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The biggest differentiator would be our product: B. Krishna Rao, Parle

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The biggest differentiator would be our product: B. Krishna Rao, Parle

Parle Group has recently released their maiden communication for the product Mexitos which was launched in the market in August 2015. The ad conceptualised by Thoughtshop Advertising has used humour in order to standout and create a better brand recall in the nachos category which is still at a very nascent stage in India.

Commenting on the thought behind launching Mexitos, B. Krishna Rao, Deputy Marketing Manager, Parle Products said, “We had presence in the snacking category since 2008, but felt that we need to have a differentiator in the portfolio. So when we scanned through this overall snacking category, we felt there is a great opportunity for nacho chips. At that point, there was presence in the segment by few players, but not much of an action was happening. But in 2015 itself, there was an onslaught of launches, 4-5 new brands came in. With the launch of Mexitos we will not only be creating a differentiator in this snacking portfolio. But at the same time, it will also help us build a premium imagery for this segment.”

Rao spoke to exchange4media about the marketing plans of Mexitos, the target segment, the size and the challenges in this category and more.


How big is the nachos category in terms of its market share?

The category is so small that even Nielsen has not been able to report. The numbers are actually quite unbelievable. I guess there is a gross under reporting and we are still trying to get a hang of it.

Talking about the snacking category, it is nothing less than Rs 12,000 crore and if you include traditional, then it will be above Rs 25,000 crore. Parle Group’s share in this is actually quite miniscule.

What is the current competition scenario in this category?

The category is at a very nascent stage, though there is a sudden influx of few brands. The brands which have been around for over 6 years include: Cornitos, Nachoz, Allthatsgood, Tastilo and in December 2015 came Doritos by PepsiCo. This is actually good news because the category will now develop, which is still at a very nascent stage currently.

Fortunately for us, the biggest differentiator would be our product. Though as of now, the market share is with a competitor, but they do not advertise and we have an opportunity to gain the mind space.

Can you tell us about the target audience for Mexitos?

We are targeting those who are consciously consuming the product, those who have already tasted nachos before and are well travelled. At the same time, we are also trying to make the product a ‘mass’ offering. The indicator is our price point- which is at Rs 20. The least price point till now was Cornitos which is at Rs 35.

Our intention was to remove the cost barrier, so that it becomes an easy entry. We have also given a lot of attention to the visibility part in stores, which is very critical. The reason being that snacks depend more on impulse buying and if it is right there in front of your eyes, then you will surely like to taste it. Therefore, with the launch of Mexitos we are actually taking the role of developing the category.

Are you targeting any specific market for Mexitos?

We are focusing mainly on the metros, the mega metros and the class 1 towns. The reason being, it has still not gone down in the smaller towns and it will still take some time, therefore, we are concentrating more on the urban towns and cities.

How will you be promoting Mexitos?

Other than the TVC, we are doing a lot of interesting digital activities and we will continue to promote it through all the modern trade outlets, where we will take some isle branding. We are also conducting extensive sampling at these outlets because customers would like to try it out first. We will also ensure that the product is also available in the general stores as well, so that it gets access to more and more consumers. We have also done some interesting radio spots and have started aggressively by coming out with a television commercial, which no one in this space has done.

Currently it is available in two flavours and we are looking to launch a new flavour-‘Cheese’ by the end of the next month.

Has the Indian audience adapted to this new offering and taste?

Not yet. However, the opportunity is here; thanks to multiplexes where the audience is ready to shell out anything upward of Rs 60 for a small tray of nachos with nice dips. This is actually enabling the consumers to try out a product like nachos. Secondly, the people who are well travelled are already exposed to global brands. They are now more into this category.

What are the current challenges in this category?

The biggest challenge is to develop the category, a handful of customers have tried nachos. So from niche we want to make it a popular category.

What was the brief given to the agency?

It was a one line brief that –We would like to own the category and that is how the agency came up with the line –Nacho nahi Bolo Mexitos!

Since it is a new product, do you have plans of getting an ambassador on board to create a better recall?

No, there is no brand ambassador and we have no such plans. The hero of the commercial is the product and we are trying to own the category, where we are saying- ‘Nacho nahi Bolo Mexitos’

The packaging showcases and underlines an international appeal, was it a conscious step?

We were planning to lend a very international imagery to the product and that is the reason we were consciously not using the Parle logo on the pack. The snack infact has originated in Mexico, so we wanted to intentionally bring that lineage to the brand and give it an international appeal. But now we have decided to associate this with Parle and now the logo is going to be featured on to the pack.


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