One brand that has steadily become a household name in the world of dairy products is ‘Mother Dairy’. The thought of Mother Dairy present a picture of a local milk booth where people line up, use their token, and buy milk. However, four years back, Mother Dairy created its innovative centre, ‘Avishkar’. True to its name, Avishkar has leveraged Mother Dairy in shedding their traditional image and establishing a stronghold in the industry, despite facing stiff competition from the giants such as Amul and Nestle.
Mother Dairy has used a 360 degree innovation plan after determining the shortcomings of the products that are available in the market. They have not only diversified their range of products, but have also strategically altered their packaging and marketing techniques.
During the Diwali of 2011, ‘khoya’ was in the news for all the wrong reasons. It was reported that the market was flooded with adulterated khoya and sweets, which dampened the festive mood. Mother Dairy was quick to grab the window of opportunity and they ventured into the traditional sweets market. They catered to the need of the hour by providing khoya, the primary ingredient for preparing any sweet, in consumer packs. Among the newly introduced range of products were khoya, cheena kheer, kaju barfi, kaju pista rolls, doda barfi, and milk cake. Introducing this range was the best plan designed by Mother Dairy to satiate consumers’ requirements. Consumers couldn’t have asked for more than getting these products from one of the most trusted brands.
Their foray into variety dairy products began with the launch of fruit yogurt available in four flavours – blueberry, raspberry, mango, and plum. ‘Mishti Doi’, a name synonymous with Bengal, was another product that was launched along with the range of yogurt.
Until Mishti Doi was available in consumer packs, buyers were habituated in getting their sweet curds from local sweet shops. Venturing into the market with a product which is also a part of the traditional cuisine of a community was quite a challenge. However, it was a successful launch. But, the success story did not continue for long, as Mother Dairy raised its price and with a generic packaging and nothing special to offer, this product saw downward spiral in its sales. It was quick in losing its appeal with the consumers. Mother Dairy stepped up to the challenge. They reintroduced Mishti Doi with a touch of Bengal, imprints of Goddess Durga and vibrant coloured rangolis. This hit the right chord with the consumers and Mother Dairy recovered its lost revenue and generated great sales.
Mother Dairy has launched yet another variety of doi, ‘Aam Doi’, which is a blend of Mishti Doi and mango flavours. The company has also introduced ‘Sweet Lassi’ and ‘Masala Lassi’ in cups. This convenient packaging allows consumers to relish lassi without any hassle and also keeps hygiene issues at bay.
Subhashis Basu , Business Head (Dairy Products), Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable said, “Mother Dairy’s Mishti Doi is a market leader and we have very loyal consumer base. We saw an opportunity to connect to the tradition of Bengali community by visually representing core Bengali symbols. Hence, we altered the packaging. Aam Doi has been developed as a result of extensive consumer understanding, which combines the authentic flavours of Mishti Doi with a rich taste of luscious mangoes.”
He added, “Nowadays, consumers are very health conscious and also very particular about taste; overall, consumers are very fussy with respect to their food intake. Keeping all these factors in mind, Mother Dairy introduced fruit yogurts, which give consumers a taste of real fruits along with their daily intake of yogurt.”
Basu’s view on brand connecting with the health conscious youth is that, “For the first time in India, we introduced Probiotic dahi ‘b-Active’ and Probiotic drink ‘Nutrifit’. As a result of extensive research, we enriched the ‘Probiotic’ products with dietary fibre to have symbiotic effect and make it a healthier option. ‘Dietz Sugar Free’ an ice-cream containing high dietary fibre was launched for diabetic patients and calorie conscious consumers. ‘Lic Lolleezz’ was also introduced with Vitamin C and flavours that appealed to the taste buds of Indians.” Mother Dairy chose to be identified as a brand by its customers and not as commodity or ingredient and, therefore, it chose to be associated with Indian Railways and Indian Airlines. Basu rationalised this statement by adding, “90 per cent of this market is held by Mother Dairy. We always want our consumers to remember and recall our brand.”
Mother Dairy has plans to launch products with longer shelf-life, which include milk powders, dairy whiteners, tetra packs, and dairy beverages. Although the road to reinvention has not been a cake walk, Mother Dairy has come a long way from its local milk booth image. They have not only fortified their position in the dairy industry, but have also made their presence felt in agri-business through ‘Safal’.