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In conversation : Aparna Chopra, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Breakfast Cereals

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Heramb Ranade, CMO, Tikona Digital Network

Nestlé India recently announced the launch of NESPLUS – a range of nutritious and delicious breakfast cereals for the entire family. A unique combination of wholegrain and multigrain, NESPLUS breakfast cereals is launched with an aim to offer an array of healthy breakfast choices for Indian families.

The Pitch team spoke to Aparna Chopra, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Breakfast Cereals to know more about the launch-

What was the reason behind entering the ‘breakfast cereals’ segment in India?

AC- According to AC Nielsen, the breakfast cereal market in India is approximately pegged at 35,000 tons and is growing at 10% annually. Over the years due to several reasons such as paucity of time in the morning, need for healthier options, need for a ‘lighter’ eat compared to heavy Indian breakfast and ‘on the go’ options which can be eaten as part of ‘phased breakfast’, cereals have caught pace in the market. As acompany committed to nutrition, this was a natural extension for us at Nestle India. This addition also complements our current portfolio which already has several offerings for breakfast: milk, yogurt, oats noodles, coffee and more.

In a market that is so competitive with over 50 brands trying to outperform each other, how do you plan to stand out?

AC– Even though the breakfast cereals market in India is over two decades old, we still believe that it has tremendous potential to grow further. In a category that was always driven by traditional Indian dishes, paucity of time in the morning coupled with a need to consume ‘healthy and nutritious’ food items, is causingconsumers toactively seek alternative breakfast choices. This in turn is causing the consumer demand to grow exponentially, thereby creating a need gap for additional options to enter the market.

The advantage for NesPlus breakfast cereals comes from the 4 Pluses that we provide which ensure that there is no compromise on taste or nutrition. We believe that NesPlus will be able to garner a strong foothold in the market and stand out from the competition owing to its superlative taste with TastePlus. All NesPlus variants are made from wholegrain and multigrain giving them the power of GrainPlus. NesPlus breakfast cereals are fortified with select Vitamins, Calcium and Folic Acid making it a truly NutritionPlus breakfast option. Also, these breakfast cereals are available in 4 exciting flavors giving it the advantage of ChoicePlus.

As every product at Nestlé, NesPlus breakfast cereals will be driven by the ideology of providing high quality products that improve our customers’ lives. Furthermore, we will ensure that our range brings in ‘convenience with the assurance of quality’ that we are known for.

How has the market for ‘ready to eat cereals’ evolved over a period of time? ( Factors leading to the change in market)

AC– There has definitely been a change in the breakfast consumption patterns of Indian consumers. Greater demand for ‘ready to eat cereals’ has been a result of two factors, one being consumers looking for healthier breakfast options and second being the growing need for a quick and yet nutritious breakfast offerings. Due to the greater demand and increase in the competitive sphere, the breakfast cereals market has evolved in the following ways:

  1. Flavor variety: Within existing formats like ‘flakes’, there has been an increase in the variety of flavors available in the market – popular flavors like chocolate and strawberry have emerged with various combinations (brownie delight, mixed fruit etc.)
  2. Format variety: New formats like muesli and flavored oats are also relatively newer entrants targeting new consumer groups seeking more grains in their cereal
  3. Size variety: Single serve packs, takeaway packs etc. are emerging in the market to meet the ‘convenience’ needs of the consumer.

Are your products directed towards ‘urban consumption’ only? If not, how do you plan to penetrate into other markets?

AC– While the breakfast cereals consumption is primarily driven by the urban areas, it has been witnessing a steady growth in the other markets as well. We believe that NesPlus breakfast cereals will be able to penetrate deeper into the market beyond metros and mini-metros with the powerful combination of the goodness of nutrition and taste.

While initially the plan is to focus on urban India, we will, over a period of time penetrate a larger part of the country. Single serve trials packs at INR 10 /INR 15 have been launched to ensure we have the right offering to encourage new trials.

How do you plan to market yourself to the consumers? (Since brands like Kelloggs, Bagrry, Marico, Quaker already enjoy a substantial market share)

AC– With the NesPlus portfolio and its unique combination of taste and nutrition, we believe we have something very unique and relevant to offer to Indian consumers.

We adopted a ‘digital first’ approach to launch NesPlus via a strategic partnership with Amazon prime. NesPlus was one of the 5 platinum launches on Amazon prime this year, on the global prime day, 16th July 2018. This was the first ever FMCG launch on Amazon prime and the response was outstanding; over a million people interacted with the brand within the first week of activation even prior to the launch and a record sale of 1 unit of NesPlus every 3 seconds post launch were other highlights.

We have been quite successful in reaching out to our consumers in the digital space, and moving forward we are all set to take conventional advertising and some exciting non-conventional route for marketing NesPlus to the Indian consumers.

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