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Quaker has forayed into ready-to-eat segment with Oats Muesli to target time-crunched millennials: Sonam Bikram Vij

The new offerings were first unveiled to the influencers through a DIY setup as the breakfast cereal brand planned to reach out to the consumers via influencers first, as per Sonam Bikram Vij, Associate Director and Category Lead-Quaker

Sonam Bikram Vij

Convenience as a trend is on the rise since post-pandemic, along with the nutritional value of food, and breakfast is usually the meal which gets skipped by most people owing to time-crunch. Therefore, it is with the aim to address these topics that Quaker forayed into the ready-to-eat segment with Oats Muesli, as per Sonam Bikram Vij, Associate Director and Category Lead-Quaker, PepsiCo India.

Vij said, “In the aftermath of the pandemic, we have seen that convenience as a trend is on the rise and owing to their hectic schedules, people mostly tend to skip breakfast. Thus, with our ready-to-eat Quaker Oats Muesli, we aim to cater to all three aspects- nutritious value, the experience of taste and convenience.”

“Coming from the house of Quaker, we bring our nutrition expertise to the table which can be savoured in three easy and convenient ways- with milk, yoghurt or straight from the pack,” she added.

When asked why Quaker resorted to an influencer-led on-ground activity where a DIY setup was crafted to launch their new offerings, she replied, “In this specific product launch of Quaker, we aimed to first reach out to the consumers via influencers who belong to the niches of health, fitness, lifestyle and food amongst others.”

Furthermore, she also went on to highlight that Quaker Oats Muesli is transitioning from ready-to-cook to ready-to-eat comes at a time when the breakfast cereal brand is expanding its portfolio with the launch of two new flavourful variants- ‘Fruit & Nut’, and ‘Berries & Seeds’.

Vij added that the core audience base the brand is trying to target comprises of young millennials who are leading a hectic life, as Quaker aims to bring back the habit of having a healthy breakfast in the bargain.

“It was the pandemic which saw a good momentum in a positive direction, as people became more health and wellness conscious and started picking up on healthy choices and lifestyle,” she stated.

A Euromonitor International and Quaker report highlighted that 44% of urban Millennials skipped breakfast and delayed their meals due to increased household chores and a late start to the day. However, in spite of consumers skipping the first meal of the day, nutrition-conscious consumption has turned out to be the choice across genders and generations, the report mentioned.

Vij also pointed out that since the modern consumers are on the lookout for more convenient and easy forms of consumable products as part of their time-crunched lives, Quaker’s new ready-to-eat and ‘oat-a-licious’ offerings will at least give them an option to have a nutritious edible at their disposal.

She further stated Quaker Oats Muesli’s ‘Fruit & Nut’ constitutes of 22% toasty almonds, dried raisins and candied papaya, the components for ‘Berries & Seeds’ is 22% dried cranberry, dried blackcurrant, and crunchy sunflower seeds, with pumpkin seeds finding a common place in both new offerings.

Elaborating on how Quaker has leveraged influencers for creating recipe videos throughout the year, Vij stated that recipes have always been a broader theme for Quaker’s ready-to-cook products like Oats and Multigrain which can easily become a part of an individual’s regular recipes.

“Recipes are an integral part of our being and are not just a campaign. We continue to talk about recipes because for us, they are a way of making Oats a part of consumers’ lives and making a positive change in the lives of people that leads to beneficial mornings.”

She also went on to add that Quaker’s Plain Oats has aided the brand to become a part of several recipes, including some of the local formats like Idli, Dosa or Poha, apart from its true sweet or savoury porridge form.

PepsiCo had recently parted ways with WPP after a relationship of three decades and had appointed Publicis Groupe as its agency of record for handling its creative, digital, and media business in July, this year.

“Quaker’s ready-to-eat Oats Muesli will be the very first campaign launch for Leo Burnett under the new association, and while it is still in the pipeline, it will be coming out over the next few weeks,” she stated.

In the past, the breakfast cereal brand targeted the whole of India by rolling out TVCs in four vernacular languages- Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Malayali along with Hindi.

Additionally, Vij also asserted that Quaker aims to gain a compelling proposition through the two latest entrants into the ready-to-eat segment as part of the breakfast cereals, in which Oats is a leading component.

The US-based breakfast cereal brand has had an interesting journey ever since it came to India in 2006, as per Vij.

“We enjoyed the first mover advantage of bringing Oats in the country and gave our consumers an opportunity to try grains for breakfast cereals for the first time and with the passage of time, we were able to drive its penetration to an extent that today it has become a part and parcel of the Indian household culture,” she said.

She also emphasised that the brand idea of Quaker-Fuel for the Real Fit is the larger thought that motivates the nutrition brand to strive and be the fuel for people who want to be really fit or even move towards a healthier lifestyle.

In terms of the positioning and the product differentiation of the new ready-to-eat offerings, Vij highlighted that what sets Quaker Oats Muesli apart is that rest of the products under the portfolio are ready-to-cook and have a comparatively larger involvement in preparing it, but the new offering is more evolved and opens the doors to consuming it even on-the-go along with providing an added benefit of taste to the nutritional values built in the product format.

When questioned as to what led Quaker to change its logo in January this year, Vij replied that with the changing consumers, the brand was also eyeing on having a more modern and contemporary appeal, to blend in with the changing times.

“We’ve been very true to what we stand for and with our mascot ‘Larry’ being on the pack itself is an indication of our heritage and credibility that we bring with the brand Quaker,” she added.

On a concluding note, Vij also mentioned that the packaging of the new product offerings was completely designed in-house by the brand and since the idea behind the whole packaging was that it should appeal and excite consumers to have a nutritious breakfast, the fresh and vibrant colour combination will aid the new offerings in standing out in the stores as well.

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