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BY Imran Fazal

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Q] Kurkure launched the new flavour ‘Chatpata Cheese’ for Indian consumers, what was the idea behind this product?
We are trying to be as consumer-centric as possible. We are quite aware that we are seeking flavour variety, while consumers are looking for differentiated product experiences. In the collet category, masala flavour is dominating the market. On the other hand, we know that among the different flavour buckets that we have in the country, dairy is one of the most significant, and in the collet category, the dairy bucket is missing. So it is important that we give what consumers want and hence Chatpata Cheese is an attempt to cater to that flavour bucket as well. We have a globally successful flavour called Cheddar Jalapeno, and Chatpata Cheese is inspired from that. It is not an exact copy, but instead we have adapted it for the Indian palate.

Q] Kurkure has also launched a TVC around the new Chatpata Cheese flavour, what was the concept behind the TVC?
Our new product is built on the idea of fusion. We know that magic happens in the fusion of things, and that is the proposition that we’re building here. We are talking about the fusion of international cheese with the Kurkure Indian ‘chatpatapan’. Our packaging too is a reflection of this fusion, as the colour yellow connotes international cheese, and green here connotes masala.

Q] In TVCs, Kurkure focuses primarily on family scenarios. Does that make Kurkure a favourite brand for families?
There are certain things which we internally call our assets, and those are the things that the brand stands for. Family is something which is at the very core of Kurkure, it is very distinctive. It is in a way a signature of Kurkure. However, we are not really stuck with the same old ideas of showing a family, we want to evolve as the brand and consumers are evolving. So while we want to stick to the family concept, now we also want to keep it more youth-centric. We want to change it in a way that we keep the context of family and make it more youth centric at the same time.

Q] What kind of market does Kurkure have outside of India and which of the flavours are the most in demand abroad?
We cater to other countries such as the UAE, Canada, the Gulf countries, among others, and we see a lot of traction happening in these countries. We have done some amazing campaigns and launches over the years. Initially we had launched with the flagship flavour, masala munch. So in most of the countries outside India, we do see an attraction in its favour. The day Chatpata Cheese was launched, I had queries from the markets that we are already catering to. So now we’re thinking about it, and we’ll see how it shapes up.

Q] Kurkure being a homegrown brand, did it receive the acceptability the way traditional Indian snacks like farsan or chakli have received?
Yes, we have created this category, and as a brand we have always stayed ahead of the curve. The kind of innovative campaigns that we have done got well-accepted. We are the most preferred brand in this category, and even though I can’t quote the numbers, all data suggests that demand is only increasing, and we are the most loved.

Q] In the market, there are many healthy snacking options available. How is Kurkure appealing to the wave of health conscious Indian consumers?
At PepsiCo, we have figured out three buckets. We see consumers in different stages and hence they fit into these buckets. There are those consumers who are looking for a sense of fun in their brands, for them we have have Kurkure, Lays, Pepsi, and Dew. Then there are customers who are a bit wary of what they eat, so for them we have Quaker, Tropicana, and Gatorade. Then there are those who are completely devoted to healthy eating, and for them we have Pepsi Black. As part of our overall PepsiCo agenda and for Kurkure as well, we’ve already reduced sodium content by 5% to 25% across the portfolio.

Q] What other innovative strategies does Kurkure utilize to connect with the consumers?
Everything that we do is about what consumers want. So in terms of innovation for Kurkure, Chatpata Cheese is the first permanent flavour, which has been launched after many years. We knew this is what the need of the hour is because consumers were only getting a particular flavour in this category, and it was high time that we gave them the variety that they are seeking. There is a lot of work that is in progress at the moment, you’ll just have to wait until it comes in the market.

Q] From the growth perspective, how much growth is Kurkure expecting in the upcoming months as compared to the last two years?
I can’t tell you the numbers. But what I can tell you is that last year was amazing. We’ve clocked growth that nobody would have expected. This year, we are on the same trajectory.

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