Consumer products major Marico is looking at extending the franchise of Saffola from cooking oils to salt.
Introduced about five years ago, Saffola salt was a low key product. That changed when the company brought in actor Boman Irani to endorse the brand.
R Chandrasekar, category head, Marico, said, “After healthcare, we started focusing on the preventive aspects of heartcare a while ago, which are blood pressure, stress among others. Salt then was a very natural extension of the brand.”
Although the product has a limited reach at present of about 1.5 lakh households, oil reaches 10 lakh households.
Chandrasekar is hoping that at least a portion of these would move to the salt. Another reason he says for the increased focus s on salt was that about 100 million Indians suffer from hypertension.
He admits that though salt was a largely commoditised category, the product was being positioned as a more premium product with a value add.
“There is increasing awareness in urban areas about iodised and low sodium salt, and this was a niche product aimed at niche audiences,” he says.
After being rather quiet on the communication front for the last five years, the company is, in addition to the television commercial also doing radio spots and has beefed up its retail strategy.
“In addition to the regular display and point of purchase material, we have also introduced dispensers at modern trade outlets, which are our key markets,” said Chandrasekar. Given the premium nature of the product, it would be marketed in the urban areas only.
Apart from this, the company is also running a cross promotional offer with the oil.