Marketing chief Vinay Subramanyam details how and why the brand added a chocolatey crunch to its healthy muesli portfolio.
If the ‘Eat breakfast like a king…’ adage ever needed a mascot, then muesli would emerge as one of the strongest and healthiest candidates.
A cold breakfast dish primarily made of rolled oats, muesli is often served with added ingredients like nuts, seeds, grains, fresh or dry fruits, and milk.
The multi-ingredient benefit makes it a growing popular item in India’s breakfast cereals market. Market research portal Statista claims it amounts to $4.7b in 2023 and will grow annually by 9.29% (CAGR 2023-2028).
And adding a new crunch to this breakfast cereal is Kellogg’s chocolate muesli. It is the sixth addition to the food brand's muesli portfolio and the first one to come in a trial pack of size of 75gm for Rs. 60. There is also the more common larger family pack of 450g at Rs 360.
Such a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is deliberate keeping in mind the cluttered space a kirana offers. It is easier for the storekeeper and customers to pick it out from the many breakfast cereal brands selling their wares.
It is what Kellogg’s director of marketing, India and South Asia, Vinay Subramanyam told us (afaqs!) when asked if the challenge for shelf space visibility at offline retail had reduced seeing the growing penetration of e-commerce and q-commerce.
This particular SKU also makes for a great ‘let’s try it once’ choice among potential consumers.
The online commerce stores are, by the way, Subramanyam tells us, “A big sampling opportunity for us because it allows us to go to consumers’ homes.”
Kellogg’s for its chocolate muesli conducted extensive sampling at modern trade outlets. “When we made people try the product, we were getting more than 20% conversions which is almost three times the conversion you normally get when you do sampling in modern trade,” he quips.
A 10-second ad, made by Ogilvy, is the protagonist of the food brand’s 360-degree campaign for the new product.
Other media channels include:
Innovative OOH ads (a revolving bowl of chocolate muesli)
Ads on bus shelters where the muesli concept is brought to life
Frontpage newspaper ads in select cities, YouTube masthead
CTV (Samsung TV)
OTT (Disney+ Hotstar, SonyLIV, ZEE5)
Pay close attention to the ad and you will see a major emphasis on the muesli’s taste. Why else would the ad ask you to pronounce the dish as “Mmmmuesli!”
This is a major breakaway from Kellogg’s last muesli ad burst starring Milind Soman aimed to build awareness about the category by explaining what doesn't go in the dish that makes it such a healthy breakfast choice.
The marketing chief believes “a taste seeking and nutrition seeking consumer are the same person and that there are conflicting needs within the same person at different points in time.”
What Kellogg’s, he says, can do is create a range of products that cater to different needs of the same consumer and therefore straddle multiple value spaces.
Kellogg’s along with muesli sells corn flakes, granola, oats, Chocos, and Fruit Loops. The muesli portfolio’s customers “would be largely in India’s top 20 cities.”
The food brand battles with the likes of Baggry’s, Tata Soulfull, Yogabar, MuscleBlaze, and PepsiCo’s Quaker for muesli category supremacy in India.
Category creation in muesli, as per Subramanyam, is a long game because “penetration is very small and a big hallmark of what we've done over the last many years is demystifying what muesli is.“
Adding chocolate to its portfolio of healthy-ingredients ridden muesli offerings may seem odd. Kellogg’s marketing chief explains it is not because “in breakfast cereal, the most popular breakfast cereal is Chocos, and a lot of adults love their Chocos.”
Add to this, he remarks, chocolate has great traction in several categories be it inside food and beverages or outside it in beauty, personal care, and perfumes.
“It was an obvious choice for us to get into chocolate muesli,” he states.