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BY Mitaksh Jain

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Q] Tell us about the newly launched ice cream cakes from Havmor and your campaign for the new range.We all like both the products – ice creams and cakes individually. But when they come together, it is the best of both worlds. So, we have created ice cream cakes which ensures that the consumer’s delight quotient just goes to the next level; he just feels that he is having something which is amazing, exciting, and it's in a different league altogether. Keeping that in mind, we have launched four new flavours during this winter that have been extremely well received by the consumers. We have seen great responses and future potential for the products.

Q] What were the consumer insights that led you to launch this new range?
The key is that the consumers are looking for new experiences and are seeking ice creams in newer forms. People want ice creams to be available in forms that they haven't tasted in the past. Hence what is happening is that the lines which define ice cream today are getting blurred. That was the key understanding we got from consumers because they are not satisfied with existing ice cream flavours alone. So we decided to innovate when we saw the potential the ice cream cake category holds.

Q] What was your brief to the ad agency when putting the campaign together?
We felt that the real scope of the product would be showcased best if it were pitched against a cake and not against an ice cream. So, we wanted to ask consumers why they would choose to eat a cake when they could have an ice cream cake! When you are having a celebration, you buy a cake. Our whole pitch shows consumers how you can make it even better with our product that combines the best of both. Yami (Gautam) was the face of the campaign that asks consumers why they would settle for a cake when they could have an ice cream cake. So our campaign is all about celebrating and enjoying the small victories and the big joys in life, with our new ice cream cakes at the centre. 

Q] What is your marketing mix? Will it be largely a digital-led campaign?
We want to lead by Digital primarily as well as print interventions in our key markets. The marketing mix for this campaign would be split including in-shop elements, which we do at the stores where our products are present, followed by a round of Print bursts in key markets, and led by the digital campaign that we have with Yami Gautam as the face of it.
Havmor Ice Cream, a part of Lotte Confectionery Ltd., is one of India’s largest ice cream brands. Over a period of 75 years, the brand has grown by reinventing the ice cream experience.  With a wide range of flavours, presence in 18 states, a network of 60,000 retail outlets and more than 200 flagship parlours, the company has a nationwide presence and caters to a wide spectrum of consumers across the country.

Shekhar Agarwal is the Head of Marketing for Havmor Ice Cream. He has more than 14 years of experience in areas of strategic marketing, consumer segmentation, brand positioning and communications strategy. In the past, he has worked with leading brands such as United Breweries Limited, 3M India Ltd, Britannia Industries Ltd, Titan Industries Ltd, Café Coffee Day and Read Right.

The most important thing is to be curious, to be willing to learn and be able to empathise with the consumer. If you can do all three of them, you will always be a great marketer.

Q] One of the categories that was affected severely in the early stages of the pandemic was the ice cream category, because there were unsubstantiated rumours floating around ice creams aggravating COVID-19; what has the impact of the pandemic been on the category?
Yes, the category was affected by both the pandemic and the myth about ice creams. But having said that, I believe the worst is over and we are seeing a very strong growth rebounding for the category. We are now looking forward to a great 2021 and expect to see growth in demand and consumption in the category.

Q] What are some of emerging trends in the category that you think will drive greater growth and consumption?
What we have observed is that takeaway or in-house consumption seems to have become a key driver of growth. Our take-home packs have seen an exponential growth in sales. We have also tied up with all key online aggregators like Big Basket, Amazon, Dunzo, Swiggy, and Zomato to ensure that people can enjoy ice cream in the comfort of their home, and that will ensure that more consumption is happening in the home than what was happening outdoors previously. After the initial two-three months when almost all sectors had to face setbacks, consumer demand is back, consumers are consuming ice-cream much like they did before the pandemic.

There are some more trends that seem to be emerging since the pandemic.  Hygiene and safety will become a key. Hence, a lot of local players that do not maintain international standards will struggle and suffer. A lot of new take home formats will start emerging, as people choose to consume their ice cream at home in comfort.

Q] What is your outlook for 2021?
I expect that 2021 is going to be a good year. We believe that the worst of 2020 is over. In addition, we expect that the industry and Havmor registers a strong double-digit growth this year.


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