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How oats replaced idli and chappathi for breakfast

Mumbai, Apr 20 () : Oats has replaced traditional Indian breakfast in many homes. This has led the breakfast cereal market to be valued at Rs 870 crore in 2012.

Kellogg’s is the leader in the breakfast cereal market with a share of 57%. Among the Indian companies, the second place is occupied by Bagry’s with 15.2% with a turnover of Rs 45 crore. This was not the case in 1994.

Indian breakfast was always a hot dosa, idli chappathi and was more like a mini meal. The bread-butter -jam- milk was termed a western concept. It was in this scenario where a few low key players were selling corn flakes to the upper class, came US giant Kellog’s. It came in 1994 and after twenty years, it started seeing money and acceptance. It has now Marico, Pepsi, Dr Oetker Fun Foods ,Glaxo and Britannia.

Breakfast cereals’ market is driven by oats and its varieties oat bran and wheat bran, museli. Next are the corn and wheat flakes. The other big reason is the oats is being promoted as one that reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. Nutritionists and the doctors through media passing on these messages, the cereal makers played the health card.

Cereal makers created new markets by which companies went to customers with reasons to change, creating familiarity and by highlighting nutrition.

Celebrity endorsements helped Kellogg’s visibility. Saffola, already a brand name for cooking oil, had gone national with its oat varieties only in the last year, while its muesli was launched only in August 2012. It decided to tap the South Indian market with a soft launch of the masala oats.

Saffola roped in local celebrity chefs, held food festival-theme cooking shows using these brands, putting low-priced trial packs in markets and in-store promotions to do ground promotions. The hectic lifestyle of working couples and nuclear families made it difficult to prepare the Indian breakfast. Those who went to the gym before going to office found oats easier to make. Children got hooked with Oats coming in various flavours like ice creams.