By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi– Breakfast cereal category major Kellogg India is set to expand its portfolio with more Indianised products which are suited to local palates.
Last year, the company launched its first ever Indian breakfast product Kellogg’s Upma for which it received a healthy response.
The move to introduce Kellogg’s Upma assumed significance as the company broke with tradition to launch a product which was curated for the local palate.
In a conversation, Kellogg South Asia’s Managing Director Mohit Anand said: “Our offering may be Indianised to serve the local palate better, however, consumer preferences are evolving and so are we along with them.”
According to Anand, the pandemic and the resulting lockdown has brought shifts in consumer behaviour such as their increased preference for ‘In-home food consumption over out-of-home foods’.
“The need for health and wellness coupled with convenience and taste of comfort food has heightened.”
“Early results (for Kellogg’s Upma) have been very encouraging with very strong feedback from consumers; more than half of consumers who are aware about Kellogg’s Upma intend to buy it and hence it stands strong in their consideration set.”
Besides the breakfast category, Kellogg India is now targeting the ‘In-between meal’ segment.
It has recently launched the K Energy bars to enter this category.
“The ‘3 p.m. snacking’ is not an uncommon snacking occasion anymore and the discerning consumer, especially in the wake of Covid-19 is in search of nutritional and convenient options.”
“Concepts such as recently launched ‘K Energy bars with protein’ fulfil this in-between meal hunger need perfectly.”
On the recovery process, Anand cited that consumption is back to pre-Covid levels with sales benefiting from increased ‘In-home consumption’ of food categories.
“Starting March last year, we experienced major disruptions in ‘Supply Chain’ and ‘Route To Market’, much like the industry. Behind a hyper local approach and with extreme agility, we were able to recover the operations within 40 days.”
“Our plants were operational within 72 hours of the announcement of lockdown and shortly we were able to recover the on-ground operations to normal levels. Dedicated multi-functional teams worked relentlessly with strong support from government agencies like Invest India, to restore the operations.”
Going forward, he pointed out that key challenges will remain around demand compression due to economic stress.
“Discretionary spends will come under stress as consumers make choices and will pivot towards trusted brands that provide value for money.”
“Brands will need to continue to innovate to serve the emerging needs of consumers, especially on health and wellness given the heightened awareness on it driven by the pandemic. A shifting shopper footprint driven by e-com will be the new reality as the channel accelerates in the coming months or years.”
At present, Kellogg has two manufacturing plants in India for domestic as well as export production.
The company began its India operations in 1994 by setting up a manufacturing plant at Taloja, Maharashtra.
In addition, it has also established a Research and Development Centre in India that caters to the demand of the South Asian markets for Kellogg. (IANS)