Plug the hole in your diet with wholegrain

Updated: Apr 29 2007, 05:30am hrs
Weetabix, UKs premier breakfast cereals brand, high on fibre and low on sugar and fat, is here. This country will be a key market for us, says Andy Harris, international commercial manager, Weetabix Food Company.

His confidence stems from research that shows Indias potential as a big emerging market.

Says Harris: Weetabix has a natural affinity with its people. Our products are made of whole wheat and milk, both an integral part of the Indian diet.

We spent quite some time in India in 2006. Though there was no organised sale, we were amazed to see how much of our products were being sold here, Harris adds. The formal India launch of Weetabix, an obvious offshoot of that discovery, is scheduled for April 30 at the residence of the British High Commissioner Sir Michael Arthur.

Weetabix Food Company, set up 75 years ago, exports its famed brands to more than 80 countries in the world. Why has it taken the company so long to arrive here Well, weve been trading with India for years, but this is indeed our first organised foray into the country, says Harris.

Says Puneet Gupta, India representative, Weetabix: We will be targeting up to 3000 stores in 30-odd cities. The incidence of diabetes, he points out, is extremely high in this country and people are looking for healthier dietary options. Thats where Weetabix comes in, Gupta adds.

Weetabix (worldwide sales: about $ 750 million) is no Kelloggs or Nestle, says Harris. We are small enough to be more personal, more direct and more responsible than the big players, he adds. It would be important for us, asserts Harris, to be with the traditional trade in India even as we target the new retail outlets. Be it breakfast or business, balance is indeed of the essence.