PepsiCo, hitherto known for its beverages and snacks, is now focussing on the health food segment, particularly breakfast cereal, to drive sales and expand its market base in India. One such product that tops the priority list of the U.S.-based food and beverage giant is Quaker Oats, which is globally a leading brand and fast picking up in India.

This transition is also is in line with PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi's vision of generating $30 billion in revenues from ‘healthier' products alone by 2020.

Incidentally, India, which is the fifth most important country for PepsiCo globally, is the first such market where the U.S. firm is targeting ‘value segment' customers with its ‘health products'.

The Indian breakfast market is now valued at around Rs.2,000 crore, out of which the share of cereals such as oats, cornflakes and muesli is around Rs.500 crore.

“With Indians becoming more health conscious and trying new food options, particularly in cities, we see it as an opportunity to introduce our healthy products — internally called ‘better-for-you and good-for-you products' — such as Quaker Oats to further boost our sales,” said PepsiCo India Vice-President (Marketing-Quaker) Vani Gupta. “With health diseases rising rapidly among Indians, we are giving a healthy option in the form of Quaker Oats, which provides 100 per cent natural wholegrain nutrition advantage. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has concluded that beta-glucan, a soluble fibre found in whole oats lowers blood cholesterol level thus help protect heart,” she pointed out.

Nascent category

“Oats is still a nascent category in India, but growing fast. Internationally, oats is a mature market…in India it is consumed by the ‘believers' — those who opt for genuinely nutritional foods. But it is the fastest growing segment in the breakfast cereal category and has the highest potential for growth. In the wider public, there is very little knowledge about the nutritional food value of oats…we are trying to create awareness about health benefits of oats among Indian consumers,” Ms. Gupta added.

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