An alternative to Kellogg's

11:51 AM

I am by far not a fan of breakfast cereals, never liked them enough to make them part of my regular morning routine. The only exception being that one time I was pregnant and craved honey cornflakes round the clock for a week or so. That said, a bowl once in a while is fine by me. DH and Ishita seem to go by the same pattern and once in a while a box of loops, chocos or cornflakes find its way into our household until the craving phase run its course. And, in India the breakfast cereal market has been cornered by Kellogg's. They pretty much have the monopoly, with a few costly imported brands struggling to compete in few select stores. Breakfast cereals aren't part of Indian culture, and are marketed as the healthy, convenient way to kick start your day in our fast paced modern life.

The problem is Kellogg's is not as healthy as it is made to be, even Special K which is in India advertised as a healthy weight loss cereal. In the case of that later, once you realise a normal serving is 30g and that it accounts for a small cup worth of the stuff, you realise it can't even be filling. The kids variety are high in sugar, and no kid will really stop at the serving size of 30g either. But what is more disturbing to me is the number of preservatives, chemicals and fillers that usually go into these. Hopefully the big K will have some serious competition soon. As I stumbled upon these in my local supermarket:

24 Mantra, is an Indian brand selling organic spices, pulses and cereals. I knew them for their red poha which has been my ultimate favourite for years, and we also spend the extra backs on their lentils. They recently launched juices, jams and a range of cereals. So far I have seen Honey stars, Mango Stars, Ragi flakes and Cornflakes. All certified organic and recognized by three organic standards. What is more, is that it is a product made in India by a domestic brand which I am all for supporting.

Ishita having hit another cereal craze, I decided to try them out, and her choice was the mango stars, because they are shaped like stars, and because honey is yuck (her words not mine). The package states that it contains a mix of whole grain, sugar, amaranth and mango pulp, all certified organic ingredients. Taste wise, the stuff is actually good. I haven't tried it with milk yet, just took a handful here and there. It has a depth of flavour no Kellogg's cereals can even come close to, the mango taste is natural, the cereal is overall sweet but not too sweet. And, one handful is filling enough as a snack, which is absolutely NOT the case with any of the K brand cereals, not even their whole wheat flakes. This lead me to strongly confirm what I suspected all along: Kellogg's is not natural and contains a lot of cheap fillers.

Price wise, the organic cereals are not even as costly as one might think, the pack above has 300 g of cereals in it and will set you 125 rupees. I don't have a pack of Kellogg's around for comparison anymore, but I remember they were nearing the 100 rupees for about the same quantity so for me the math is all done. I'd rather pay around 25 rupees extra to encourage local trade, more natural and environment friendly agricultural practice and give my money to a domestic brand rather than go fatten up the accounts of a multinational company that stopped caring about what goes in people's body a long time ago in the name of profit. Truth be told, I try to go for local brands over big brands whenever I can. Being an outsider, I am not sold on the marketing gimmick of "world class" goods. These brands that entered India gradually after the market liberalization have been present in my homeland far longer and I know them to not all be as wonderful as they are often made out to be. So to me, seeing domestic brands tackle these giants is wonderful, and I hope the affluent segment of the population that is in a position to afford to support the production of organic goods will step up to the plate and help said industry flourish. I know that 20 years ago people complained about organic goods being costly back in Switzerland, many even scoffed at them. But, the patronage of a few, soon because the patronage of many and the price of organic goods went down enough to make them competitive against non organic produce for people to be willing to spend the few cents or francs extra in order to do their bits for the planet and their health.

Now, I only hope that my supermarket continues to stock these cereals, it wouldn't be the first time a great product disappeared from their shelves due to a lack of demand. It sounds silly but it might even be enough to make me buy them regularly.


  1. apple3:11 PM

    Hey, finally some good news on inter caste marriages. I had to share it with you

  2. There is more good news. This is about the participation of women in khaps

  3. It is heart warming to read such articles, the khaps needed this change. It makes me feel there is hope for a better future there.


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