TN and Kerala are important markets for Pepsico as far as the latest products - Quaker Idli, Dosa, Upma and Khichdi - are concerned. Later this year, it has also plans to launch these in the Middle East targeting the NRI population with this latest array of products.
The two flagship brands in juice and oats breakfast segment – Tropicana and Quaker (a 140-year heritage brand considered to be among the oldest global brands) made their debut in India in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Having established its brand power, the Indra Nooyi-led company has chosen to introduce products that will use the regional platform to tap the fast-growing breakfast category, estimated to be $5 billion.
Deepika Warrier, VP, Nutrition Category, PepsiCo India, said in trying to understand the evolving consumer landscape that included rushed lifestyles, craving for healthy mornings and nutrition deficiencies, the company had got into global mapping of breakfast patterns paying attention to macro and micro nutrients in such meals.
Quick to prepare, familiar local taste and balanced nutrients were the three aspects that typically consumers sought in breakfast products. The new range of Quaker products, available at two price points “makes south Indian breakfasts healthier with 40 to 56 per cent oats,” she said, noting that its plant at Tirunelveli, not operational as yet, would be making the Quaker range.
In the global operations of PepsiCo, one-fifth of its portfolio is from nutrition products. “The urban Indian consumer is evolving and so are their daily nutritional needs. Consumers also seek a familiar taste experience. We would like our new platforms to provide solutions that will ensure consumers enjoy a great taste experience too,” says Warrier, who has been with PepsiCo for 17 years now.
Given the appetite for healthy breakfast options, the company has doubled its capacity for nutritious foods, she said, in response to a question. However, till the fourth quarter of this year, there are no plans to bring in more regional variants as it is waiting to stabilise its newly-launched product range.
Asked about the late entry into a market that is already dominated by local brands, Warrier said the company had taken time to research and tweak its products that would emphasise more on meeting most of the requirements of the consumer. The taste of its products remained the key differentiator than competition, she added.
While southern states drive the 70 to 80 per cent of its expanding nutritious portfolio of products, TN and Kerala are essentially the key growth markets. “We find the oats category growing more than the breakfast segment,” she said.
PepsiCo is also evaluating the Sri Lanka market even as it plans to launch its whole range of nutri food products in the Middle East this year, Warrier said adding it is also looking at bringing Quaker pasta and soups, among others, from the Middle East to India.
Meanwhile, even as it launched its new nutrients-fortified Tropicana juice range, the company will be revisiting some of the formats in this segment, she said, to a question on how it fared against concentrated drinks players. North and east were the markets where PepsiCo found maximum traction as far as Tropicana range is concerned.