Nadia Chauhan Kurup, Joint MD & CMO, Parle Agro India talks about Frooti’s brand revamp and how they aim to reach more target groups through the new communication and marketing.
By Saloni Dutta
Q] This is the first time since its launch 30 years ago that Frooti’s logo has changed. What led to this change and how did you drive it across markets?
Over these 30 years, while Frooti has been a strong brand in the mango drink category, it has mostly been associated with kids. When Frooti launched in 1958, it brought Tetra Pak to India. It was a time when the beverage market was primarily glass bottles or plastic pouches, so Tetra Paks became an obvious choice for kids. Over the years, we introduced several other formats, from Yo Frooti to PET, to expand our consumer base. While we did do that, I think we had already established such a high equity amongst kids that it was still challenging for the brand to have an aura of being everybody’s brand. Then we started looking at the communication. The communication since 1985 had never been predominantly kid oriented. We went through several campaigns where the objective was focused on expanding the consumer base, attracting teenagers, young adults, making the brand a lot more cool and young, not as kids but youth oriented at large. While each one of these initiatives gave us a certain boost, we don’t believe it gave us the kind of boost we expected. There have been a lot of shifts in the logo and packaging but they have still been within the same world. The logo itself, just the way it was very kid like, very rounded and a little old in that sense. So when we looked at it this time around, we said we really need to make this big shift and if we need to expand the consumer base for Frooti then we need to look at not just the communication but start from the logo, the package design.
Every Indian today, whether in India or abroad, associates Frooti with a memory from the past. So it almost kind of blocked you there itself, because you were already thinking of it in a certain world and space and it didn’t allow you to break the barriers and think big with the brand. This is why we decided to go to an international firm and worked with Pentagram. Besides graphic design, the project need was also engineering design because we were also changing the bottle structure altogether.
Post that we needed a campaign to introduce the new packaging. So while the packaging had a slightly more adult feel, we wanted the communication to strike a balance, so that we don’t alienate kids in any way who are our core target group, and at the same time we build appeal across a wider target audience. We worked with Sagmeister and Walsh to introduce the packaging in an unconventional manner, keeping in mind the challenges and opportunities as far as the target audience is concerned.
Q] What is the communication plan employed to create buzz around this new image?
It is not just the media mix but it is also in terms of timing. This is the first time that we started with just Outdoor first, mainly because we wanted to visually get people to start recognizing and get used to the new packaging design and communication. The Outdoor launched almost 15 days before the TVC and it created a huge impact because the visibility was all over the place. Post which we broke on Television, we have also used Digital effectively. We had a huge digital media plan and a robust social media plan. There have been many conversations around the brand, it is a big shift so most naturally it would bring about so many conversations. We have seen almost a 98% positive sentiment online as far as brand Frooti is concerned, around the communication, branding, packaging, whatever we are doing, it has been quite phenomenal.
Q] What are your marketing spends for the campaign?
We are spending about Rs 70 crore on the overall campaign, this year on Frooti. TV still has a very large share followed by Outdoor and Digital being almost hand-in-hand. We also invested a little in Print this year, because it’s a big announcement. Just one big burst across supplements mentioning the new packaging and things like that.
Q] Packaging has been a strong hold at Parle Agro. How does it push marketing for different brands?
Packaging is an important element within marketing, it’s the first form of advertising and it’s important to invest rightly into packaging. The way we see it is that when we go out in the market with our packs, it needs to be something that can stand out and consumers can recognize. It’s an impulse driven category so if the consumers see it they should want to pick it up. As a company we have especially recognized the power of packaging which is why we have always invested in good design, bottle structures and look at package design and make sure that whatever we do is clutter breaking whether it is Café Cuba or Appy Fizz or Frooti. The first thing that you take to a retailer or the first thing that a consumer holds when he is interacting with your brand is your pack and that is really what makes the largest impression and has a huge role to play at a sub-conscious level.
Q] What is Frooti’s market share in the mango based drink category in India?
Brand Frooti has about 35% market share, as a brand we have one of the largest portfolios in the country, which means that we are making the product accessible to consumers at different price points starting from Rs 5. We have high distribution; we cater to more than 10 lakh outlets across the nation.
Q] How does Parle Agro leverage distribution to reach new customers?
We have a strong presence across the country. Glass bottles as a format, is one of the highest penetrated pack format today in the country, and is something we have only recently entered into, two years ago. As a segment it is one that we see huge opportunity in, we have already set up 5 plants across the country for it and we are hoping to get to about 20 plants in the next 5 years to cater to the entire country.
South is a large fruit beverage market and we believe that the opportunity in south is high, especially with the varied pack sizes that we have, we believe that the ability to grow down south almost double or triple digit growth rate is a huge opportunity for us.
Q] What are some of the challenges that you see as owners of the business?
At least what is on my head right now is that we have created such a big impact, the challenge is always to be able to keep up with it as you go forward. Things move fast, consumers evolve fast, today if we have done something it won’t take time to see others attempting things in a similar way. You already see that Maaza has gone and done pretty much exactly the same and a lot of other brands will follow. For us what is more critical and important and something that we believe in is thinking few steps ahead and that is a challenge in its own way because you have to be able to think through what is the next big step you will take to keep the brand moving forward.
ABOUT THE BRAND
Established in 1985, Parle Agro is essentially a consumer and market oriented company with a history of developing some of the country’s biggest brands. Parle Agro launched Frooti in 1985, India’s first beverage to be introduced in a unique Tetra Pak format. A year later, the country got its first refreshing apple nectar when Parle Agro launched Appy in the market. The company entered into the bottled water market in 1993 with the launch of Bailley. Adding another first to its credit, Parle Agro launched Appy Fizz in 2005, India’s first sparkling apple drink available in a champagne shaped PET bottle. In 2009, Parle Agro diversified into the snack food category with Hippo. Café Cuba, the company’s latest addition in the beverage portfolio marked Parle Agro’s re-entry into the soft drinks market.
Creative Agency: Sagmeister and Walsh (Frooti)
Media agency: OMD
Social/Digital Media Agency: DigitasLBi (Frooti’s current campaign)
BTL/Activation Agency: Posterscope
PR Agency: MSL 20:20 (Frooti’s current campaign)
Break all rules, don’t go by the textbook. Think dynamically, be innovative, passionate and drive things without fear.
Nadia Chauhan Kurup has been the youngest brand manager, the youngest sales and marketing head, the youngest CMO and is currently amongst the youngest JMDs in India. She has taken Parle Agro from Rs 300 crore to Rs 2,500 crore, delivering double digit growth every year. She has driven diversification, getting Parle Agro from being only a beverage major to being a leader in both food and beverage. The role she played in the launch of Hippo Baked Munchies has been critical in Parle Agro’s venture into the food segment. While she has launched new brands, creating them from scratch, she has also successfully revitalized the old ones such as Frooti, Appy, Appy Fizz and Bailley. She aggressively developed the company’s infrastructure to drive growth and makeover for its largest brand, Frooti. Chauhan’s ambitions are clear, she wants to make Parle Agro the No 1 FMCG company in India and a major player overseas.