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Breakfast-makers seek to fill tummies 24x7

Monday, 3 December 2012 - 6:55am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
As competition intensifies and more players jump on the Rs1,000 crore breakfast foods bandwagon that is growing at 20-25% annually, major players are repositioning their offerings to differentiate themselves.

Ever wondered why recent ads of oats-based processed foods are no longer using the word ‘breakfast’?

Want to know why oats are now peddled as a snack that can be enjoyed any time?

Well, as competition intensifies and more players jump on the Rs1,000 crore breakfast foods bandwagon that is growing at 20-25% annually, major players are repositioning their offerings to differentiate themselves.

Charulata Ravi Kumar, CEO, Product of the Year, a company that awards innovations and rates products, says, “Oats are the major growth drivers in the breakfast segment.”

Already, Kellogg’s, Beggary’s, Marico, Britannia, Horlicks and GSK are slugging it out for market shares. Analysts believe there is still a long way to go before the market gets saturated, but the need for innovation to garner a larger market share and build a distinct brand image is felt acutely by the players.

Saffola, said to be the second largest oats player, started the repositioning trend by calling its product a healthy, low-calorie, anytime snack, just like Quaker had done globally. Experts say more players will follow suit. In fact, some have already started including recipes for cutlet, kheer, dosa, soup, uttappam on their packaging and websites, in a bid to differentiate their products.

The ‘healthy snacks’ strategy, says Gaurav Gupta, senior director for FMCG at Deloitte India, will help food-makers to increase consumption.

Agrees Charulata Kumar. The strategy, coupled with recently launched flavoured oats, will also help breakfast products to compete with Maggie, Yieppe Noodles, so on.

Widespread use of repositioning can be traced to Cadbury’s successful attempts to go beyond the chocolate market and into the traditional Indian desserts (mithai) segment.

Taglines and jingles such as ‘Kuch meetha ho jaaye’ or ‘meetha main kya hai’ in Cadbury’s ads had helped reposition chocolate as a sweetmeat worthy of traditional Indian celebrations and festivities, experts say. So, it is conceivable that what started as breakfast items could soon be 24x7 foods, they say.


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