Snacking made healthy

February 22, 2024 | By Rupkatha B

Prashant Parameswaran, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consumer Soulfull

Tata Soulfull, a leading name in the ‘good-for-you’ snacks and breakfast cereals segment, recently launched its healthy product range in the GCC. Signature products from Tata Soulfull’s portfolio of millet-based snacks and cereals are now available across the UAE and Kuwait with plans to expand further across the GCC over the next 6-12 months.

In an exclusive conversation with IMAGES RetailME, Prashant Parameswaran, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consumer Soulfull talked about the brand’s resonance in the GCC markets and growth plans.

Even before being acquired by Tata Consumer Products Limited a couple of years ago, the Soulfull brand was present in the Middle East at retail touchpoints including Lulu Hypermarket. Regional consumers are thus familiar with the brand and interestingly akin to the Indian market in the GCC too, the Soulfull product range for children took off well.

“From last year to this year, we’ve grown 3X. From this year to next year, we are expecting at least 2X growth,” Parameswaran shared. “So, now we are in a position to really scale up the business both in terms of our product range and geographical footprint. Beyond the UAE and Kuwait, we are looking to expand in Oman, Qatar and parts of Saudi Arabia.”

Tata Soulfull at a Glance

  • Foray into the GCC Market: 2023 starting with the UAE and Kuwait
  • Retail Touchpoints in the GCC: Lulu Hypermarket, Nesto and Safari, among others.
  • Current Product Range Available in the GCC: Tata Soulfull Millet Muesli Crunchy, Tata Soulfull Millet Muesli Fruit & Nut, Tata Soulfull Ragi Bites Crunchy Choco and Tata Soulfull Ragi Bites Choco Fills.

Millets and its myriad health benefits

A little over a decade ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the ‘International Year of Quinoa’. Suddenly quinoa rose to fame leading to a sharp rise in the consumption of this superfood.

More recently, 2023 was declared as the ‘International Year of Millets’. People started talking about millets and how healthy it is. Chefs from around the world are adding their spin on millet-based dishes and brands such as Tata Soulfull are championing the cause of millets by diversifying their healthy, millet-based product range.

But is there a possibility of an eventual decline in the consumption of millets?

“Unlike quinoa, millets cover a wider spectrum across product range such as biscuits, breakfast cereals and more,” Parameswaran responded. “And brands such as ours are focused on millets. We are bringing millets to consumers in various forms and making it easier for them to stay on the course of healthy eating. Importantly, we are not aiming to replace rice or wheat. Instead, we believe that there is a place for every grain in our diverse diet, and we are eager to bring the benefits of millets into our consumers’ diet without compromising on taste and that too at an affordable price point.”

What’s more, as a crop variant millet is good for the environment too.

“In a world where water is scarce, millets are an ideal crop. In addition to their high nutritional benefits, millets can grow in conditions that many other crops can’t tolerate. They are heat tolerant and need significantly less water than other grains. Millets are now also seen as a smart food that needs to be incorporated into one’s diet as we aim for a more eco-conscious future,” he added. 

In summation, asked about some healthy eating trends likely to dominate the food landscape in 2024, here’s what Parameswaran said:

  • Consumers are thinking about what is better for them in terms of ingredients while not giving up on taste, which is a common trend we are seeing across the world. Parents and children are becoming more and more aware of what they snack on and are opting for healthy variants.
  • Opting for mini meals as opposed to three big meals is also an interesting wave, wherein portion sizes become a crucial consideration.
  • There is a lot of interest in sustainability and food can enable consumers to get onto that sustainability path.

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