Tata Consumer Products (TCP), the consumer products company uniting the principal food and beverage interests of the Tata Group under one umbrella, will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), to unlock the full potential of millets as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to traditional grains. TCP is the parent company of the Tata Soulfull brand, which has a portfolio of millet-based products for kids and adults. The MoU will be signed by Dr Vilas A Tonapi, director ICAR – Indian Institute of Millets Research and Vikas Gupta, global head, R&D – Tata Consumer Products at the "Nutri-Cereals Multi-stakeholders Mega Convention 3.0" Hyderabad, organized by Nutrihub, ICAR- IIMR. The event aims to highlight the UN's recent announcement of 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM).
Tata Consumer Products has identified pantry and the mini-meals segments as some of the key focus areas in its growth strategy. Currently, it has the Tata Sampann brand in the pantry segment with a wide range of pulses and spices, and Tata Soulfull in the breakfast cereals, mini-meals and snacking segment, offering a range of millet-based products for the modern Indian consumer. At the convention, Tata Consumer Products will also launch a new, improved version of Tata Soulfull No Maida Choco, which comes with the added benefit of seven super grains in a delicious chocolate flavor. With the complete elimination of maida, preservatives and artificial ingredients, this healthy option offers parents and children the right balance of health, taste, and convenience. It is made of nutrient-rich millets, rich in fiber and protein.
The MoU will help combine the R&D expertise of the two entities and help TCP strengthen the product portfolio in millets, develop more value-added formats for consumers and make millets available to many more consumers across India.
The MoU will cover the following key areas of collaboration between TCP and IIMR:
Ramp up innovation in millets: The MoU will strengthen innovation in millets, especially in areas related to the consumer experience
Leveraging IIMR's understanding of grains and millet varieties: Understand the suitability of grains and millets for specific consumer applications
Analytical expertise: Mutually supporting each other in gaining analytical and technical expertise in the area of millet research and processing
Spread awareness and strengthen advocacy for millets: Advocate and spread awareness on the benefits of millets at various forums and platforms in partnership with other government and industry bodies ahead of the International Year of Millets in 2023.
Sunil D'Souza, managing director and chief executive officer of Tata Consumer Products, speaking about the association, said, "The UN's declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM) is a very positive initiative to promote millets as a healthy and sustainable diet option. India is one of the largest producers of millets and we are happy to associate with IIMR to unlock the potential of millets. This partnership will help strengthen our innovation agenda, making the benefits of millets more mainstream and widely available to consumers in various convenient and modern formats. Millets are an essential category for Tata Consumer Products and the credibility of the Tata brand will help grow this segment with value-added products. We are also happy to launch our offering, an improved version of the Tata Soulfull No Maida Choco at the Nutri-Cereals Convention to mark this occasion. This platform encourages millet consumption among the public."
Dr Vilas A Tonapi, director ICAR – Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) said, "This MoU will help us further spread awareness on the nutrition and sustainability benefits of millets and make it widely available in formats that integrate with people's lifestyles so that they become a key part of the Indian diet."
Dr B Dayakar Rao, chief executive officer – Nutrihub, IIMR, said, "We are happy to associate with Tata Consumer Products in our objective to create awareness about millets and make them more mainstream".
Tata Consumer Soulfull became a 100% subsidiary of Tata Consumer Products in February 2021. Tata Soulfull currently offers a range of healthy snacks and breakfast cereals like Ragi Bites and Millet Muesli and plant-based protein drinks like Smoothix.