Food and beverages major PepsiCo appear to be making distinctive shift towards "healthier" products. Its snack division FritoLay is now focusing heavily on breakfast cereals and plans to position its Quaker oat meal into a high-consuming healthy product.
"While we have positioned this product primarily for the breakfast occasion, its versatile usability lends itself to usage across dayparts and consumption formats", Manu Anand, managing director, Fritolay, told
Oats are rich in a soluble fibre called "beta-glucan" and experts believe it to be superior to other whole grains — wheat, rice, and corn on this property. Experts believe that the soluble fibre slows digestion, leading to a slow release of energy inside the body.
The breakfast cereal market in India is currently estimated to be about Rs 200 crore. It largely comprises of corn flakes segment followed by oats, muesli and other local variants. At present, Kellogg's is the market leader in breakfast cereals with its range of cornflakes and chocos.
"Oats is scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol - over 40 clinical studies show oatmeal lowers cholesterol. It helps with weight management and managing blood sugar levels", Anand said. "We would like to expand our consumer franchise to tap new occasions like breakfast", he added.
At present, the company is importing finished stocks from Malaysia operation. "But we would be putting up a line to repack Quaker Oats in India for bulk Oats imported from Australia," Anand said.
"Nobody can change fundamental eating habits. We plan to launch a variety of flavoured oats so that consumers can make own Oats preparations with own special touch," he added.