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Millet for the Soul

BY Imran Fazal

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Q] How has the brand Tata Soulfull grown over the years?
Tata Soulfull began its journey with affordable millet-based products. At that time we were present in around 19000 stores, but today we have a presence in up to four lakh stores across the country, all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Presently, we are operating in categories that are approximately the size of Rs 3000cr, but as we launch new products over a period of three to four years, we will be entering into the category size of around Rs 30,000cr.

We aim to offer products at affordable price points that are in parity with our competition, benefits that are better than our competitors’, and SKUs that are the same as our competitors’.

Q] What are your go-to mediums for marketing campaigns?
We customize our marketing mix as per our products. For example, Ragi Bites in the kids’ portfolio (made of 25% millets, produced without maida) is available in general trade, modern trade, our D2C website, and on e-commerce platforms. For this particular product, we use TV as the medium. Additionally, to target our TG, i.e. mothers, we invest in Digital mediums. We have our own social media handles, and we do a lot of social media activities as well. These are the three formats that we use. Over and above that, I think the moment of truth is at the retail store, whether it’s a GT store or a modern trade store. We put hangers for retail visibility, as it helps in communicating with consumers.

Our Muesli, granola, etc., are sold only in modern trade and e-commerce throughout the country. Consumers buying via modern trade and e-commerce are on Digital platforms, and we reach them through Google, Meta, and YouTube. We do a lot of performance marketing ads and cross promotion. As our TG is in the 25-45 age group, and reads the news, we do print ads as well. OOH is yet another medium that we use for our products.

Q] Do you look at connected TV as a medium to reach the right audience?
Of course. If the format of the category that we operate in is at a price point that is going to be conducive to Connected TV, then it can definitely help us grow and connect with the premium audience.

Q] The Indian market has multiple brands in the health food segment. Whom do you look at as your competitor in the market?
We look at brands that are selling in the same formats as ours, operating in larger categories, offering Millets, and a better-for-you proposition at an affordable price point. Anybody in that bucket could be competition for us. We are into snacks, breakfast cereals and oats, and even masala oats, but we have added millets to it to offer consumers the same health benefits as oats. Adding millets is important for us as it moves traditional grains to the forefront; it is also more sustainable.

Q] Which is your fastest selling product in this space?
If you look at it volume-wise, it is the no maida Chocos from the kids’ category, which is basically kids’ breakfast cereal. Today with our fast-paced lives, mothers want to give their children something that is convenient, quick, and healthy. Our Chocos does not have maida; it contains about 25 percent millets instead. It is multi-grain, has less sugar as compared to other products, and is available at multiple touch-points. It is also one of our older products, which is penetrating very quickly. And if I talk value wise, Muesli is really catching steam because it’s a high volume, high value product.

Q] What is the region-wise sales ratio for Tata Soulfull products?
Our products are sold extensively in urban areas. 75% of sales is registered in urban areas while 25% is registered in rural areas. The sales in rural areas is growing. We have one sales and distribution team, and have leveraged the fantastic distribution strength of Tata Consumer Products. We were able to piggyback on the Tata bandwagon, and go along with those products in the same distribution chain, and that’s how we penetrated into the rural areas.

Rasika Prashant started her career as an intern with Adfactors PR, and moved to being an outdoor advertising expert at Laqshya Media. Her exciting journey as a BTL expert started at Ogilvy, and later she became a Digital Advertising planner at Euro RSCG San Francisco. This helped her get a holistic understanding of consumers across markets, and she is now the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of TATA Soulfull.

TATA Soulfull is a health and wellness brand that offers a range of nutritious and tasty food products. The brand’s philosophy is centered on the idea of promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle by offering food products that are made with natural ingredients and are free from artificial additives. TATA Soulfull’s product portfolio includes breakfast cereals, snacks, and beverages.

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