Spanish food major Borges is setting up a subsidiary in India to make available a range of olive oils. In an email conversation with exchange4media, Rajneesh Bhasin, MD, Borges India Pvt Ltd, said, “We will be aggressively looking at investments in marketing campaigns aimed at creating awareness amongst Indian consumers for olive oil and its health benefits. Also, as part of our expansion plans, we will build a robust distribution network and introduce our products.”
The company has earmarked 20 per cent of its budget for marketing and is confident to establishing itself in the next three years. “Borges Group is committed to India as a market and we are confident of garnering 20 per cent market share in three years of our operations. It is difficult to outline all the investments that we shall make in India at this stage. From a marketing and promotion point of view, we are looking at aggressive investments to the tune of 20 per cent of our topline for the next three years,” Bhasin informed.
Borges has introduced its flagship product olive oil in three variants – Extra Virgin, Extra Light and Pure Olive Oil, having light flavour and aroma – and has also launched Balsamic Vinegar and microwave popcorns along with the prime range.
Having figured out the marketing strategy, Borges is now looking forward to be considered a ‘Category Captain’. Bhasin elaborated, “We are the only MNC present in this market with a local subsidiary and have a first mover advantage. We are here to help establish and grow the olive oil category and hence grow with it. We want to play the role of a category captain wherever we go.”
He further said, “We want to understand the consumer and then develop products which meet his/ her needs. For example, we got this consumer insight through some FGDs (Focused Group Discussions) that we had done, which revealed that the CEO Mom does not like the taste of her food changed due to the change in cooking medium, hence we are going ahead with the launch of an extra light olive oil, which is good for Indian cooking and does not have any flavour.”
The Health Plank
When asked about any specific medium of communication that the brand is focussing on, Bhasin told exchange4media, “Borges will create a differentiated positioning for itself by taking the healthy active lifestyle route. We aim to educate the consumers on the benefits of olive oil consumption and its relevance in their daily lives. We have tied up with well known nutritionists and are in the process of tying up with reputed hospitals in helping us spread the several benefits of olive oil to end users. We will be using a mix of on-ground promotions, online campaign and direct media interface to drive our strategy.”
“We have launched in India with the aim to establish and grow the olive oil category and hence nurture the brand via this route. We want to strongly drive the message that olive oil is a healthy option for everyday consumption and should be adopted for a healthy lifestyle. Our main priority is to introduce a healthy and active lifestyle in Indian households and drive the message of ‘Luv Life, Luv Olive’ among consumers,” he added.
The brand’s entry into the Indian market is expected to be keenly observed by existing players like Bertolli, Figaro, etc. How would the newly-launched name handle the pressure and make a place for itself? To this, Bhasin replied, “Borges has been in the food business for over a century now and follows high quality standards to ensure the best in class range. We intend to reach out to consumers on a more interpersonal level. We are planning a series of promotions and consumer engagement initiatives. We have a panel of experts from the health care industry; nutritionists and dieticians, who will interact with consumers on various platforms and help dispel people’s negative perception of olive oil and understand benefits derived from it.”
The Pricing Proposition
Olive oil is usually an expensive commodity, and when it comes to the Indian market, buyers are mostly attracted towards ‘value for money’ proposition. Bhasin said, “Our core target audience is the health conscious consumer, one who aspires for an active healthy lifestyle. There are various factors pertaining to this consumer, which indicate that adopting olive oil in their daily routine should not get constrained because of the price – growing health consciousness, increasing disposable incomes, exposure to the different cuisines, etc. We believe that the consumer is looking for value proposition and we are in a position to deliver that value.”
Borges also acknowledges the fact that the Indian household is still not very active in using olive oil in their cooking and to bridge the gap, the brand has brainstormed on the right approach. “We have done a fair amount of research to understand consumer behaviour and need gaps. We believe there is a need to make the product offering relevant to the daily lives of the Indian consumer. We are launching a whole range of olive oils under Borges, including a ‘unique’ offering called Extra Light Olive oil, especially for Indian cooking.”
“We would be doing a whole host of activities to highlight the health benefits and usage occasions. One such initiative is the Borges microsite. The website has all information regarding the health benefits of olive oil, recipes, which include both Indian and continental cuisines. Consumers will also be able to interact with leading nutritionists from the Borges panel of experts and pose queries to them. More such initiatives would be rolled out in the near future,” he added.
To cater to the price-sensitive Indian market, Bhasin also informed that Borges would be launching a whole range of olive oil variants and pack sizes to service every consumer’s need. 250 ml Borges Pure Olive oil and Borges Extra light olive oil is priced at Rs 170 and 250 ml Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil is priced at Rs 190.
To ensure its impact, Borges has hired Text 100 as the official PR agency, which is helping them in their external communication and positioning in India, while Isobar has developed their website - www.luvolive.com –an interactive site primarily focused on health benefits of olive with sections like Health Check, Why Olive Oil?, Ask a specialist, and Olive Da Tadhka, to name a few.
As part of its expansion plans, Borges will build a distribution network and will be available in leading food retail outlets in six metros in the first phase – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. The company will expand its distribution reach to 36 Indian cities/ towns by next year.