India’s consumer goods company Marico is to put emphasis on the product development for food brand Saffola on healthier items.

Marico markets breakfast cereals, oat-based snacks and cooking oil under the Saffola brand. Chief marketing officer Anuradha Aggarwal believes there are three areas on which Marico could focus Saffola’s efforts.

Aggarwal said: “There is an opportunity for the brand to extend to the space of healthy food offerings – breakfast, in-between meals, or healthy snacking. We will continue to invest in product innovation and create offerings that enable consumers to stay fit and lead a healthier lifestyle.”

She said the company would develop new products with diverse flavours to suit India’s contrasting regional palates and would sell snacks to increase the times consumers eat its products during the day.

Aggarwal stressed Marico would avoid developing impulse-buy foods that are not oriented towards health. These, she said, would require a different business model “and is also not in sync with Saffola’s brand imagery of health and wellness.”

Instead, “the aim is to focus on expanding Saffola’s brand equity of premium edible oils and oats to further extensions in the space of healthy foods”, she told just-food.

The strategy has been demonstrated by launches made this year. For instance, Saffola Aura, a blend of olive and flaxseed oil, containing omega-3 and antioxidants, as well as Saffola Multigrain Flakes, a breakfast cereal with five grains, launched in Mumbai and Bangalore.