Tetley Tea, a part of Tata Global Beverages, has launched a new campaign entitled ‘Andar se Clean and Bahar se Active’ with Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone as the new face of the brand. Puneet Das, Marketing Head – India, Tata Global Beverages talks about the brand’s attempt at keeping the green tea and regular tea categories exciting
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE
Q] Tell us a bit about the thought behind Tetley Tea’s latest campaign, ‘Andar se Clean and Bahar se Active’?
The campaign brings alive the idea that while a lot of us try to make healthy choices, we come across situations when we give in to indulgences or are forced to do so. It can be an office birthday party, or your grandmother offering you food. The idea was to say that while you can’t say no to those occasions, you can always detox and cleanse yourself with Tetley Green Tea. We wanted to build credibility by stressing on the fact that the product has five times more antioxidants than an apple.
Q] How does Deepika Padukone fit into your communication?
Deepika, while being very popular as well as fit, is also one of the most relatable actresses in the industry today. The idea was to put her in situations where she is not Deepika the actress but Deepika the person, to help build an instant connect with consumers.
Q] How big is the green tea market currently? What is Tetley Tea’s market share?
We are a tea-drinking nation and currently, regular tea has around 97% penetration. Green tea is a newer category which is about Rs 300 crore in size and Tetley is a significant player. We actually pioneered the category. There has been a lot of buzz around it in the last few years and it is growing. That said, currently the penetration is only around 1%. Thus, there is a significant opportunity for the category to grow further.
Q] Considering the fact that Indians are almost obsessed with regular and black tea, how difficult is it to market green tea as a product?
The triggers for both the categories are different. Black tea or regular tea is all about refreshment, relaxation and rejuvenation, with taste playing an important role. The trigger for the green tea category is more on the health and wellness platform. People leading a busy lifestyle are actively seeking choices such as green tea, which can fit into their routine and behavior. While drinking tea is very common in India, if we could have a beverage which offers health benefits, many would not mind making it a habit. We are not trying to substitute one with the other, but are introducing the product in different moments of consumption. For example, our interactions with consumers tell us that post-meal consumption of green tea is increasing.
Q] So is the office-going younger crowd your primary target audience?
Up until three to four years ago, people living in metros, as well as those with corporate jobs were driving the demand for the category. But now there is a lot more awareness about the benefits of green tea, driven by word-of-mouth as well. This is in turn pushing demand in the Tier II and Tier III cities, across age groups, who are seeking health benefits. Thus, while the idea is to talk to the younger audience when it comes to green tea, the larger mass of the population is our TG. Health conversations are increasingly gaining popularity in the food and beverage world, and our category is a natural fit to the current trend.
Q] Green tea is still looked at as a premium offering by a majority of consumers. Is that a challenge as well?
Both the black tea and green tea markets are very fragmented with a lot of local and low-priced players. However, green tea has not managed to increase much of its market share because the point of entry of this category is mainly an active consideration from a health point of view. Consumers are not just looking at price but the price-value equation too. Thus, more than the price, it’s about continuing to build relevance for a category which is now at a very nascent stage.
Q] What are some of the interesting market trends you have observed, both in the green tea and regular tea segment over the past few years?
One is the fact that the demand for green tea has moved from metros to Tier II and Tier III markets. Secondly, some of the regular green tea consumers are slowly moving to flavors. Overall, the food and beverages ecosystem is witnessing premiumization and that is happening in the regular tea category too. There is also a lot of customization based on local tastes which is leading to the launch of a lot of new variants.
Q] What is your primary media mix?
TV remains a significant investment for us because we are a national player, but we are increasingly investing in Digital, which we use for contextualizing content. For example, as a part of a transformation series, we made contestants go through a series of challenges to help prepare them for fitness goals. That is the kind of content you can put out on Digital and we got a very positive response too. Similarly, we keep coming up with a lot of engaging content that can help consumers in their fitness journey, and that’s where Digital plays an important role for us.
Q] As a part of your Jaago Re 2.0 campaign for Tata Tea, the brand initiated a signature petition that was handed over to the Ministry of HRD recently with the hope of instilling ‘positive change in the areas of women’s safety and lack of sports culture in the country’. How are you taking this forward?
The Jaago Re campaign was done in three phases. We had asked the consumers to take preemptive action on certain issues. We had identified two broad issues – making gender sensitization compulsory in the school curriculum, and making sports a compulsory subject in schools. We came up with a petition for both the causes and managed to garner around 1.8 million signatures, which were handed over to the HRD Ministry. We acted as facilitators, and as a part of the campaign, partnered with some NGOs that train girls in UP in self-defense. We also partnered with the Indian Athletic Federation and selected some of India’s top athletes who then participated in different sporting events. The aim is to continue pushing these two causes and facilitate action on behalf of citizens.
Q] There are also a few coffee brands under your portfolio but we haven’t seen any promotion of them…
We had launched Tata Coffee Grand a couple of years ago. It is available in retail stores, but we are a relatively new entrant. For coffee, South India is a bigger market for us and that’s where most of our marketing efforts are focused.
Q] What is your broad marketing strategy for the next few years; both for the green tea segment as well as the regular tea segment?
The idea is to lead the category growth and to get a lot of new green tea consumers. And we want to be the first brand of choice for these consumers. For regular tea, we would continue with premiumization and customization to local tastes.
Q] Is there any goal that the brand wants to achieve in the next few years?
In terms of volume, we are the market leader and want to continue being the fastest growing brand in the category.
Q] What are some of the biggest challenges that the category is facing currently?
While a lot of new users come into the niche green tea category, many of them tend to drop out, because it doesn’t become a habit for them and they don’t find value in it. Even price becomes a barrier then. The idea is to continue telling them why they should be a part of the category and to help them with their journey. For the regular tea segment, it is more about opportunities than challenges, because it is a habit category. Our focus, therefore, is on capitalizing on the trends that we are seeing, upgrading consumers and giving them more premium offerings, as well as more variants and flavours to drive excitement in the category.
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