

Globally, you have several other products in your portfolio such as beverages etc, are you looking at introducing some of them here?

Right now, we are looking at innovating in the current category and that will be our priority.

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