The company recently launched a range of a+ Masala millet-based porridges made with a blend of locally sourced ingredients including bajra.
The products were initially developed by a team of Nestlé employees at the company’s R+D Accelerator, located at the research and development center in Manesar, India. The accelerator acts as a regional platform for students, start-ups, and employees to go from idea to shop test in only a few months through leveraging Nestlé’s extensive food and beverage innovation expertise and infrastructure.
It is claimed that the a+ Masala millet-based porridges are tailored to local nutritional needs and tastes and are made with a blend of locally sourced ingredients including bajra (pearl millet), barley, vegetables, and a variety of 10 spices. They come in two delicious variants that can be prepared in just 2 minutes: Tangy Tomato and Veggie Masala. Both flavors are high in fiber, free of preservatives, and contain 30% fewer calories compared to commonly consumed cereal-based breakfast recipes.
Following a successful shop test that was conducted in the New Delhi – National Capital Region (NCR) last December, the a+ Masala millet-based porridges have now launched commercially in an expanded range of stores within the region, with more areas to follow later.
Jagdeep Marahar, Head of Nestlé’s R&D center in Manesar, India says: “Millets are traditional grains known for their high nutritional value and their potential sustainability benefits. We are exploring innovation opportunities with start-ups, while partnering with local research institutions to encourage the utilization of millet in different types of food and beverage products.”
The new porridges carry an endorsement logo from the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) on-pack. Recognizing the potential of millets, the Nestlé R&D center in India, also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nutrihub-IIMR earlier this year. The collaboration aims to advance science and technology for millet manufacturing, to substantiate the nutrition and health benefits of millets in different products and to explore regenerative agriculture practices. Furthermore, the initiative aims to support local start-ups that are working in millet innovation.
Dr C Tara Satyavathi, director, IIMR said, ‘’Millets are superfoods and have high nutritional benefits which have been recognized both in India and worldwide. The focus this year will be to raise awareness on millets especially amidst the adverse and changing climatic conditions, while highlighting the opportunities it can create for producers, farmers and consumers. We are very pleased to collaborate with Nestlé India and to be able to offer the benefits of these super grains to a larger audience.’’
Nestlé India’s initiatives to promote millets highlight its commitment to promote sustainable and diverse food options while supporting farmers and local communities. As the company moves forward with its millet-focused strategy, it is poised to significantly impact the food industry and food options for consumers.