Friday, May 29, 2009

Horlicks Nutribar--Brand Analysis

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare(GSKCH) has launched Horlicks Nutribar to foray into the Healthy Snack category which has garnered the interest of many food & beverage companies in India.The product is especially designed for Indian markets & is positioned as a healthy between-the-meal snack which can be consumed by people living very active lifestyles.

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

Sofit-The Soya Milk

Godrej Hershey’s, the food & beverage company of Godrej Industries Ltd (GIL), marked its entry into the Health Food segment with the launch of Sofit in 2004.Sofit is the first branded Soya Milk available in the market & therefore GIL enjoys first mover advantage in this category. As per the current trend, most of the FMCG firms are positioning brands on the health plank in order to propel growth.Sofit is also built on a similar curative platform & is meant to be a healthy substitute to milk.

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 & Marico

'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-Brand Analysis

Nutralite Bread Spread was launched by Carnation Analogue-Foods Ltd in 1996.Later in 2006,Zydus Cadila acquired a majority stake in Carnation Analogue-Foods Ltd & decided to relaunch Nutralite.Today the brand commands more than 60% market share in the Margarine category which is currently a 60-crore market in India.

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.
If Margarine is studied as a separate category in India, it is currently dominated by Nutralite with competition from other brands like Amul Lite & Marie Gold.Margarine is a healthy substitute to butter.Butter which is derived from fats of animal origin contains high amount of cholestrol & saturated fatty acids and low amount of unsaturated fatty acid.In contrast to this,Margarine is derived from fats of vegetable origin & contains more unsaturated fatty acids(which are good for health)& almost no cholestrol.This makes Margarine a definite product for people prone to heart diseases & other lifestyle disorders.

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.