McCain opts for multipronged consumer engagement
McCain Foods India, a leading brand in vegetarian frozen foods category, has been working hard to increase its market share as well as to enhance awareness among its target group. Largely, a marketer of potato based products, it uses real vegetables to keep the nutrition value and flavor intact. Its products in India comprise of global favourites as well as local flavours. Among them, Smiles, French Fries, Veggie burgers, wedges, chili garlic potato bites, aloo tikki, veggie nuggets, cheese & jalapeno nuggets, and cheese potato shots.
In a market that is still familiarizing itself with convenience foods, McCain has gone for a holistic marketing approach with a presence on all consumer touch points and a steady focus on consumer engagement.
Reflecting on the brand’s marketing strategy, Gunjan Pandey, General Manager Marketing, McCain Foods India, says “We have continued with a two pronged marketing approach. We promote our products not only through retail and institutional purchases but through engagement and experience. Very frequently, we organize sampling kiosks for people on the go at malls, etc. for them to experience the deliciousness and freshness of our products. We engage consumers through contests and surprise gift packs on special occasion. We also share product samples with food writers and bloggers for their feedback.”
Online media has played an important role in enabling a large reach. The brand’s own website https://www.mccainindia.com/ has videos with its brand ambassador Karisma Kapoor demonstrating recipes. In addition, there are a number of videos to familiarize consumers with product benefits as well as to engage bloggers & retail and institutional consumers.
Blogging, as per Gunjan, has paid off for the brand rather handsomely. She says, “Blogging is our recent endeavour. Bloggers today are seen as product evangelists with high credibility. McCain has had an amazing experience by engaging with the bloggers. They are a fantastic way to reach out to consumers as these days, a lot of information on anything is consumed online. We like to treat bloggers as partners and stay in touch with them to share our product and brand updates with them.”
The brand, has however not restricted itself to digital media, it also has a presence on television, print and radio.
The brand has opted for penetration pricing for greater reach and higher consumption. Keeping in mind the Indian consumers’ price consciousness, the price points begin at Rs 40. Value and party packs too are available that offer a higher value for money.
Breaking myths about Frozen food:
A key limitation for the brand is that being a frozen product, its distribution is limited to outlets with deep freezers. Hence, the target audiences are Sec A & B residing in top 40-45 cities who are keen to explore tasty new ways of snacking be it with friends or family.
The marketer has opted for various consumer-connect strategies to make definitive inroads in this target group. Gunjan explains, “We believe in educating through experience. Once a consumer has tried the product and read relevant information about it, it is a lot easier to convince them regarding myths related to frozen food. We also create exciting recipes with our products for consumers to educate them. Also, the medium of newsletters to reach out to our target audience has proved quite useful.”
Inroads beyond metros:
Most brand success stories in today’s world depend on the response they are able to extract in tier 1 and 2 cities. As the food habits change in these markets, there is more opportunity for convenience food brands. McCain too is optimistic about these markets. Gunjan says, “We have got a good response from the smaller towns. We have introduced custom tailored range of traditional products as well to suit the local taste. These offerings have gained appreciation and are registering good growth. Regardless of where the consumer is based, we try to reach out to them. Our products are for everyone who’s looking for great taste and convenience @ great value.”
Karisma Kapoor as the brand ambassador:
Karisma Kapoor’s selection as the face of McCain too has paid off for the brand. The brand custodians believe that she represents all contemporary women of today – balancing the demands of work, children and home with grace. Gunjan opines, “Karisma Kapoor is a renowned name in India and hence, getting her on board has definitely provided us with the right brands values being communicated. She has brought to life our proposition and communicated effectively the irrefutable merits of having ready to serve snacks which are fresh and tasty. She not only manages a busy lifestyle with family but resonates perfectly with our desired brand image.”