Oats, the bland breakfast cereal considered good for the heart, blood pressure and the immune system, has undergone an Indian makeover. With flavours such as Peppy Tomato and Kesar Kishmish - to name just a few out of nearly a dozen that have hit the stores - the insipid breakfast porridge is trying hard to woo flavour-conscious Indians, who had earlier attempted to incorporate it in their diet without much success.
PepsiCo and Marico, between them, have launched 10 flavours designed for Indian taste buds. PepsiCo's four flavours under its Quaker brand are Home Style Masala, Lemonie Veggie Mix, Strawberry with Apple and Kesar with Kishmish. Saffola trademark oats flavours from Marico are Veggie Twist, Peppy Tomato, Classic Masala (for north, west and east India), Masala & Coriander, Curry & Pepper, Pepper & Spice and Classic Masala (for south India).
"Quaker is backed by 135 years of global experience and after studying the Indian preference and palate, which is rich, these new varieties have been launched and we're bullish about this new segment," said Anuj Chadha, category director Quaker, PepsiCo India-Foods.
"Saffola expects to establish itself as a leading healthy lifestyle brand that offers healthy food options and our R&D team was given a simple brief - how to make Indians not just accept but relish oats," said Sameer Satpathy, EVP & head, Marketing, Marico.
Industry sources say other firms are also working towards introducing new flavours and combinations in oats or in other forms like oats biscuits by Britannia. Besides metros, these varieties are getting popular in small cities too.