Breakfast in UK: After tea, Tata to serve millet-based cereals

New Delhi: Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) is taking its Soulfull millet-based cereals overseas through a tie-up with UK supermarket Tesco.

Soulfull will sell cereals under the Joyfull muesli brand. TCPL already has a significant presence in the UK through its Tetley Tea, Good Earth UK and Teapigs brands.

In 2021, TCPL, the consumer products arm of the Tata Group, acquired Kottaram Agro Foods, the owner of Soulfull, in line with the company’s intent to enter new adjacent categories in the packaged foods segment.

TCPL already operates in overseas markets such as the US, Canada and the UK. In fiscal year 2023, international markets made up 29% of the company’s revenue. International business revenue last fiscal stood at 3,589 crore, while overall TCPL reported consolidated revenue of 13,800 crore in FY23.

TCPL’s acquisition of British tea company Tetley in 2000 was India’s first major cross-border acquisition, making it the second-largest tea company globally.

TCPL is now using its distribution muscle to take more brands overseas.

“Soulfull is completely integrated into Tata Consumer Products Ltd. Even in India, we are using the entire Tata Consumer distribution network. We work with international teams that already service Tesco as a customer,” said Prashant Parameswaran, MD & CEO, Tata Consumer Soulfull.

In India, Soulfull sells millet-based muesli, granola, oats, nut mixes and health beverages.

With Tesco, Joyfull will be retailed across 500 stores. “This gives us a very strong foothold with the largest UK retailer, and it’s not just London, but across the UK,” Parameswaran added.

Parameswaran said consumers in overseas markets are interested in different types of grains. The brand is eyeing a gradual rollout in other international markets as well.

“We’re not looking at just the UK. We’re looking at other global markets. We will be available across some leading online players in the UK. Then there are advanced conversations with other retailers both in the UK and outside of the UK,” he added.

TCPL has a 19.4% market share in the black tea market in the UK. “So within the international piece of the business, we have a tea offering, we have a coffee offering, both of which have a breakfast occasion that really comes in.”

Last fiscal, TCPL rolled out Tata Raasa, marking its entry into the Indian ready foods segment in the international markets.

India has proposed to the United Nations to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Locally grown millets include jowar, bajra and ragi, apart from kodo foxtail. Several packaged food companies are latching on to the trend and launching millets in ready-to-cook or eat formats.

The UK’s breakfast cereal market is estimated to be over $2 billion with over 90% household penetration.

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Updated: 09 Sep 2023, 12:17 AM IST

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