Urbanisation responsible for India’s soaring breakfast cereals market

Photo: iStock

India’s breakfast cereal market has been growing at an annualised rate of over 22% over the last five years, driven largely by an increasing preference for western lifestyles and tastes.

According to Research & Markets, a data and analytics firm, the segment’s three leading companies—Kellogg India, Bagrry and PepsiCo Quaker—have captured more than three-quarters of the market.

The traditional preference among Indian consumers for hot breakfasts means that hot cereals have gained ground faster than ready-to-eat cold cereals. Given the broad spread of the market, the leading manufacturers have come to offer a range of brands appealing separately to kids, adults and the entire family. 

Cornflakes, as a category, dominates the market with the highest market share, whereas other categories including oats and muesli make up the majority of the rest.

Moreover, the oats and muesli category has been growing much faster than cornflakes due to increasing health consciousness and a growing general preference for healthier foods. 

Breakfast cereals manufacturers have been targeting urban consumers in particular who do not have time to spend on leisurely breakfasts. 

Due to the fast-growing cities and relatively higher income levels of western India, breakfast cereals have become most popular in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, followed by markets in northern and southern regions. 

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