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.