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Perfetti Van Melle India to focus on building scale at Rs 5 and higher price points

Upgrading the market to higher price points is one of the biggest marketing challenge for the confectionary category, says Marketing Director Rohit Kapoor

The highly cluttered confectionery category poses some unique challenges and one of them is upgrading the market to higher price points, said Rohit Kapoor, Marketing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India, the category leader with products such as Alpenliebe, Mentos, Happydent, Center Fresh.

“We have consciously moved the price point of our candy portfolio from 50 paisa to Re1 to offer better product proposition and consumption experience. Also, as an industry, we need to provide innovative offerings and compel the consumers to move towards Rs 5 and above price point offerings,” added Kapoor.

Throwing light on some of the marketing strategies that the brand will be adopting to keep its leadership position and beat competition, Kapoor said, “We will continue to invest behind our power brands, with sharp positioning to drive consumption and penetration. We will also focus on providing superior quality products and bring world-class innovation to market and build scale, especially at Rs 5 and higher price points. We intend to keep expanding our direct distribution to ensure availability and visibility of our brands at the retail shelf.”

The confectionary business in India is Rs 8,000-crore strong and Kapoor says they are market leaders in the category in the country.

“We continue to lead in gums with Center Fresh, Center Fruit and Happydent and in the jelly segment with Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly and Chupa Chups. In the candies and éclairs segment, we are among the top five players in the market with Alpenliebe and Mentos,” said Kapoor.

In such a competitive category, it is important for a brand to stand out and reach its target audience, make a connection and engage with consumers. While traditional media like television gives the scale, brands are turning to digital for engagement.

The Italian confectionary giant spends about 10% of its total media budget on digital medium for its brands targeted at teenagers and the youth.

“Digital is an important medium for us. We have a diverse portfolio of brands catering to different segments. Our digital spend is defined by each brand’s objective and the target group audience. For our teenager and youth-focused brands, we spend close to 10% of the total media budget on digital,” said Kapoor.

Kapoor said the brand’s digital spend over the years has increased for certain products in their portfolio.

“We look at digital to add a few points of incremental reach and to drive engagement with consumers,” he added.

The increased spend comes amid the hue and cry being raised over the issue of brand safety and ad fraud on digital and global companies such as P&G cutting their digital budgets.

Speaking on the issue, Kapoor said, “We try to ensure that our brand content is seen by our consumers in the right medium and context in the digital space. We are selective in how we approach buying, kind of channels we buy and the keywords we choose. We work closely with our digital partners for ensuring right plans and hold them accountable for ensuring the efficiency and context in the digital space.”

The brand has also come up with a new campaign for its flagship gum brand Center Fruit. Center Fruit, with its ‘Kaisi Jeeb Laplapayee’ campaigns, has carved a place for itself in the Indian market. Commenting on why it was time to review the communication and come up with something new and fresh, Kapoor said, “The brand has been built on the promise of irresistible taste since its launch in 2006. The consistent communication on ‘Kaisi Jeeb Laplapyee’ platform helped Center Fruit become our leading gum brand in India. We felt that now is the right time to take the next step and refresh the consumer story for Center Fruit. We were now looking at what the irresistible taste (of liquid filled fruit flavoured gum) can do for you, an emotional payoff for the consumers.”

“Our work with consumers brought out a simple truth; that all of us have unavoidable moments of boredom in our daily lives, and in such moments a little uplift in mood can make that boring task enjoyable. Consumers love Center Fruit for the flavourful splash of liquid filling as they chew the gum. This experience of tasty flavourful splash can trigger a change in their mood, and that thought is core to this campaign,” added Kapoor.

Center Fruit also has a new tagline in the “mood ting tong”, which the brand believes will be as impactful and memorable as their previous one.

The new campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy Mumbai, takes inspiration from mundane slice-of-life boring situations which a teenager goes through. It tells the story of Rohan who is on a deadline to submit his assignment. Rohan however finds the routine assignment boring and is in no mood to complete it. He spots a Center Fruit which he eats.  The flavourful splash works its magic and we see that his mood has dramatically improved. Keying in his assignment now becomes fun, almost as if the keyboard has turned into a piano. The change in mood makes a routine situation enjoyable for him and he finishes the assignment in time for submission to the professor.

The TVC:


Client: Perfetti Van Melle, India

Brand: Center Fruit

Agency: Ogilvy Mumbai

Perfetti Van Melle India:

Director, Marketing: Rohit Kapoor

Associate Category Director, Marketing: Arun Sharma

Senior Brand Manager: Samrat Ghosh

Agency Credits: 


Executive Creative Director: Anurag Agnihotri

Group Creative Director: Shahrukh Irani

Group Creative Director: Saurabh Dikshit

Senior Creative Director: Saurabh Kulkarni

Agency Producer: Saurabh Kulkarni

Account Management: 

President, Ogilvy Group Companies, North: Kapil Arora

Sr Vice-President: Vishwajeet Rana

Management Supervisor: Saksham Kohli

Group Account Manager: Shrey Bhatnagar

Production House: 

Production House: Tubelight Films 

Director: Prashant Issar 

Producer: Kanwal Preet

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