Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) said millets are in conversation nationally and internationally and the company is mainstreaming its emerging acceptance among children and adults, especially in the south.. HUL would be introducing Millet Horlicks in chocolate flavour in the southern markets later this month, while it already unveiled a multi millet-based offering for children in the health food drinks category in Tamil Nadu in February this year. “We are excited to introduce a multi-millet-based offering for children in the health food drinks category,” Krishnan Sundaram, Vice President and Business Head, Nutrition, HUL, told The Hindu.
“While South India has a high awareness of millets, making the product most easily acceptable, our aim is to make the traditional grain easy to adapt by the children.” Hence HUL’s focus was on making the product palatable and nutritious so that it appealed to both the children and the parent, he said. “Millet Horlicks in chocolate flavour is designed with a focus on the taste preferences and nutritional requirements of children above the age of six. It is our first innovation under Horlicks in this space,” he claimed. Mr. Sundaram further said that HUL was also eager to support the Centre’s initiative in making India the global leader of the ‘super-grain.’
“Our aim is to create a nutrition solution that addresses the issues of unbalanced diets and micronutrient deficiency in India. Mainstreaming millet for children is a critical step in this direction,” he added. According to Mr. Sundaram, millet Horlicks in Chocolate flavour is HUL’s first product with this ‘super grain’ – it is made with multi-millets like finger millet (ragi), sorghum (jowar), foxtail millet (kanngani) and pearl millet (bajra). Multi-millets are a natural source of calcium, iron, protein and fiber, which are critical for growing children. “We have about 17% of millets in the product,” he added. Explaining the rationale behind HUL’s focus on the south as far as millets are concerned, Mr. Sundaram said, “There is a varying adoption to millets across the country but south tends to be leading the millets revolution and we find high saliency for this idea in the south and that’s why we are targeting the region, to start with.”
HUL further said its primary focus was on growing the markets by attracting more users into the category of millets, and was not looking at any business numbers. HUL was looking at other products in the food category under millets. “We do have some interesting, innovative products that apply millets and make them accessible to a much wider range of consumers that are coming up soon,” Mr. Sundaram further added.