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Britannia forays into breakfast mixes market

Bangalore,14 January, 2011, The Times of India
Shilpa Phadnis

FMCG major Britannia Industries on Thursday entered the Rs 500-crore (Rupees 5 billion) branded breakfast space dominated by players like MTR Foods, Kellogg India, PepsiCo and Marico. The company has launched Britannia Healthy Start, a range of ready-to-cook breakfast mixes consisting of upmas, pohas, porridges and oats.

The company said the breakfast range is fortified with multi-grains, vegetables, pulses and nuts and takes only 5 minutes to cook. It is priced between Rs 33 and Rs 45 for 150-170 gm packets.

Britannia is focused on healthy snacking options, and the company sees this move as a natural extension of its biscuits and bakery product line. "Our research showed that Indian consumers wanted breakfast solutions that combined convenience, health and taste," said Vinita Bali, MD of Britannia Industries.

Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy firm Third Eyesight, said changing lifestyles and eating habits was creating an opportunity for ready-to-eat/cook players. "This space is seeing a lot of action because of the migrant working population. There is room to supplement the breakfast solution segment," he said.

Breakfast mixes are seen to fit into the consumer’s aspiration as an enabler. Vikran Sabherwal, VP-marketing in MTR Foods, said, "Customers want valued-added solutions in the kitchen. For instance, a housewife doesn’t want ready-to-eats as a solution. She wants that headroom to add value to the dish." MTR offers six varieties of breakfast mixes, including uttappam, rava dosa, rava idly and upma.

Pinakiranjan Mishra, who leads Ernst & Young’s retail & consumer product practice, pointed out that Western breakfast foods like cereals and oat meal took time to penetrate the Indian market, but are now well established. "Homegrown companies are now differentiating in this segment with tasty and no cholesterol or preservative offerings," he said.

Marico recently entered the branded breakfast space with Saffola Oats and cereal maker Kellogg India launched Heart to Heart oats.

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