Sunday, December 05, 2010

Brand Update : Sunfeast enters noodles segment with Yippee

Sunfeast is on its way to become a megabrand. This challenger biscuit brand launched in 2003, within a span of 7 years, has presence in categories like biscuits,pasta and now in noodles. Sunfeast made its first brand extension in 2005 when it launched Sunfeast Pasta Treat and created the pasta category in the Indian market.

In September 2010 , the brand launched its noodles brand extension- Sunfeast Yippee. Indian noodles segment has now become a huge market worth Rs 1200 crore . Maggi is the market leader with a whopping 70% market share ( Business Standard). A huge market with one major market leader is definitely an attractive one. That is one of the reason why so many players have recently launched their brand in this segment.

Sunfeast ( ITC) is a worthy player to take on the might of Maggi. ITC is a company that is not averse to taking risk and have a huge cash reserve to fight a marketing war with Nestle.
The Sunfeast brand already has built up sufficient equity in the biscuit business with its high profile campaigns featuring Shah Rukh Khan . The brand also occupied good shelf space in most of the large retail formats . Another aspect of the brand was its penchant for launching a series of new products and flavors which helped gain lot of consumer liking in the biscuit business.

Looking at the strategy behind extending the biscuit brand into noodles, there are pros and cons that has to be noted. The major advantage for ITC in extending the Sunfeast brand is that it may have saved lot of money through this extension. Building a brand in a sensitive category like food will take lot of investment and time. Since Sunfeast is already in food business, it makes economic sense to launch noodles under this brand.

The disadvantage is the dilution of the equity of the brand in its core business- biscuits. Sunfeast is not now a biscuit brand but an umbrella brand endorsing many food items. Hence the personality of the brand has changed . This change has happened from 2005 itself when the brand launched the Pasta Treat.

In the branding of noodles, Sunfeast has adopted an endorsing structure where Sunfeast brand will endorse the Noodle brand "Yippee " . The look of the brand says that it is going to be positioned as a happy, vibrant, fun loving brand. I am yet to see any campaigns for this brand in any of the channels. Retail shops are displaying the brand with some POP promotions but not much on the message side.

Picture courtesy and an interesting take on the brand by Karthik - here

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