From premium to mass, big to small, and now global to local. Nestle India is taking yet another step to move closer to the Indian consumer. The food major, in an innovative localisation move, has decided to lend a desi touch to its chocolate health food drink (HFD) Milo by re-energising it with ‘badam shakti’ and launching it in 15-gm single serve sachets.
Under review since last year due to its poor performance, Nestle’s Milo is all set to get a new lease of life with a new packaging, formulation and a distinct positioning.
According to sources, Milo in its new avatar will be test launched in Tamil Nadu — a bastion of competitor GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) — this month. A national launch is expected to follow soon. While Nestle India refused to comment, company sources, however, confirmed Milo’s new makeover.
Nestle, had earlier admitted that “extremely competitive market environment had impacted the performance of Milo and was, therefore, being placed under review to enhance its competitiveness”. In the past, Nestle has exited from categories like packaged water business and discontinued few of its brands, including Nescafe Choc Cafe and Milkmaid desert mixes, after reviewing their performance.
Taking On Boost
• Milo to be re-energised with ‘badam shakti’
• Will launch it in 15-gm single serve sachets
• New packaging, formulation and distinct positioning proposed
• New avtar to be launched in Tamil Nadu this month
• Company shifting focus from urban by targeting newer markets and driving rural demand
However, in the case of Milo, Nestle obviously sees business sense in reviving the brand — at least for now. In fact, the traditionally conservative company is breaking new ground with Milo’s repositioning.
For, by giving Milo a new distinct local positioning and introducing the brand in convenient sachets at lower price point, it is clearly moving away from being a very urban-focused player and targeting newer markets and driving rural demand.
Currently, Milo, is available in a SKU of 500 gm priced at Rs 96.
The product will now be relaunched in a flat bottomed Stabilo pouch pack instead of its current cardboard pack. The relaunch of Milo, which has otherwise kept a low profile, will also be supported by an aggressive media campaign.
The Rs 1,100-crore health food drinks (HFD) market, classified into two categories white and brown segments, has remained stagnant for the last several years despite GSKCH and Cadbury’s attempts to activate the category. While Cadbury’s (Bournvita) has been at the forefront of the HFD market, GSKCH, of late, has been active too. Apart from repositioning its Horlicks brand from health drink to a fun drink, GSKCH more recently has launched its brown drink Boost in 100-gm sachets as well in tetrapaks as a ready-to-drink product.
GSKCH’s Horlicks and other brands like Boost, Viva and Maltova, together have a 75 per cent share of the health food drinks market. Horlicks alone, as a white beverage, is believed to have an over 50 per cent market share.
Nestle’s Milo, however, being a brown drink faces direct competition from Cadbury’s Bournvita and GSKCH’s Boost. Industry sources say the market has moved marginally from the white malted beverages to the brown segment.
While GSKCH has addressed this by adding more flavours to Horlicks, Nestle seems to be gearing up to put more resources behind its brown beverage now.
Even before Nestle’s effort bears fruit, a caveat might just change the flavour of the things. With its new fortified ‘badam shakti, double shakti’ pitch, Nestle just may be stepping too close on another competitor Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) or Amul’s turf. Amul, has recently relaunched its health food drink branded as Amul Shakti. For the marketers’ next move, watch this space.