Around 8-10% of Kellogg India’s revenue comes from online retail.
By Sonam Saini
In yet another effort to get more Indian consumers to embrace cornflakes as a breakfast option, Kellogg’s India is taking the ‘sweet’ route. The US-based company has launched new variants of cornflakes — thandai badam, kesar pista badam and rose badam — to bring “authentic Indian flavours” into breakfast bowls.
With this, the brand seems to be distancing itself from its ‘health’ proposition that largely appeals to the urban mobile consumers. But will its new emphasis on ‘taste’ help cast a wider net?
Changing morning routines
The new variants have been created in consultation with celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, inspired by flavours that “Indians have a cultural connection to”. Sumit Mathur, director – marketing, Kellogg South Asia, says the idea is “to bring the authentic real flavours that Indians miss and evoke a sense of nostalgia.”
In terms of pricing, the new range is not different from the company’s flagship cornflakes. They are available in two sizes of 90 gm and 280 gm, priced at Rs 65 and Rs 150, respectively.
For Kellogg India, tier I is the fastest growing market apart from metros. “Tier I towns outside the metros are growing at twice the growth rate of metros, while metros are growing in high single to early double digits,” Mathur says.
Getting more people to consume cornflakes for breakfast is a challenge which is compounded by the fact that 70% of urban India skips breakfast altogether because of time constraints, Mathur shares. “For such consumers, Kellogg’s cornflakes is the ideal solution,” he says.
Kellogg India is spending 20-25% of its marketing budget for 2019 to promote the new offerings, which will be done in two parts. “Creating food experiences by way of sampling across modern retail chains throughout the year is one part of the strategy, while the second is creating conversations around the food through digital media,” he adds.
A healthy move?
Kellogg’s India journey has been riddled with revelations. “It has been struggling to understand Indian consumers and their taste palate,” says MG Parameswaran, brand strategist and founder, Brand-Building. “It moved on from breakfast obsession to the snacking segment with Kellogg’s Chocos. That was perhaps the first big success it had in India.” While it is a good sign to offer India-specific products, he adds that the company will have to do much more to make a mark in the Indian food market, which could be tricky given its global brand print.
India has deeply ingrained food habits. “We will probably never be a nation of cornflakes-eating children, but if Kellogg’s can continue its incremental innovation journey here, it could become a force to reckon with,” Parameswaran states.
But there are others like Harish Bijoor, founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, who are not convinced with the company’s strategy. “For a long time, Kellogg’s has been a ‘good for you’ and ‘healthy’ kind of brand, with the connotation that cold breakfast is better for you than hot breakfast,” he notes. In trying to become a little bit of everything — healthy, non-healthy, sweet or maybe even spicy, in the future — Kellogg’s may be denting its own image, Bijoor adds.
Meanwhile, Kellogg’s is reportedly looking to buy significant stake in homegrown snack brand and retail chain Haldiram’s. Should this come to fruition, it is yet another indication of the company’s increased focus on appealing to the Indian palate.