Tata Tea has forayed into the economy segment with their new brand Agni, priced at Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 30. Percy Siganporia, Managing Director, said, "With the launch of Tata Tea Agni, we now have a strong presence across all the segments in the leaf tea market. Economy segment consumers who aspire for Tata Tea will now have the opportunity to go in for the 10 per cent extra strong blend variant."
The total domestic tea consumption is around 650 million kg and out of this, 285 million kg comprises the branded tea segment, of which 70 per cent is leaves and the rest is dust. Tata Tea with the new brand is making inroads into the large economy segment, which is about 60 per cent of the leaf tea market.
On the marketing strategy, Sangeeta Talwar, Executive Director-Marketing, said, "Company research indicates that the choice of consumers in the economy segment is that of 'kadak chai' (strong tea) and the tea's strength needs to be cued visually. Also, the people are looking at value for money and at the same time, are willing to pay a little more for branded tea. This is what led to the conception of Tata Tea Agni."
The company has lined up a series of marketing initiatives to boost the brand. There will be a large amount of trade connect, a wholesale loyalty programme, banner display contests, van operation reaching out to 60 per cent of 1,000 plus towns, video-on-wheels reaching out to 50 per cent of 5,000 plus towns and large amount of POPs. This will be further strengthened by a product specific campaign made by Dentsu.
On the promotional front, Sushant Dash, Marketing Manager, said, "We are not using Sania Mirza for Tata Tea Agni. The advertisements for this brand would be more product-specific. However, we believe that there would be a halo effect and her goodwill from Premium will rub off to other brands as well."
Dash said that with Agni they are vying for a 4-5 per cent market share in this segment. The direct competitors will be local players and Lipton's Taaza in some areas. Asked if there pricing is higher, he denied it claiming that Tata Tea Agni's pricing is on a par with what the local brands are offering. On whether the company is primarily targeting the rural areas, he said, "We are looking at semi-rural towns and villages. However, there is also a segment of population in the cities who would go for the value for money branded 'kadak chai'."