Monday, May 29, 2006

Innovative BTL activities for FMCG companies

Terms like ATL and BTL are like helping verbs for Marketers.

ATL- Above the line
BTL- Below the line

ATL are conventional medium like TV, Print ads, Radio etc. These days we have seen a new trend of companies not spending a lot on ATL as it is very expensive. Rather they are investing on BTL - Below the line activities. These are like giving coupons, road shows, buzz marketing etc. BTL are very cheap and cost affective and we will see in future a skewness towards BTL as it is cost effective.

Let us see some innovative BTL activities for FMCG companies.

1. Road Shows/ Activities in Malls: As Pacific Mall is very near to my home in Kaushambi, i frequently visit there to have a cup of coffee either Americano or Cappuccino. But what do i observe there is these small FMCG players having there stalls in the nooks of the Mall. They were:

a) ACT II Popcorns by ConAgra Foods Snack Foods Group: They organized different games there to involve consumers in Pacific.
b) SHIEF Soap for Women: They also had several games like - hitting the dart on ordinary soap (by this they send a message that Use Shief and not Ordinary Soap), throwing soaps in a box 3 to 4 meters away.. These all games awarded all the ladies and girls with Wrapped Shief Soaps. At the end they asked all the females to repeat their punchline of "Banaye Komal, Rakhe Surakshit"

I must tell you one thing that, they got a fabulous response.

2. Screens outside the Malls: I have seen screen just outside the Metropolitan Mall in Gurgaon. They have a series of advertisements on the screen. One has to pay for a month and your ad will be for some seconds after every 5 to 10 mins. I saw an ad of Whirlpool with Kajol and Ajay Devgan there. But i think this can work for FMCG products as well.

3. Retail Displays: You must have seen SugarFree packs in front of convenience stores. So the consumer is forced to see this brand first and them EQUAL brand. This is my observation. This is at a very low level. But now if you visit Big Bazaar, you will see brands of ITC like Aashirwas Atta etc displayed at strategic locations which increase its brand value and finally sales in long term.

I wrote an article "Marketing Analytic Techniques for FMCG Marketers" We will soon see these techniques in India soon.

4. Trials in Malls: What do you see when you go out to buy vegetables in Malls? I was in PRG's Spencer Hyper Mall to buy regular Tomatos and Patatoes. There this beautiful lady asked me to try a cup of new flavour of Nestle Coffee. Its taste was worth buying, but as i was busy in buying Onions i couldnt buy one pack for me. So experience Marketing is just not in Service Industry but in FMCG as well.

Do you guys have more BTLs for FMCG companies!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

RSS & Blogs for Marketers

Online Marketing is core to my heart and have done lot of research on RSS, Blogs and Wikis in Past.

These days blogs are definately over hyped ... but its justified. Go thr the following points:

1. Buzz Marketing: Recently there was camaign of Coca Cola Blak and it has already created buzz in market and people have started discussing about it. Thats the power of blog.
2. SEO: relevant blogs get higher ranks on Google and other search engine. So blogs create high visibility in SE.
3. Conference & Corporate Blogging as a Marketing Tool: Blogs were born from the need to easily publish personal voices online. Blogs, by the nature of the medium, encourage casual banter and informal language. Unlike Web sites, which are crafted and branded and carefully planned out to be "on message," the daily journal format of a blog produces more vulnerability from its authors. In marketing terms, a blog can bring a human personality to a faceless company, which can create a connection between the corporation and the client. This can lead to deeper loyalty and richer feedback.

Steps To Your Business Blog

1. Start using RSS for news, jobs or press releases
2. Thoroughly study what a blog is: You have to know blogs to be able to decide on whether or not to start one.
3. Be specific with purpose: Absolutely no one will be happy if you start a blog because you can.
4. Ask yourself, do you really need a blog? Why on would you want a blog?
5. Ask yourself, do we have the resources?
6. Co-ordinate with other communication channels
7. Who's the blogger? People working there do. You of course have to find people that wants to, that wishes nothing else but to, blog.
8. Make a decision on all aspects, features of blogs
9. Choose which tool to use
10. Make sure the blogger(s) know blogging: Blogging is a skill. Not a very unique one, but a skill 11. Launch quietly
12. Start doing subtle PR: Don't issue a press release stating you have a blog. You wouldn't be the first to do it, but it never seems appropriate. There are other means.
13. Success or failure? Decide on the future of your blog: It doesn't take more than two or three months, from my experience, to find out if a blog is good enough to deliver results.

RSS stands for really simple syndication. It was invented sometime ago by Netscape. In its simplest form, it was a news-clipping service that provided a header and few lines of text. It has evolved, however, to look, resemble, and act like email. Most major news sites (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, YahooNews, etc.) allow you to tag a section and grab an RSS feed. That way, instead of having to go visit a Web page, you can receive a feed.

No doubt, RSS is a marketing tool. I was going through a article in MarketingProfs - "RSS: What's in It for Marketers?".

The utilities are:
1. Form of communication that makes it very easy to push out information
2. Permission based email marketing
3. To have higher visibility in search engines. Google and Yahoo give preference to information having RSS feeds.
4. Dont need to open web page
5. Get updated with the latest in a particular area Right now penetration of RSS is around 4 to 8% in terms of awareness as told by Eric Frenchman.

A similar term is ATOM ... its is also XML file, which have the same functionality but normally is used for Blogs. Just visit an atom of a blog on marketing. In future you will see that most of the website will have RSS Feeds on their front page.

Few of my posts on marketingprofs are as follows:


What do you think is the future of Blogs and RSS?

Friday, May 26, 2006

HLL's Taj Mahal's Respositioning: Will it be effective?

What image do you have when you see a Pack of Taj Mahal? Must be Blue package, Zakir Hussain with an old image. Dont you think HLL is just targeting the middle segment. There is not much of Youth emotional appeal.

In past we have seen HLLs competitors Tata Tea roped in Sania Mirza to target the young consumers of India.

Fearing that HLL might lose out on young consumers, Hindustan Lever is giving its 40-year-old premium tea brand Taj Mahal a facelift, overhauling brand styling for the fourth time in its lifespan so far. "The idea is to give the Taj Mahal tea a new avtaar without losing out on its brand equity and attract new consumers," said Rekha P Gulati CEO of DMA Branding, which has won the contract from HLL to reposition the brand.

Market Situation: Rs 200 crore tea brand was losing relevance among the new breed of consumers with its earlier look and hence necessitated the change. The brand has been consistently built having a unique selling proposition of being the best tea. But its look and feel did not live up to its premium pricing.

Competitive Analysis: With rivals like Tata Tea roping in youth icon Sania Mirza as brand ambassador to connect with the young consumers, HLL could not have afforded to lag behind and hence decided to give a new twist to the image associated with Zakir Hussain, the face of Taj Mahal tea.

What HLL wants?
  • HLL wants the target audience to be all tea drinkers
  • Watching Zakir Hussain playing in front of Taj Mahal there was no link on brand style. They need to change this
  • A madeover Taj Mahal tea in a new packaging, with a tag line "Wah Taj sabse khaas Taj ehsaas" hits the market replacing the old "Wah Taj"

Do you think that this makeover/ repositioning which actually affect the sales of Taj Mahal in future and will snatch the share from Tata Tea?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Approach to Rural Marketing

We had a great discussion on Orkut - FMCG Marketers Community - on Rural Marketing. Also i was going through an article by By TARO W ( Team) - "Ten Step approach to rural marketing". I found some points really relevant.

Titled Don't Flirt with Rural Marketing, the presentation analyzed the current scenario and offered useful tips for marketers to help build their brands in rural India.

Except for a few like HLL with their Project Shakti and ITC with their E-Chaupal, which are rural initiatives with clear long term objectives, RM still means a van campaign, a few badly made commercials as commented by Anugarh Madison Advertising CMD RV Rajan.

Different organizations classify rural differently.

1. For companies into durables, it could range from places with population of less then 500,000
2. While for the FMCG industry it would imply places with populations of less than 50,000

Why companies are hesitant to go for Rural Initiatives

  • While many companies do commence RM initiatives, most end up with road-blocks in the pilot stage itself because of reasons ranging from operational, to inadequate budgets, for the pilots themselves - that most often what is being tested is not the final representation of what needs to be rolled out later
  • Only Rs 5 billion is spent annually in India towards RM as opposed to Rs 130 billion (and the number is growing year on year) allotted to mass-media, especially television. Rajan says that clients are reluctant to spend money in RM because there is no established yardstick to gauge the efficacy of RM initiatives, as is the case of TV and press which have TRP and NRS/IRS data which help in decision making. According to Rajan, the RMAAI plans to address this issue by undertaking studies to develop some guidelines in this field
  • Most companies have no long term strategy or RM team or RM budget, Rajan argues, because no manager is willing to stake his career by thinking long term when his survival depends on mandatory quarterly results. This has resulted in the ratio between abandoned and successful RM projects being high

Successful Regional Brands

  • Cavin Care Chik Shampoo
  • Meera Herbal Powder
  • Fairever Cream
  • Anchor (100 per cent vegetarian toothpaste)
  • Gadi detergent powder
  • Dandi Namak
  • Power brand soaps in the south

Reason for success of above brands

  • Most of them identified a segment which was vacant in terms of product and area of operation
  • They all started in small concentrated markets, appealing to the local ethos and aspirations of the targeted area
  • Their communications, be it a simple radio spot or a wall painting or a theater film, touched a chord in the target audience
  • Most importantly, their policies were flexible and they could adapt to the fast changing market situations

Rajan has evolved a ten step approach to counter the many myths and problems that come in the way of RM and exhorts every company that has RM plans to follow. They are:

  1. Commitment from the top management: This must be total and management must realize that it is long haul and an investment into the future, otherwise RM will not give long term results. He sites HLL and ITC examples.
  2. Getting a dedicated task force: Rajan says that RM requires a dedicated mindset which many urban oriented MBA's don't possess. He suggest hiring of the RM team from students from RM institutes like IIRM or students with fire in their belly about RM from second level institutes, those who have taken RM as an elective course. He also advocates treating and paying such employees well and giving them an indication of their career graphs in the company. He reverts to an old saying - You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
  3. Setting Clear Objectives: It is important to clearly define, in the early stages, the goals for the RM initiative and whether the initiative is a tactical effort to achieve increased sales in specific areas during specific time or build strong equity for the brand in Rural India.
  4. Understanding the Mindset of Consumers: Understanding of the mindset of the rural customer is important for the rural specialist to come up with a customized plan of action. The Rural market is heterogeneous with traditions and cultures that vary from state to state, even region to region in some cases. Most companies equate their findings from studies based on urban India to the rural segment and initiate a strategy based on this. Rajan says that his experience shows that the attitudes, fears, expectations, aspirations, comprehensions of rural customers to products and brands are different from urban customers. Advantages of such research are manifold because they give valuable ideas for new product development to suit the market - (a case in point a refrigerator with a twelve hour battery backup to take care of the power outages in rural areas), or new methods of physically reaching out to rural folks, along with insights into the right communications strategy and delivery (media) strategy
  5. Ensuring availability: In most cases, distribution is one of the biggest nightmares; the task of reaching products to 600,000 plus villages is a challenge. TVC's have raised the aspirations of the rural customer and makes him demand the product from the local shopkeeper, who then buys the required quantity from the nearest feeder, markets that he visits regularly for his supplies. Hence feeder markets such as towns and villages having populations of 10,000 to 15,000 initially must be provided for to start the first steps towards RM
  6. Evolving a Comprehensive strategy: A comprehensive strategy involving multimedia (including mass media, where necessary) has better results as compared to those one-off projects with limited goals.
  7. Involve the Region: RM is a highly regional subject, with a company's regional teams being specialists in their respective regions. Involving them from the word go to ensure ownership of the campaign by the region, and also getting their insights and inputs in the development implementation of the campaign is essential
  8. Developing full proof plan implementation: Conducting a pilot in one taluk in one district of a state to gain insights from it, before a national roll out of a rural campaign is not realistic. To get meaningful results, both in terms of impact and sales, the pilot must cover at least as few districts' of the state, if not the whole state. The implementation plan must be as comprehensive as possible to ensure that all the elements to be checked out are included in the plan. Implementation of any rural campaign requires meticulous ground level planning and a thorough briefing and training of the field level people before execution. Sufficient time must be given to the agency to check out all the elements, before getting into the field
  9. Provide adequate budget: A decent budget could be spelt out by a rural specialist, depending on the task and the region. If the budget is limited, it should not be spread thin by trying to look at too many markets. If a company feels that it has a bright future in rural markets or would like to target the rural markets, then it is better to invest today so that the early mover advantage is gained to reap rich rewards in the future. But miracles should not be expected overnight, neither should hope be lost
  10. Evaluating the Results: The three areas that should be studied to understand that impact of a Rural campaign, according to Rajan are: Brand awareness, Brand Conversion, Increase in sales

Rajan concluded by saying that RM is a marriage, which to be successful needs sustained efforts and long term investment in terms of the company's resources to keep it going. If it is treated as a flirtation or a one-night stand, the results reaped will be temporary and unsustainable.

Any new Approches?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

ITC bags another accolade for its IT Rural Transformation: e-Choupal

ITC e-Choupal has won the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award 2006 in the Economic Development category. The ten-year-old Stockholm Challenge Award recognises initaitives that leverage Information Technology to improve living conditions and increase economic growth in all parts of the world. It focuses on social inclusion world wide and champions ICT projects that show clear benefits to people and their communities, wide impact and sustainable business models. This year a total of 1155 entries were received from across more than 100 countries and 26 of these were shortlisted as finalists in the Economic Development category.

You can read the case study - "ITC eChoupal Case Study .. Rural Transformation "

The Award was presented on May 11, 2006 at a glittering ceremony at the Stockholm City Hall, where Nobel Prizes are awarded. This award crowns a series of global recognition for ITC e-Choupal, making it the most lauded information technology-based rural transformation model. The project has been awarded the ICC-UNDP-IBLF World Business Award in 2004 for furthering United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the Development Gateway Award in 2005 for contributing to the economic development of rural communities. It is also a case study at the Harvard Business School.

``ITC e-Choupal is playing a transformational role in turning rural communities into vibrant economic organisations -- by fostering inclusive growth and enhancing their wealth creation capability. Recognitions like the Stockholm Challenge Award provide us impetus to pursue our sustainable development goals with added vigour'', Chairman Y C Deveshwar said.

Present State: ITC e-Choupal, the largest Internet based intervention in rural India, empowers over 3.5 million farmers in 35,000 villages by enabling them to readily access crop-specific, customised information through vernacular websites.

Vision: Over the next decade, the ITC e-Choupal network aims to cover over 100,000 Indian villages, representing 1/6th of rural India, and create more than 10 million e-farmers.

More News on ITC Limited.

Thats awesome. Hats off to ITC's contribution to Rural India!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Marketers no more target Parents: The Decesion Makers are the Kids

Today i read an article in ET - "Admen handle parents with kid gloves".

An extract - "Pester power of kids: This is the new mantra of advertisers. Gone are the days when kids were targeted by FMCG companies for milk and milk products, biscuits, detergents, soaps, pens and chyawanprash. If you want the purse strings loosened, target the kids, is the new theory"

I wrote a research paper on "Ethics: Guidelines for marketing to children: How young is too young?" last year. In this i would like to list few of insights.

Factors driving marketers to target children

  1. Fewer children per parent: As is seen in developed countries across the world and also witnessed at a much slower rate in India, we push forward towards development and the number of children per parent reduces
  2. Postponement of having children: Adults in urban settings tend to marry later and as society moves towards greater stress on education and urbanization of towns, childbirth is being pushed further along the age line
  3. Dual working families: With both parents working in many families, the child does not get as much attention, he isn’t ‘taught’ the ropes. He is more susceptible to messages thrown at him by marketers and the media
  4. Changing Demographics: India has a population of 350 million below the age of 15, a whopping market equal to the whole of Eastern Europe. The size of this market is one factor which decides how attractive this market is, the other is the simple reason that kids love branding. The figure below shows a comparison of India’s demographic pyramid with that of the US.
The 6 Core Values: Tween dreams for sale

A study by BrandChild (Martin Lindstorm) reveals that there are six distinct characteristics that go to make up the most successful brands and toys worldwide. These are Fear, Fantasy, Mastery, Humour, Love and Stability but above all the brand needs to ensure that the Tween is placed in the centre of a world they admire and to which they aspire.

We have seen in past that marketers have exploited the above values to increase their sales. There should always a line drawn by legal bodies to taken care of unnecessary exploitation of kids.

Strategies marketers employ to target children and teens

A) Pester Power: “A child is the best negotiator in a family”- Gavin Kennedy, author of the book ‘Everything is negotiable.’

Today's kids have more autonomy and decision-making power within the family than in previous generations, so it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy. "Pester power" refers to children's ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy.

B) Building brand name loyalty: Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships. According to the Center for a New American Dream, babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots.

C) Buzz or street marketing: Buzz marketing can help a company to successfully connect with the savvy and elusive teen market by using trendsetters to give their products "cool" status. Idea is to find the coolest kids in a community and have them use or wear your product in order to create a buzz around it.

D) Commercialization in education: Corporations realize the power of the school environment for promoting their name and products. Marketers are eagerly exploiting this medium in a number of ways like sponsoring educational materials, supplying schools with technology in exchange for high company visibility, advertising posted in classrooms etc.

E) The Internet: The Internet is an extremely desirable medium for marketers wanting to target children. It's part of youth culture. Kids are often online alone, without parental supervision. Sophisticated technologies make it easy to collect information from young people for marketing research, and to target individual children with personalized advertising.

F) Marketing adult entertainment to kids

Friday, May 12, 2006

Published Article on India Infoline - "The FMCG sector: Companies and brand acquisitions"

You guys must have seen my recent posts on Acquisitions of companies and brands. I was writing an article for India Infoline. You can see my published article on India Infoline.

The FMCG sector: Companies and brand acquisitions.

This article is under - News & Views -> Feature

Any comments!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

FMCG in Middle East

In Saudi Arabia the food industry alone was worth some US$2.9 billion last year – an 11% increase on 2004, while in Dubai the growth is equally as impressive, with trade in foodstuffs increasing 128% in the past four years to reach almost US$5.5 billion.

200 professionals from the FMCG sector gathered in Dubai in April for the inaugural Retail News Middle East Awards, which were held in association with Aujan Industries.

The Retail News Middle East Awards were for 10 product category winners, ranging from baby products to frozen foods, hot and cold beverages through to toiletry and cleaning products, to recognise the very best in fast moving consumer goods in the Arabian Gulf.

The awards acknowledged products that are best sellers, and others that are changing the shape of their market segment. They also recognised the companies behind these products – companies that are investing in the region and helping to drive the Middle East’s FMCG sector forward.

For each of the nine product award categories a shortlist of up to seven nominees was created. This was done by combining the top three selling products in a segment, according to market research from ACNielsen, and two or more ‘wild card’ entries, which were chosen for delivering something beyond just great sales in the past 12 months.

1. Best Dairy Product of the Year: Danone for Activia and Actimel yoghurts, which contain pro-biotic bacteria to aid the digestive and immune systems.
2. Best Toiletry Product of the Year: FINE for its range of luxury tissue paper.
3. Best Baby Product of the Year: Pampers
4. Best Household Cleaning Product of the Year: Dettol
5. Best Innovation of the Year: Gillette for M3Power
6. Best Hot Drink of the Year: Lipton
7. Best Cold Drink of the Year: Rani beacause of innovative packaing
8. Best Frozen Food of the Year: Americana
9. Best Canned Food of the Year: California Gardens
10. Best Confectionery Product of the Year: Galaxy
11. Best Food Producer of the Year: Al Islami
12. Best Distributor of the Year: Global Export Marketing Company
13. Best Marketing Strategy: NTDE for Lays crisps

For more details visit ITP.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Performance make Brands

This world is really competitive and the one who can cross this clutter will be a big brand. Let us just look at India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

This 24 year lad has an average of 53 in 42 ODIs so far with highest score of 183 that too undefeated. He just debut 2 years back in a match with Bangladesh v India at Chittagong (MAA) - Dec 23, 2004.

So this all has made him a superstar, a brand who can endorse brands. There was an article in Delhi Times yesterday - . If not 2 to 3 crore, this guy is getting 25 to 35 lacks. Thats not a bad start at all!!

We have seen Dhoni endorsing Reebok, Sonata watches, Mysore Sandal soap, Reliance Communication and the latest to join the Dhoni ‘brand wagon’ is the Chennai-based Sara Lee Household and Body Care, the Indian arm of $18bn Sara Lee. The company hopes to add shine to its brands such as Brylcreem and Kiwi.

Right from Farokh Engineer to Dhoni, Brylcreem has had the heritage of endorsements by eminent cricketers, says Sara Lee India managing director S Suresh.

Brand Personality: Brylcreem brand personality is confident, stylish, manly, youthful and contemporary and fits well with Dhoni’s image as a youth icon and innovative and confident player. Its a good synergy.

Sara Lee, with a brand portfolio of Kiwi, Brylcreem and Kiwi Kleen, expects to touch the Rs 100-crore turnover mark this year. The turnover of the company, following the July to June calendar, stood at around Rs 70 crore last year. Brylcreem and Kiwi brands contributed as much as 75% of the total turnover. Mr Suresh said India has been evolving as the global sourcing point for shoe care products. The first product, sourced out of India, is the instant shoeshine sponge, Kiwi Express.

To target the ‘gen next,’ Sara Lee has launched Brylcreem UV gel, which when used under psychedelic lights, will “make the hair glow.” In the Rs 150-crore household cleaning business, Kiwi Kleen brand is leveraging on Kiwi’s brand equity.

Sara lee has travelled a journey of Niche products and innovation than that of mass category.

Can you guys give more examples of people who have become celebrities/ brands via their performance? What were their Key success factors?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

India is the right place to work with ...

Today i read an article in Economic Times mentioning "Coke brings back Indians to head operations at home".

Coca Cola India is in the process of repatriating Indians from overseas postings, including China, Sri Lanka, Denmark and Atlanta.

1. Sumanta Datta, the current Brand Director of Coca Cola China will be joining CCI as Region Vice-President (North Operations) from June
2. Vikas Chawla (Sri Lanka): Wil be joining Coca Cola India (CCI) as Vice-President Franchise Business Operations, after relocating from Sri Lanka, where he was Managing Director of the Coke operations
3. Sanjiv Gupta (from Denmark): He has been brought to CCI as Director Revenue Growth Management and Business Planning. He was earlier working at the marketing division of Coke's Denmark operations
4. Mansoor Sidiqqui (Atlanta): the former consultant at the Coca Cola Company, Atlanta, has now joined CCI as General Manager Marketing innovation

Commenting on the influx of Indians from overseas arms, CCI Vice-President HR Adil Malia said India was becoming an extremely attractive work destination for professionals. The increased number of Indians heading for home to join here from Coke's overseas operations assumes significance as the current President and CEO of CCI Atul Singh was also moved from Coke's China division, where he was the President, East Central and South China.

Now when Indian economy is booming and especially FMCG sector India, why would anybody born in India would not love to come back... They can see the following:

1. Innovation at the peak ... every week we see press releases of new brands in new product categories - satisfying specific needs ... by line extension, brand extension etc .. There is a huge scope in India as it has a big marketer and definately several things to experiment.

2. Acquisition Of Companies and Brands in Fmcg Sector : There is a huge scope to learn the knack of mergers here in India. Few of examples are:

  • P&G and Gillette
  • Dabur acquired Balsara for 143 crores
  • Godrej Consumer Care bought Keyline Brands
  • Marico acquired HLL Nihar brand
3. Touch the Rural soil: The rural areas showed a good growth for the FMCG major. Higher government spending could be a reason for higher offtake in rural areas. There is a huge scope for marketers to experiment with new product launches in rural markets. More that 50% of FMCG market lies in Rural India.

4. Retail Boom: People working in India will get an opportunity to see an interesting journey from a meagre 3-4% organized retail to a substantial percentage in the coming decade. China's organized is around 30% ... its a long way to go.

Is there any country on this Earth, who can offer this huge opportunity to explore, learn, experiment and 100 more things.

Why would anybody be interested to go outside India??

ITC's latest step to grow food business .. long way to go!!

ITC's ambitious plans of becoming No1 Food company in India by 2010 is definately achievable with the new ventures they have taken in past.

History: ITC made its entry into the branded & packaged Foods business in August 2001 with the launch of the Kitchens of India brand. Then in 2002 ITC, launched brands in present Confectionery, Staples and Snack Foods segments.

Why Foods? Its makes lot of sense to expand in Foods as they have proven strengths in the areas of hospitality and branded cuisine, contemporary packaging and sourcing of agricultural commodities. ITC has stood for quality products for over 90 years to the Indian consumer and several of its brands are today internationally benchmarked for quality. All products of ITC's Foods business available in the market today have been crafted based on consumer insights developed through extensive market research. Apart from the current portfolio of products, several new and innovative products are under development in ITC's state-of-the-art Product Development facility located at Bangalore.

Recent Step: 2 days back ITC was again in press for setting up a Rs 70 crore biscuit manufacturing unit at Haridwar in a step aimed at streamlining the company's food business segment. It will be completed by Feb, 2007, disclosed by ITC Foods chief executive, Ravi Naware.

Present Situation: All the 110 food products are outsourced.

Future: ITC would consider to build more of its own facilities for other food segments.
Reason for setting up manufacturing unit:

1. Will strike a right balance between ITC's own and outsourced capacities - risk management exercise.
2. A filip to present 8% market share in buscuit by 4-5% to have 1/8th of the market
3. To launch several new variants in the biscuit segment to strengthen its product portfolio

Naware said the company would focus on brand building, quality and manufacturing. The company, he said, would spend 25-30 per cent of the turnover in the brand building exercise.

International Presence
ITC Foods exports ready-to-eat food products to the US, Canada, the UK and other European markets under the `Kitchens of India' brand.


1. Tamil actor Surya for the South Indian market
2. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will continue as the brand ambassador for the company

Its looks as if soon ITC will control the reigns of Food business in India with the help of its expertise in Brand Building, experience in Foods business, Manufacturing and Distribution.