Monday, August 20, 2007

Kinder Surprise : A Surprise Inside

Brand : Kinder Surprise
Company : Ferrero International

Brand Analysis Count : 264

Those who have visited supermarkets recently may not have missed a unique bright red and white colored egg shaped confectionery stocked at strategic locations. Its Kinder Surprise eggs for you. Kinder Surprise is a world renowned brand which has iconic status in some important markets in Europe.

I came to know about this brand from the latest book of Philip Kotler titled " Lateral Marketing". This brand is exhaustively quoted in the book. When I first saw this brand in the super market, I checked whether it was serious about India. Later media reports confirmed that the brand have serious plans about Indian market.

Kinder Surprise is an Italian brand launched in 1972 by Ferrero SPA . Kinder Surprise is a hollow milk chocolate in the size of a hen's egg. Inside the chocolate egg, there is a surprise toy for the kid. Usually the toy requires fixing of smaller parts. Kinder Surprise got the name from the combination of two words Kinder ( in German means Children) and Surprise. It is also known as Kinder Eggs.

This brand attracted Kotler's attention because it redefined the confectionery market in Europe. When this brand was launched, the entire snack market was fragmented. Especially in the category of chocolate bars, the brand saturation was also high. The company wanted to launch something different and attractive to both the end user ( Kids) and the influencer/decider/purchaser ( Parents). Thus the idea of Kinder Surprise eggs was born.
The idea was a lateral one . A toy inside a chocolate. That too a series of toys that can be collected by the kids.
Why the brand was popular among both parents and kids was simple. Most of the time when parents bought chocolate for the kids, they are almost always worried about the health factor. Secondly , seldom kids are satisfied with one chocolate. That creates a hell of an issue at home.
Kinder Surprise aimed to erase these two problems. The brand was advertised in the media as a healthy product rich in energy and carbohydrates. The Egg size ensures enough quantity of chocolate for consumption by the kids. The tricky part is that when the kids open the egg, he/she finds the toy and plays with it and the parents are relieved of being asked for more chocolates. That prompted many parents to opt for Kinder Surprise . For the kid the gets a chocolate , a toy and a collection. ( source : Lateral Marketing by Kotler )
Although Kinder Surprise is a rage in Europe but the product is not available in US because the regulations does not allow non nutritive products to be embedded in food products.

Kinder Surprise had a soft launch in India. I doubt whether they still is test marketing the brand in select market.There are no ads but only in-store promotion/ display. The brand is targeting young children and the differentiation is the toys inside the chocolate egg.

The brand was a surprise to me for another reason. The price. Kinder Surprise is priced at around Rs 25-Rs 30 which I consider too premium for a chocolate brand. ( Slow Skimming ? ) Those customers who are not aware of the surprise inside the brand may not opt for it. With out much promotion, customers are also not going to know about it. That makes the new launch a little troublesome for the company. We may see certain price rationalization in days to come.

Although the brand has established its position in global market, it is in for a certain surprise in the Indian market. I feel that the brand has got its initial pricing wrong. Indians are too choosy to spend Rs 30 on a chocolate as small as an egg. Secondly the USP of the brand is the toy inside. But in Indian market, this concept has been hijacked by ITC for its Sunfeast range of biscuits . Although the toy is not embedded in the product, Sunfeast have the toy which it calls FIXOS which is the same kind of toys found inside Kinder Surprise. And the Sunfeast biscuits are priced much below the Kinder Surprise' price. Hence Kinder Surprise may not result in a big surprise.

I am not writing the epitaph of a product that is newly launched but trying to cite the challenges faced by this global brand entering into the highly competitive Indian market. World over Kinder Surprise has succeeded because of its ability to create unique collectible toys . The company is very careful in the design of the toys and there are lot of exciting series like German Series, MPG, Limited edition , hand painted toys etc. In India too, the brand may be trying to replicate the global model.
With this high price and little surprise will Kinder Surprise can make it big in Indian market will be an exciting story to watch.

Source : wikipedia,lateral marketing