Food companies have long tried to wean you away from the painstakingly made aloo paratha and instead savour their ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat stuff for breakfast.
Looks like they have met with some success.
According to reports, the Indian breakfast market has now touched over `1,000 crore in size and is growing 20-25% annually.
So, no surprise that companies are getting greedy for a bigger share of the pie.
With palates already full of dosas, idlis and oats, they are now busy giving the western breakfast menu a desi twist.
MTR Foods, one of the major local players, recently launched multi-grain dosa, oats idli, ragi idli and ragi dosa, a fusion of the western multi-grain concept with Indian dishes.
Even before MTR came out with this innovation, Quaker Oats, a company owned by PepsiCo, has been encouraging the mixing of quintessentially western oats in dosa, idli and poha.
Sanjay Sharma, CEO of MTR Foods, said this experimentation gave them the cue for their products in the first place.
“Companies had already begun to encourage consumers by providing recipes for trying out oats in their regular breakfast items. And the homemakers were generally trying to integrate these multi grains in their dishes. However, the results would be non-standard. This is where we saw the opportunity,” he said.
And it’s not just MTR which is in the race to woo consumers with the local touch.
Kellogg’s, the world’s largest cereal maker, is set to roll out a range of oat variants in flavours such as pudina and tomato.
Quaker has already taken the localisation plunge by bringing oats in home style masala, lemony veggie mix, kesar flavour with real raisins.
“After bringing oats to the breakfast table in India, the innovation had taken a hit. With a number of players in this market, the companies need to do something different in order to stand out,” said a consumer expert.
Beggary’s, Marico, Britannia, Horlicks and GSK are among the other players in the market which will need to experiment with their offerings, experts said.
They also believe that this new spate of innovation will generate interest but may not be a sure shot way to success. This is because not all localisation exercises have met with success in India.
For instance, Kellogg’s had earlier attempted to attract customers with mango elaichi and coconut kesar flavour but failed, they said.
Harminder Sahni of Wazir Advisors said this is because it is not easy to change the eating habits.
“Apart from this, the food habits across India are varied and so for a product to succeed it needs to break the local taste barrier. It’s a long haul before the market matures and these options are lapped up,” he said.