Monday, March 27, 2006

Pillsbury : Dil se Khao

Brand : Pillsbury
Company: General Mills
Agency: Leo Burnett

Pillsbury is a global food brand that is trying to replicate its success in Indian market. The brand was launched in Indiain 1998 as a result of a joint venture between Godrej and Selviac Nederland BV ( Pillsbury). Pillsbury have a rich heritage dating back to 1869. It started as a flour milling company named A Pillsbury and is now one of the largest brands in the food products market in the world.In 2002, the company was taken over by General Mills.

When Pillsbury was launched, it had the option of coming in with the blockbuster global "ready to eat products" , but it chose a contra approach heeding to the advice given by Mckinsey “ GO Basic”. So Pillsbury launched Pillsbury Chakki fresh atta ( pounded wheat flour) in the Indian market.
It was a bold move because the atta market is a commodity market and the branded atta market is only 3% of the total atta market in India estimated to be around 23000 crore.

Pillsbury chakkifresh atta was launched in India on the platform of softness. Since ordinary Roti’s lost their softness after some time, Pillsbury claimed that its Roti’s retained the softness for over 6 hours. This appealed to the modern homemakers since Roti’s can be kept in tiffin boxes without worrying about softness.

It was a tough task for Pillsbury to enter into Indian kitchens since the households followed traditional way of buying wheat and giving them to flour mills. Pillsbury realized that food products marketing are more of Repertoire marketing where more variety is the key to success. Pillsbury decided to move up the value chain by coming out with a range of products.
The firs one was the launch of Oven cake mixes in 1999. The product failed in the market because of poor penetration of microwave ovens. Taking a lesson from this failure, came the successful launch of Cooker Cake mixes in 2000 ie cakes can me made using pressure cookers. Ub 2002, Pillsbury launched Pan Fresh Pizza.

Despite these launches, Pillsbury was not happy with the way the atta brand was moving. A marketing research showed that health was a leading attribute that customers look for when they buy food products .

In 2004 the product was relaunched in the health platform with emphasis on “ good to heart” since heart problems are on a rise in Urban market. The idea is to promote the idea that whole wheat atta is good for your family’s heart .The latest positioning is “ Dil se Khao “ reinforces the health positioning.The brand is endorsed by Healthcare foundation.

Using the innovative differentiation and positioning, Pillsbury is having a market share of 8% in the branded atta market. While the market leader is Ashirvad from ITC (40%) followed by Annapoorna from HLL (18%).

Pillsbury globally is famous for its mascot “ Poppin Fresh” popularly known as the doughboy. Although the mascot is in Indian market too, it does not have the same fan following as it is in the west.

Pillsbury despite its foreign origin and brand name is trying to fit into the Indian mindset. Despite having a good product, the brand is lagging behind Ashirvad which was launched much later. With the backing of a global foods giant and with some very smart thinking, this brand has the potential to make it big.The only thing Pillbury needs is lots of money for advertising