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We don’t launch ‘me-too’ products: Parle Agro’s Nadia Chauhan

The company has roped in Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassador for Appy Fizz to scale up the brand. In earlier ad films, the drink was ‘a character’ who couldn’t drink himself

We don’t launch ‘me-too’ products: Parle Agro’s Nadia Chauhan

The company has roped in Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassador for Appy Fizz to scale up the brand. In earlier ad films, the drink was ‘a character’ who couldn’t drink himself

 Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | May 3, 2016

Nadia Chauhan Nadia Chauhan

Close on the heels of the rebranding of Frooti, a 30-year old brand nurtured by Parle Agro, the company is considering revamping the brand image of its sparkling fruit-based beverage, ‘Appy Fizz.’ Parle Agro has roped in Priyanka Chopra as the brand ambassador of Appy Fizz, to take the brand to a new height in a bold new avatar.

Nadia Chauhan, Joint Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Parle Agro, spoke to about India’s first sparkling fruit-based beverage and why Appy Fizz needed a makeover of its already bold and intriguing image. She spoke of the company’s products, plans for the future and the current market shares.  Excerpts:

What was the thinking behind refreshing the brand image?

Appy Fizz is India’s first sparkling fruit-based beverage. We launched it about a decade ago and we created this category. While others must have attempted getting into this category, none have really been able to sustain themselves. While we launched it as a niche product category, we’ve developed it as a brand that has become mainstream over the last decade. It is one of the fastest growing brands in our portfolio.

Over these years, we’ve never invested substantially in this brand, like we did in Frooti. Keeping in mind the fact that it has delivered a double digit growth, year on year ? moving from a niche product to a widely accepted product ? it was necessary for us to take this brand to the next level and scale it up.

Appy Fizz was the star in its own advertisements. What prompted the need to rope in a brand ambassador?

We chose Priyanka Chopra because the brand had a large male skewed consumption. There were various ways in which the drink was consumed. Keeping a lot of these things in mind, we needed a right fitment from an endorsement point of view. A Bollywood celebrity helps scale up the brand communication to a large extent. The previous communication was niche, as it suited that time. Since we are looking at taking the brand to the next level, we needed someone who could give it that scale, without losing on the brand values.

The values for Appy Fizz have always been bold, ambitious, intriguing ? we felt Priyanka Chopra, fits very well with it.  This is the first time; you will see someone consume Appy, in an Appy Fizz campaign. In the earlier films, the character couldn’t drink him. The campaign, conceptualised by Sagmeister & Walsh shows all facets of how Appy Fizz can be consumed.

 In the last decade, Appy Fizz has grown with or without advertising, but now it’s a new chapter altogether. We’re launching a large scale campaign on television, outdoor, print, digital, in-cinema advertising, on ground activations…

What are the other beverages in the Parle Agro stable and how are these placed in the market?

For Appy fizz, which is a part of the fruit-based carbonated drink category, we want the brand to be a category of Rs 3000-4000 crore in the next three to four years. We believe that it has the potential to grow that well. Currently, the size of the market is under Rs 1000 crore and we’re the only player in the category, owning 100 per cent market share.

Frooti, on the other hand, has a 25 per cent market share in the fruit-based beverage category and we want to be the number one player among others. We are currently at the second position in the category. Café Cuba has been doing well in its category. We’re trying to build that category as well. Frio is an upcountry market product, available only in select places.

What kind of marketing spends do you have in mind for the Appy Fizz Campaign?

We have kept aside a marketing budget of Rs 150 crores for the beverage category, a large part reserved for rebranding of Appy Fizz. This time we’ve tied up with Bigg Boss too. Besides that, we are looking at large associations with our brands.

What do you primarily look for in partnerships with on-air and on-ground properties?

As for television, we’ve defined a very specific attitude and personality for the brand and we’re looking at brand associations that really compliment this and build it further. We associated with KidZania, I think it’s great to give kids a friendly experience of the manufacturing process without involving them in the industrial setup altogether.

In the snacking category, how is Hippo doing?

The brand is doing well. We’re looking at localising the factories as logistics in the snacking category is enormously high. Hence, we’ve relooked into the entire business model. We added more factories and it will take some time for Hippo to become stronger nationally.

What are Parle Agro’s plans for this year? Any new launches?

As a company we have a focused approach on how we go about our product portfolios. We don’t go into launching sprees. As a strong organisation value, we don’t launch ‘me-too’ products. The next couple of years will see new products from Parle Agro, but not necessarily in something that exists out there.

This year our large focus is on taking Frooti further. We’ve seen great momentum last year, with the whole repackaging, where Frooti grew at a phenomenal 12 per cent, while the category grew at one per cent. We also saw Frooti rise to No. 2 from No. 3 and that is a great achievement.

Even with Appy Fizz, we have large investments. The focus is to grow and strengthen our entire beverage base. Going further, you might also see new products coming out of our stable.

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