Marico’s strategy of giving a local twist to oats by introducing a savoury version to an otherwise sweeter option consumed globally has helped Saffola dethrone Quaker as the leading brand in the category.
At 42%, Saffola has leadership in market share by value over Quaker, which is at about 34% (MAT December 2022), according to Kantar, a marketing data and analytics company. A year ago, Quaker was the leader with a value share of around 38%, while Saffola was at about 37%. A moving annual total (MAT) is the total value of a variable over the previous 12 months.
Saffola oats, which is available in plain and masala versions, has increased the snacking option in the category “beyond breakfast”. Quaker, on the other hand, is largely focused on oats as a breakfast menu. Moreover, oats have predominantly been consumed as a breakfast food item.
Marico’s MD & CEO Saugata Gupta said: “We are proud to have achieved this milestone and emerge as leaders in the oats category… Indians are uncompromising when it comes to taste. With this basic learning, we set out to Indianise oats by addressing the quintessential Indian taste preferences, while seamlessly integrating the health benefits that it offers.”
A PepsiCo spokesperson said: “Quaker is a strong market leader in the oats breakfast cereals segment in India, driven by our 145 years of nutritional expertise. It is not comparable to selectively club other segments that may have oats as an ingredient for calculating market share.”
Oats is a growing category, whose penetration in urban India grew to 17% in MAT July, 2023, from 11% in MAT July, 2020, according to Kantar’s household penetration data. The category is broadly divided into the plain oats segment (11% penetration) and the flavoured (8%). Saffola oats is the category leader with 11% penetration in MAT July, 2023 while Quaker oats has 5%.
Marico said it has also introduced millets in its oats range as part of its strategy of offering “better for you” products. Other players in the about Rs 500-crore oats category are Kellogg’s (with a share of under 10%), followed by Bagrry’s (2.5%) and Horlicks (under a percentage).