Sunday, December 27, 2009
In recent times, health, diet & lifestyle have become significantly important for Indian customers. Consequentially, there is a rush amongst companies to prove that their product scores high on the health benefit plank. While Parle leaps in the health-snack category with the 'You will need it' campaign for Monaco smart chips, GSK Consumer Care extends its Holicks brand into healthy noodles called 'Foodles' & underscores that RTE(ready-to-eat)segment needs an overhaul when it comes to health benefits(however, this one can be a major branding goofup--Horlicks as a brand is synonymous to health, while 'healthy noodles' still remain an oxymoron to the Indian populace). Also in the current scenario the concept of 'Fortified Foods' & 'Enriched Foods' is picking up in a big way. So while Maggi touts its iron & calcium content, Aliva relies on its 'multi-grain' features for brand building. Companies like HUL are taking ardent measures to completely remove trans-fat from all their products & TATA has followed the suit by launching a revolutionary product in the form of 'TATA SALT Lite which contains 15% less sodium than ordinary salt.
According to a recent report by Nielsen company,59% Indians actually took the nutrition labeling into consideration before buying the final product. Nutritional information on 'Fats' was given maximum importance followed by 'Calories' & 'Preservatives’. This craze about healthy living is seconded by the rapid growth of ‘health & wellness’ industry in the country & the evolution of FMHG(fast moving health goods)as a dominant category in the market. The underlying factors for this rapid growth of FMHG can be:
1) Increased consumer awareness—People wish to compensate for their sedentary lifestyles by eating healthy. Also,owing to the escalating cost of medical treatment, people are resorting to ‘Prevention’ than ‘Cure’.
2) Organized Pharmaceutical Retail—With extensive CRM (customer relationship management) measures, organized pharmaceutical retail has made the concept of FMHG quite popular in the country. Retail stores like Guardian have even introduced various private label products to practice ‘bottom of pyramid’ marketing techniques & expand the FMHG market by lowering prices.
3) Changing Regulatory Framework: The plan of Drug Controller of India to sell schedule K drugs at grocery stores will augment the popularity of health- products besides of course expanding the target audience for the segment.
The definite challenge in such a market would be to differentiate the product from the clutter. In a market which is currently riding on generic health claims (health claims based on well-established, generally accepted knowledge from evidence in the scientific literature and/or to recommendations from national or international health bodies), the success of any company will depend on how well it is able to promulgate innovative health claims (health claim other than a generic health claim based on scientific evidence applied to existing or new foods. These claims must be substantiated according to a process set out in the Joint Health Claims Initiative Code) for its products. The limiting factors in this case being excessive R&D expenditure & dissimilar national health policy of countries. Also, in recent times there has been strict monitoring of health & nutritional claims made by companies. Besides, there has to be suitable spending on educating customers about reverence of nutritional benefits. A SEC B housewife would not bother to buy 'Sofit'-The Soya Milk unless she knows the precise post-menopausal benefits of Soya isoflavones. Similarly health foods will find few takers in ordinary retail stores until adequate POP incentives are propounded followed by suitable customer education.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
There is a constant debate over the efficiency of fairness creams.Typically fairness creams show their action by lowering the melanin content in the skin.However,any extrinsic agent that interferes with normal melanin synthesis(melanogenesis)can be harmful for efficient dermal system functioning.Therefore a good product should only restore correct melanin synthesis & not make it less or more.Ingredients like Hydroquinone & Mercury used in fairness creams are banned by FDA.The prolonged usage of these ingredients lead to a condition called 'Ochnorosis' where there is a permanent darkening of the skin.Ingredients like Kojic Acid which are effective in reducing melanogenesis in the skin are widely used in many fairness creams;however in order to be effective their concentration should be high(>2%).This concentration is hardly found in any skin lightening products available in the market.
Fairness creams as a segment is definitely going to grow in the future.These products have a Pan Indian presence with maximum penetration in Andhra Pradesh & least in Gujarat.Products like Fair & Lovely have also undergone huge product innovation to cater to customers across various SECs.For instance inorder to cater to SEC C & D F&L introduced 9gm sachet to make the product economical.
However,one of the biggest threats for this category can be the wide accpetance of dusky women in Indian Film Industry.Also movies like Dhoom-2 popularized the 'tan look'.Therefore in the future the need of the customer is going to change from 'Fair skin' to 'Healthy skin'.However that future is yet too far & fairness products are here to stay.Afterall for Indians beauty is still skin deep.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Through the ages,it is believed that chewing gum helps in increasing concentration & losing calories-thus seconding Wrigley's tagline 'Gum is Good'.However,in the current scenario it is contended that gums can be one of the most effective vehicle for drug administration.On an average,it is found that a person chews gum for about 20 minutes.Thus,the average 'inside-the-mouth' time for chewing gum remains very high as compared to lozenges or chewable tablets/candies.Therefore,drugs required for local or direct action in the respiratory tract can be very well administered through chewing gums.Also,it is contended that the cheek walls are very well perfused & can therefore bring about excellent & quick absorption of drugs.Besides,drugs administered through chewing gum also do not undergo hepatic first pass effect-thus increasing the bioavailability of drug.
Currently,not many chewing gum brands in India are positioned on the health plank.However,the recent years saw the launch of products like Protex Happydent which is claimed to prevent tooth decay due to the presence of a special ingredient called 'Xylitol'.Also,Happydent White which contains sodium bi-carbonate helps to keep teeth clean & white.Other brands like Orbit also offer similar benefits & assist in maintaining oral hygiene.Though currently most of the brands are concentrating only on oral hygiene,there are also numerous opportunities in developing chewing gums with sustained release formulations,anti-tussives etc.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Garnier Men-Powerlight is the range of skincare products launched by Garnier to exclusively cater to Indian Men & their increased grooming needs.
The Powerlight range currently comprises of Fairness Face
The Fairness Moisturizer contains SPF15 agent. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor & is defined as the time taken before Sunburn occurs when the skin is exposed to Sunlight. Typically sunlight comprises of both UVA & UVB rays.However, SPF only measures the protection against UVB & not UVA.There are other methods like Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) to measure protection against UVA.SPF has different ratings depending on the level of protection being offered by the Sun Screen. For Instance SPF 15 offers a protection of about 91% while SPF 30 offers a protection of 97%. Owing to consumer confusion over the real degree and duration of protection offered by SPF, labeling restrictions are in force in several countries. In 2007, FDA proposed to institute the labeling of SPF 50+ for sunscreens offering more protection. This and other measures were proposed to limit unrealistic claims about the level of protection offered.
Today, men of all ages are taking a keener interest in their appearance – a Gillette India study indicates that Indian men now spend an average of 20 minutes in the mirror each morning, higher than the 18-minute average for Indian women. If we look at the Men’s grooming sector in
Thus, Garnier Men shall undoubtedly face competition from within the industry.However; the success of the brand depends upon the manner in which it tackles competition from other sectors where males spend their discretionary money. According to a report, more than half of the men surveyed said they would rather spend their excess cash on eating out or recreation, trendy clothes and new accessories, ahead of personal grooming activities and related products. Thus the actual challenge for Garnier would be to increase the per-capita spending by men on grooming & to make the product necessary to its target audience.
Friday, May 29, 2009
The concept of Nutritional bars is picking up in India.Once used as an energy bar for dietary supplements for athletes, it is now an alternative nourishment for everyone.The positioning for most nutritional bars is 'Quick & healthy substitute to regular meals'.However,Horlicks Nutritional bar is positioned as 'between-the-meals respite for hunger pangs'.Thus,they are substituting biscuits,confectionary & other junk food items consumed by people in the 'unconscious mode'.
GSKCH has already line extended its Horlicks brand into biscuits & now into Nutritional bars, thus underscoring the tremendous brand equity that Horlicks has collected all these years.The Nutribar is currently avalable in 3 different variants & is priced between Rs 15-Rs 18.The multi cereal snack bar contains 11 vital nutrients, is rich in iron and has only 114 calories.Also,quite unlike other Nutritional bars which contain Sugar or Jaggery as sweetening agents,Horlicks Nutribar contains Honey.Thus,making it a complete health food.
Nutribar might have to face some competition from Britannia's Nutichoice 5 grain biscuit,which is also positioned as 'hunger buster for in-between meals time hunger' & is composed of 5 different grains along with Natural honey.However,one main problem associated with this biscuit is its size.Since,the size of the biscuit is quite large, it easily breaks even before opening the packet.Inspite of the fact that it is economically priced(a pack of 4 biscuits atRs 18) it faces several bottlenecks in terms of its packaging & consumption.Thus,Britannia would have to introduce mini-packs & better packaging for Nutichoice 5 grain inorder to help it take off.
Horlicks Nutribar is a pioneer in the almost non-existent nutrional bar market in India(which is only a 10 crore market currently) & thus has a long way to go.However,it can also face some competition from conventional food items like the ubiquitous 'Chikki'(the traditional Energy bar) which is a popular & economical item consumed all over India.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Soya Milk (the prime ingredient of Sofit) is made from Soybeans which is one of the richest sources of protein.Also; it contains far less saturated fats as compared to Cow's Milk. One glass of Soya Milk is almost as nutritious as one glass of Cow's Milk plus the added benefits of Vitamin E, Lecithin, isoflavones etc. which are also found in Soya Milk. Thus the target audience for Sofit would typically be Health conscious individuals, Lactose-intolerant individuals(as Soya Milk does not contain Casein) & Vegans(people who do not use or consume animal products of any kind).Using soybeans to make milk instead of raising cows is economically advantageous too as it takes far less resources to cultivate soybeans than to raise animals.
Sofit is positioned by GIL as a premium product & is priced at Rs. 75(1 liter).Since,Sofit has a niche target audience, it is primarily promoted through BTL advertising channels which goes through doctors, hospitals, nutritionists, health clubs & gyms.Currently,it is available in seven different variants. Apart from Soya Milk, it also contains fruit juices which are a rich source of vitamins.
Sofit can be advantageous for Godrej in launching other health food brands as it can capitalize on the existing advertising & distribution channels.However,it cannot be used as an umbrella brand due to its niche-market positioning.Also,the brand can face stiff competition from conventional dairy products like Skimmed Milk, Fortified Milk etc.Thus,it would be better not to position Sofit as an analogue food but a naturally occurring vegetarian milk.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
'Functional Food' is the next big thing in the Indian FMCG Market.Quite a few Indian Companies have already launched products to cater to this emerging segment.
Technically speaking,Functional food is any fresh or processed food claimed to have health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients.Thus,the purview of functional food lies somewhere between what we call as 'Daily bread'(food eaten by an individual in the normal course of a day) & Drug(Xenobiotic providing therapeutic benefits).
There are a bunch of companies which have already launched products to cater to this segment(which currently confines to SEC A1 & A2).There are companies like Yakult-Danone & Nestle which have launched probiotic products.Also,we have companies like Avesta Good Earth & Marico which are buiding brands on a curative platform.
Marico has done an interesting exercise with their functional food(FD) range.Their range of FD is launched under the Umbrella brand 'Saffola' which is distinctively positioned as a Health & lifestyle product.The brand equity garnered by Saffola over years is used as a leverage to launch other line extension products.Today Saffola comprises of unique set of products like Oil,Salt,Rice,Snacks & ofcourse functional food.Marico has also been very judicious in their choice of target segment which mostly comprises of Housewives in the age group of 25-35 SEC B1 onwards.Across all these years, Marico has not fiddled with its target segment which has remained fairly constant.The thriving factor for Saffola is its credo of promoting Healthy lifestyle by protecting the 'heart'.
If we look at their functional food range,it is currently offered in two variants: Cholestrol Management & Diabetes Management.While the Diabetes Management Atta Premix is priced higher than Cholestrol Management Atta Premix,both the products are premium products & mainly targets people with sedentary lifestyles or with a genetic predispostion for Diabetes.Both the products are vegetarian & can be consumed by the entire family.However,the high price will restrict the usage of the product to risk-prone individuals in the family.Anothar Disadvantage for the product would be its ingredients which are fairly common.For instance,Methi which is the prime ingredient for Diabetes Management Atta Premix is a common vegetable eaten all over the country.Thus,the product can be easily supplanted by natural substitutes.The onus therefore rests on Marico to make the consumers believe in the product & its unique benefits.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Nutralite,intrinsically,is a very interesting brand. It positions itself as 'Better than Butter'(old) or 'Healthier than Butter'(new).Thus underscoring the point that it is not butter but a healthier substitute to butter & creating a point of difference(pod) for itself.At the very same time it is sold in the market as 'Nutralite Butter' thus highlighting its point of parity(pop) to butter.Inspite of the fact that its pop & pod are quite antithetical to each other,the brand is doing well.This can be primarily due to the following reasons:
- Consumer submits to the information asymmetry created by the brand & believes that the 'healthier than butter' aspect is created by the addition of some extraneous ingredients having health benefits.Thus the product is able to capitalize on its 'butter-like' attributes without educating the customers about an entirely new product category of Margarines.
- Nutralite as a product offering is catering to the needs of a particular customer segment i.e. people who are prone to cardio vascular diseases primarily in the urban middle class.Thus its 'zero cholestrol' feature is quite appealing to people aged above 40.Though Nutralite is also creating buzz amongst the diet-conscious youth who use Nutralite for cooking purpose(as a substitute to oil).
- Nutralite also scores on the price front.It is priced slightly below Amul Butter & thus is economical too.
Nutralite as a brand shares a lot of synergy with its holding company Zydus Cadila which has differentiated itself by offering unique health & analogue products.Its other important brands include Sugar free & D'lite.
Health products' market in India is bound to grow at a tremendous pace in the future owing to the steady increase in the sedentary lifestyle of Indian populace.Thus making it imperative for people to resort to healthier substitutes of conventional foods.However,the paradox lies in the fact that people still take Analogue foods as Artificial food & prefer the conventional products.The onus therefore rests upon companies to create awareness about the category to help it take-off.