Kurkure to tickle American palates

Kurkure to tickle American palates

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Wednesday, Nov 01,2006 8:02 AM

Kurkure to tickle American palates

After Indra Nooyi, the first Indian woman CEO of PepsiCo, Kurkure could be the next big find from India. Developed by Frito-Lay India - PepsiCo's snack food subsidiary - the home-grown savoury brand, Kurkure is all set to tickle American palates. Some time next year, Frito-Lay will launch Kurkure in the US, the former's home turf which happens to be the biggest market for snack foods in the world. Sources say, it has been on Nooyi's mind for some time to take the brand global.

Frito-Lay will launch Kurkure in US, biggest market for snack foods in the world, some time next year A soft launch already made, brand available through Indian grocery stores in East and West Coast

Frito-Lay India's MD Manu Anand confirmed the development, but declined to give details. “Taking Kurkure to the US has been on our minds, but we haven't firmed up a date yet,” he said. However, company sources maintain that a soft launch has already been kicked off, making the brand available in the east and west coast through Indian grocery stores.

This is not only being seen as a big leap for Frito-Lay's India team, it also points that Indian marketers' global aspirations are actually being hotly pursued. Analysts say there is an increasing interest in everything from India and as the consumers in the US shift from spicy Mexican flavours, Indian food could easily step in.

This is not the first instance where a global food major has dipped into Indian market to fish out a local brand for its global markets. McDonald's Aloo Tikki burger is a well-known entry into its global portfolio, a few years back. “It is a trend that will gain momentum driven by the fact that consumers across the Western markets are getting hooked to Indian flavours. McDonald's is constantly scanning our Indian menu to check on what could be introduced in the international markets,” says Vikram Bakshi, MD, Connaught Plaza Restaurant, the master franchisee for McDonald's for the north and east regions.

Already, McAloo Tikki burger, which is the single largest selling item in India, is being exported to the Middle East countries and is a hot rage in the region. Similarly, Pizza McPuff too is generating a great deal interest in the Middle-East.

According to Datamonitor, a typical US consumer consumes 231 morning snacks per capita, 283 afternoon snacks and 261 evening snacks per year. Yet, some marketers throw a word of caution on introducing Indian snack brands in the US. “Snacking habits are far tougher to change vis-à-vis eating habits. This is because people often try to experiment with cuisine at the time of lunch and dinner, but prefer to eat something familiar during those times when they just need to fill in with something,” says Arvind Mediratta, CMO-India subcontinent, Yum! Restaurants International.

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