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To boost growth, ITC’s beverage brand B Natural to hike ad spend by 60% this fiscal

The brand plans to spend majority of its marketing budget on TV, followed by digital and print. By expanding its portfolio of products, B Natural hopes to increase its revenue by at least 40% this year. Sanjay Singal, Chief Operating Officer, Dairy and Beverages, ITC, shares the brand’s growth strategy with BestMediaInfo.com

Sanjay Singal and Shilpa Shetty

In a bid to secure a 10-12% market share in the packed juices and fruit beverages segment, FMCG major ITC will increase the advertising budget of its beverage brand B Naturals by at least 60%.  The brand is also eyeing 30-40% revenue growth by adding new products in its segment this year.

“Last year, we spent somewhere between Rs 15 crore and Rs 20 crore on advertising. We are going to increase it by 60% this fiscal,” said Sanjay Singal, Chief Operating Officer, Dairy and Beverages, ITC. 

The company, which manufactures a wide range of products from cigarettes to shampoo, has launched three variants of B Natural juice — Himalayan Mixed Fruit, Ratnagiri Alphonso and Dakshin Pink Guava — to boost its revenue from the segment. The range will be available in stores across the country.

“Our focus this year is completely on expanding the business by launching new products. A double-digit growth is what we are expecting this year. We have new products in the pipeline for milkshake and juices, which we will soon launch in the market. Next month, we are coming up with the no-added sugar juice. Likewise, we will keep adding products to our beverage segment,” said Singal.

 Speaking on the overall growth of ITC from B Natural, Singal said, “The contribution of the beverage business to the overall ITC foods segment will be single digit. The turnover contribution would be 4-5% in the juice segment. For ITC as a whole, it would contribute somewhat around 1% to the total turnover.”

According to Singal, the brand enjoyed a double-digit growth of 20% from its ‘No Concentrate’ campaign in 2017. “The growth happened through two mediums; one was definitely in terms of increased sales and second that it allowed the brand to differentiate in the market. Apart from these two, the campaign also helped in brand awareness.”

The brand plans to launch a couple of campaigns in the upcoming months.

This year, B Natural’s marketing spend will be 60% more than last year, which was earlier between Rs 15-20 crore. For the brand, TV is the most effective medium to reach its targeted group.

“Most of our marketing budget grows in line with our top-line growth. Our TG is primarily women, especially housewives, because the segment is connected to household consumption,” said Singal.

Speaking on marketing, Singal said, “For majority of our products, spends go largely to TV, following by digital and lastly print. We allocate 15-20% advertising and promotion budgets from the yearly sales of our any food product.”

“A typical media mix for any of our products has TV, print, digital, and social media. Apart from these, it will also have a lot of retail marketing activities. We believe digital has larger value than print but TV remains to be our most investing medium of advertising. Digital has a role of developing engagement with the consumer groups; I don’t think we use digital much to create awareness,” he added.

Group M holds the entire media account for B Natural. For the brand, south India is the largest revenue generating market.

Speaking on its growth after the acquisition of B Naturals, Singal said, “After ITC acquired B Natural, we have changed the mix, we have launched new flavours, new packaging and expanded our distribution. The brand B Natural before acquisition primarily had its strength in south India. Now we have a regional market share all across the country. The brand’s footprint and turnover has increased. The brand’s turnover and valuation has increased 3-4 times since 2014. Our national market share is nearly double digits now. We hold a 10% market share in the packed juice and fruit beverages segment.”

According to Singal, the brand’s USP is the purity of its juice offerings to the consumers. “B Natural’s juices are made of fruits grown in the orchards of Himalayas, Ratnagiri and Dakshin Karnataka with zero per cent concentrate and preservatives.”

Speaking on competition, Singal said, “Being a new brand, the awareness would not be like older brands. However, awareness about the new brand is growing. Our competitors are all the big packaged juice manufacturers.”

Actor Shilpa Shetty is its brand ambassador. According to Singal, celebrity endorsement profits the brand if that person’s personality resonates with that of the brand and for B Natural, Shilpa is the correct match as she believes in yoga and fitness.

The Indian packed juice and fruit beverage market, growing 13-14% annually, is dominated by players such as PepsiCo’s Tropicana and Dabur India's Real brand.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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