We want to make healthy habits a part of consumers' lives: Aarti Iyer, Unibic Foods

Iyer believes that the biggest strength of Unibic as a brand is the way in which they bring innovation and freshness into their products

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Oct 10, 2018 8:35 AM
aarti iyer

Aarti B Iyer brings with her more than 15 years of expertise in the field of Marketing and Brand Communications. She has been working with UNIBIC Foods Pvt. Ltd. as Marketing Head since 2017. Iyer's insights into advertising, business advancement, strategic planning, branding, and media relations have played a key role in the upwards trajectory of Unibic.

In an interaction with exchange4media at Unibic factory in Aluru, Bangalore, Iyer spoke about the uniqueness of the brand, their marketing campaigns, and Unibic’s initiatives for the upcoming festive season in the country. Iyer believes that the biggest strength of Unibic as a brand is the way in which they bring innovation and freshness into their products.


Excerpts:

According to Unibic Foods officials, the company was eyeing to grow manifold in 2017. How much of that has been achieved so far?

We have been growing steadily in the premium cookie market during the last few months. We could see visibility in growth and share right from a nascent stage. The snack bar launched by us has witnessed tremendous growth as well in terms of sales and visibility. We have successfully established our presence pan-India, and in the next quarter, our focus will be on the NCR North-East regions and Delhi markets. We are planning to widen our verticals by exploring into newer markets and not confine ourselves to only cookies.

In 2017, you made an announcement about shifting your focus to northern regions of the country. What was the marketing and advertising strategies followed and how successful was Unibic in that initiative?

Unibic is taking up more GEC space in the north and north-eastern parts of the country. Earlier we were focused on BTL marketing and now we are taking advertising space in major TV networks and on radio. We also did a lot of ground activities and branding inside cinema halls. Also, we took up on-ground branding during cricket.

Tell us about UBU and the ways in which it has helped popularise the brand?

UBU -basically stands for Unibic and You. It is an integral character in campaigns by Unibic. We have made TV commercials with UBU as the main character. We have placed him in branding space inside a cricket stadium asking people to cheer more as the word ‘more’ is something we are emphasising in all our campaigns as our cookies are loaded with more ingredients. During the FIFA World Cup (under 17) we have taken space in Asianet, as Kerala is a big market for Football (UBU brought the goals of the day). We created a property ‘Goal of the day’ with UBU. We created a TVC with UBU and other characters in Cartoon Network. Across schools in India, we have organised competitions for students and many interesting ideas have come in during those competitions. We want to take him to different places and different stages altogether.

The festive season has begun in India, tell us about Unibic’s initiatives for the festive season in the country.

For the festival season, we are launching a new range of gift packets. We also wanted to leave some anecdote behind, so we have launched a campaign named ‘grow a plant, grow a planet’. The leaflet inside the gift pack features plants which can be grown at home and the process to be followed for that. Apart from that, we have separate sugar free gift packs.

According to ValueNotes research report on the biscuits and cookies industry in India, concerns like growing media coverage on health, rising incidence of health conditions, increasing concerns over physical appearance, changing lifestyle and soaring costs of healthcare have led the biscuits and cookies market to move towards a healthier path. What are the steps taken by Unibic Foods towards this move?

Our fibre rich digestive biscuits and snack bars are introduced with that in mind, we want to make it healthy habits part of our consumer’s life. What we are trying to tell the consumers is to consider something healthier while snacking. We are evoking people to consider healthier eating habits to the regular options available like fried snacks that completely take out the nutrition. Unibic is also planning to launch more health-oriented products

The biscuits and cookies industry in India, valued at INR 145bn (~USD 2.41bn) in FY 2014, has been growing at a CAGR of ~10% over the last three years. ValueNotes estimates that the industry will be worth nearly INR 279bn (~USD 4.65 million) by FY 2019, growing at a CAGR of ~14%. What according to you are the factors catering to this growth?

There are many reasons behind it, one among them is spending power of people that has changed dramatically in India. The consumption patterns in smaller towns and villages in India are changing. People are getting more brand conscious and they are giving importance to quality and they are not ready to compromise on that.

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