NEW DELHI: Kellogg is to promote product variants designed to appeal to local tastes as it aims to defend its position in India's rapidly-growing breakfast foods market.

The Economic Times reports that the firm is planning to roll out new flavours for its oats-based brands, including garam masala and pudina – the Hindi word for mint.

This follows a similar move from PepsiCo India, which in June 2012 began selling Quaker Oats in flavours including Homestyle Masala and Kesar (saffron).

Figures cited by the Economic Times indicate that the breakfast segment is growing in India at an annual rate of up to 20% a year. Kellogg is the market leader with a share of around 55%.

Within the category, breakfast oats sales are growing still faster, and are up 25% year on year.

Kellogg itself attempted to launch a cereal tailored to Indian tastes, corn flake brand Kellogg Mazza, in 1998. But the cereal was eventually withdrawn after failing to find favour with shoppers.

Speaking to the Economic Times, Debashish Mukherjee, a vice-president at AT Kearney, a management consultancy, suggested success was far from guaranteed for Kellogg's new cereal plans.

"The breakfast cereal category works more for consumers with global palettes," he said.

"So whether localised variants will be a growth driver for this category will depend on how consumption patterns evolve."

Data sourced from Economic Times/PepsiCo/Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff