Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Suguna Poultry : Younger Tender Better

Brand :Suguna
Company : Suguna Poultry
Agency : R K Swamy BBDO

Brand Analysis Count : 346

Suguna Poultry is one of the major players in the fragmented poultry industry in India. Suguna is a classic case of commodity branding . Suguna Poultry started its operations in 1984. The company is based in Coimbatore in Tamilnadu.

The story of Suguna is interesting to a marketer for two reasons. First is obvious in that Suguna is branding poultry products which is a hardcore commodity business. Second is its unique business model.

India is the third largest egg producer and fifth largest poultry meat producer in the world. Indian poultry market is huge with an estimated market size of Rs 20,000 crore ( Business line) . According to Business Standard ( July 08), the size is estimated to be around Rs 12,000 crore.

The market is highly fragmented and dominated by local players. It is in this context that Suguna 's story becomes relevant.

Suguna came into a difficult market with a difficult idea. Branding chicken ! But through heavy investment in the media, Suguna was able to create a mind space for itself .
In the poultry market , the frozen meat market was around Rs 7500 crore. It was in this market where some amount of branding activity was seen.

The market further expanded with Godrej Agrovet entering the market with their brand Real Good.Suguna was promoting itself on quality and tenderness. I remember seeing lot of ads of Suguna during mid nineties. But in Indian market, consumers prefer live birds to frozen meat because of the easy availability of live birds. Suguna was able to make its brand prominent in this market also.

Suguna has sold live birds and eggs worth Rs 2020 crore in 2007 without owning a single poultry farm. That makes their business model interesting. The company pioneered contract farming in the poultry industry in India. The company source their produce through 12000 contract farmers across different states.

According to reports , Suguna owns the day -old-chickens , feed and feed medicine and the contract farmer is responsible for the day to day management of the farm. The farmer gets the assured income while the company takes care of the risk . In that way Suguna can channel its valuable resources to marketing and distribution.

Then the company entered into another lucrative market of selling branded egg. Each year India produces around 47 billion eggs worth Rs 10,000 crore.The market is growing at a rate of 15 % in an year ( Economic Times ).

Suguna has four egg brands and sells over one million eggs a month. Suguna launched these value added egg which is fortified with vitamins. This is done by feeding the laying hen with specialized nutrient feed.I am a regular customer of Suguna eggs.
The brands are
Suguna Pro
Suguna Active
Suguna Heart
Suguna Shakthi

Infact my wife started buying this brand of eggs for my child since she was impressed by the packaging which made the eggs look more hygienic and healthy. Priced almost 50% more than the usual eggs, Suguna had to show some differentiation in the product to justify the premium.

I closely looked at this simple product ( egg) for differentiation and it was evident. The eggs were clean , more shining and uniform in terms of size and shape. Another differentiation was in the packaging. In branding commodity, a marketer should be able to justify the premium and Suguna was able to do just that.

Suguna also has expensive range of eggs under the variant Suguna Heart which contains less cholesterol and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Buoyed by the success of these businesses, Suguna has entered into front end retail by launching Suguna Daily Fresh retail outlets. Reports also say that the company is launching Ready To Eat Chicken products also.

Suguna is a case which proves that its possible to brand any commodity.