Brands seem to be making a beeline for Bharat when it comes to breakfast. Packaged breakfast and ready-to-eat products, aimed primarily at urban middle-class as time-saving and convenient options, have found a market in an uncharted territory — rural India — and the brands rolled out dedicated plans with different price points and pack sizes after a significant jump in sales from the hinterland.
The predominantly unorganised sector that would sell loose spices and cereals are being gradually replaced with branded instant mixes like badaam milk, upma, rava idli mix and western breakfast options like oats and muesli. “Ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm, smartphone penetration and awareness about nutrition have helped,” said Aditya Bagri, director at Bagrry’s that sells muesli, oats and corn-flakes.
“Over half of our sale of gulab jamun and khaman dhokla mixes come from rural areas during the wedding season. Every Tier I or II city has a supermarket which is a key driver for this growth,” Gits Food director Sahil Gilani said.
The Rs 3,000-crore breakfast market is going through a change with the urban consumers switching from western cereals to traditional Indian or healthier alternatives.
As the rural market replicates the trend, the brands have launched lower-priced variants. MTR plans to sell instant badaam drink and rava idli mix to the rural consumer at Rs 5 and Rs 10 price points, while Gits Foods launched Rs 10 packet of their topselling gulab jamun mix three months ago.
For MTR, owned by Orkla Group, rural India has always been a market for spices. Now, the company has lined up ready-to-eat and cook options there. “We saw a 16-18% growth in sales from the rural sector while the urban sector gave us a softer growth of 8%. With a dedicated sub-business unit, we will be in a position to roll out our rural strategy by June,” CEO Sanjay Sharma said.