Our products are the greatest form of visibility and marketing: Mithun Appaiah, Sumeru

CEO Mithun Appaiah speaks about Sumeru Foods’ new product launch, media mix and marketing strategies

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Dec 20, 2019 9:27 AM
Mithun Appaiah

Sumeru owned by Innovative Foods Limited (IFL) is a major player in the Indian food processing industry since 1989. It is also one of the leading exclusive frozen food brands in the country. Sumeru has recently launched a filter coffee concentrate – a ready-to-serve, on-the-go, quality filter coffee decoction that is 2X stronger than its regular counterparts. As a part of the launch, the brand did a social media campaign #IndiaKaFilter, which focused on individuality and positive thinking.

Speaking about Sumeru’s new product launch, CEO Mithun Appaiah said: “Sumeru has redefined the frozen food industry in the country. We have been innovating in the food category, specifically in frozen foods, for the past few years. Our objective has always been to bring in the best of the products to the market. We understood that there is a gap in certain categories and filter coffee decoction is one of them. The team at Sumeru has been working on getting the right kind of blend for the last one and a half years. It is very easy to launch a filter coffee product, but to get the right blend is very critical.”

The right blend

Since the choice of coffee varies from state to state, Sumeru was focused on arriving at a blend, which will cater to everybody’s tastes. And it took them extensive research and sampling to find the perfect decoction.

“Filter coffee decoction has been around for a long time, but it is being widely spoken about only recently. We have done sampling with our experts and consumers across the country have given us excellent feedback. Our filter coffee decoction will be India’s first authentic South Indian filter coffee brand to be introduced in North India across retail stores,” added Appaiah.

#IndiaKaFilter campaign

Speaking on the marketing strategies for the new product, Appaiah said, “We are currently working on the digital platforms. Our team is focused on getting our distribution chain intact. I strongly believe that our products are the greatest form of visibility and marketing. We are focused more on sampling, which is going to help us in getting more consumers for this product.”

Sumeru launched #IndiaKaFilter campaign for the filter coffee decoction, targetting, in Appaiah's words "the young and ambitious India." Elaborating more on its theme, he said, “We envisioned a future where people are empowered through positive thoughts and seek to have a different approach to life. To make this impact, we introduced #IndiaKaFilter. The campaign focused on the individuality of thought and expanding the horizons of these thoughts to look at the bigger picture with a positive mindset. We encouraged people to come forward and share their approach to life on social media. ”

The effort paid off and the campaign, Appaiah said, received positive reactions of coffee lovers, who shared their stories.

Market Share

Speaking on the brand’s market share, Appaiah stated, “There is no hardcore data available on filter coffee decoction. The market size is pegged at around Rs 800 crore. As I mentioned earlier, we are the only brand which is going pan India level in the filter coffee decoction category. We want a run rate of around Rs 20-30 crore for this product. The overall market size in the frozen food category is pegged around Rs 6000-7000 crore, but that is a mix of categories where we don’t operate. In the retail frozen food space, we would be having a 10 per cent market share.”

Way forward

Appaiah also revealed Sumeru’s plans to bring out more innovative products like the ready-to-use filter coffee decoction. “We will be launching a few products in the health and wellness category. But we are more focused on products, which excites the customers. Our marketing budgets are pegged at around 12-15 per cent. In terms of the media mix, we are focused on digital platforms and ground activities. We will also start a little bit of ATL focused in certain geographies, depending on the products. We want to disrupt the market and continue growing at the same pace,” concluded Appaiah.

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