noodlesMaggi introduced the Maggi Oats noodles in mid-2014, in a bid to rejuvenate its ‘health is enjoyable’ proposition and as a tasty breakfast option. The brand claims that each pack of Maggi Oats noodle packs the goodness of fibre contained in one bowl of oats and real vegetables. The launch was positioned as a morning breakfast option, amongst a category dominated by oats, cornflakes and muesli on the western-breakfast menu.

It is an interesting launch considering how the 30+ year old noodle-brand in India, which has always been considered as a ‘2 minute’ noodle snack has identified a new occasion for the consumption of the product. Thus far in India, noodles have been looked at as a quick and easy snack or light meal and not as a particularly healthy food. But with this launch, Nestlé is hoping to capitalise on the growing popularity of oats in the country. Nestlé could very well interest consumers looking for a marriage of convenience, health and taste.

To engage with consumers, Nestlé hosted a ‘Maggi breakfast selfie’ contest in July 2014, where winners received a month long supply of Maggi Oats Noodles. By creating this buzz on social media, it was a great way to increase brand awareness and visibility of this new product. The tweets were to be done with hashtag #HealthyIsEnjoyable, to reiterate the healthy credentials of the product.

A boost to breakfast?

India’s per capita consumption rate for breakfast cereal is amongst the lowest in the world. It faces challenges from the traditional Indian breakfast foods. However, convenience is driving this category, making oats a staple healthy breakfast option. Another factor aiding popularity is taste, which is the basis upon which most Indian consumers make their food-decisions.

Hot cereals (including oats) make up to 31% of the total breakfast market and is the fastest growing segment of the Indian breakfast cereals market. Not only are oats becoming a popular breakfast food, they are also growing in popularity as an ingredient in other food categories due to their numerous health benefits.

The breakfast cereal market will grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.6% between 2015 and 2019 in value terms. We will therefore see more and more consumers wanting to consume healthier and nutritious products during breakfast in this time. Whilst they will appreciate healthy breakfast items, health benefits combined with strong flavour properties will appeal to Indian consumers.