Sunday, June 3, 2012

MNCs can’t make Indians abandon Idli, Dosa or Chapathi.

Thai, Chinese, Mughlai, Continental…there has indeed been a cultural invasion into Indian menu in restaurants and hotels but when it comes to eating at home, Indians still like to have Idli, dosa, chappathi, vada.

This is what the three post graduate students of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, who won the ‘Become Indra’s Advisor Contest’ had to tell PepsiCo. The 200-odd teams who participated in the national contest were given the topic, ‘Transforming breakfast for Indian consumers’ centered around the company’s Quaker Oats and Tropicana juice brands.

The winning team of Indradeep Das, Sunitha Subramaniam and Sameep Mendiratta got the rare opportunity to spend time with Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo, Chairman in New York and present their creative views on the Indian breakfast market.

The team told PepsiCo that oats, cornflakes are alien to Indian diet so is juice for breakfast when tea and coffee are more preferred. Packaged breakfast for morning should take into account lack of time for the working class and existing food habits that die hard.

Can the invasion of PepsiCo, Nestle, Britannia or Coco Cola change the ingrained food habits of Indians? The cornflakes example shows it isn’t that easy.

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