Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sunfeast : Spreading the smile

Brand : Sunfeast
Company : ITC Ltd
Agency " FCB Ulka

Can a cigarette manufacturer succeed in marketing Biscuits? What do management thinkers say about unrelated diversification? Unrelated diversification will succeed if it is based on the core competency of the firm. So What is the core competency of ITC that is being leveraged when it decided to enter the Foods market. ITC relies on three core competencies

1. The depth of distribution

2. Its brand building capabilities.

3. The ability of Quality outsourcing.

Sunfeast has been a success because of these three competencies of ITC. Sunfeast was launched in 2003 was one of the diversification forays of ITC which wanted to establish itself as a serious FMCG player from its position of Tobacco products leader. ITC had the advantage of the well entrenched distribution setup which is matched only by HLL.

Indian biscuit market is estimated to be around 4500 - 5000 crore. The market is dominated by Parle and Britannia. Parle is the volume leader with brands like parle- G, Krackjack and Monaco while Britannia is the value leader with brands like 50: 50, milk bikis, Tiger, Goodday etc. The biscuit market has now moved from the core Glucose base to more value added categories. The key markets are UP, Maharashtra, and Tamilnadu. The percapita consumption of biscuits in India is only 1.2 kg per annum while the percapita consumption is 15 kg p.a in developed nations. While the glucose biscuits are popular in Rural India , Urban market prefer Cream biscuits.

To establish a brand in this tough market was never easy. Sunfeast using heavy promotion and careful brand building have already garnered 10% market share in this market. Sunfeast is positioned as an exciting brand. This platform is supported by a series product launches. Since Biscuits are convenience goods , new tastes and new products are essential to built excitement in the market. Sunfeast have maintained continous series of new launches like Milky Magic, Coconut, strawberry, pineapple cream etc. Recently Sunfeast launched a product for the premium segment named " Dark Fantasy" with chocolate flavour and cool advertisements.

Sunfeast have used the baseline " spread the smile" as the brand essence and the brand is endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan. The use of SRK makes sense since the TG is mainly kids . SRK have the energetic persona that goes well with the brand. The mascot of Sunfeast is the Animated Sun which is the symbol of contentment, satisfaction and Pleasure. This mascot has been well received by the TG. The ad campaigns are catchy and full of colors and excitement. The product is also of very high quality. Thus Sunfeast has managed to get all the winning combinations in the right mix.

Sunfeast is also trying to garner more share in the Marie category which is estimated to be around 600 crore. It launched the Marie with different flavours that has enabled it to gain a strong foothold in that category. To expand the brand in to the snack category Sunfeast has launched Pasta Treat which talks of a healthy snacking option for kids.

Sunfeast also uses lot of Below the line promotions for brand building. It sponsors Sunfeast Open, a recent initiative aiming at the school kids by providing them an opportunity to enhance creativity through painting competitions, " Hara Bano " campaign which set a world record in planting maximum number of saplings etc.

The constant product launches and careful promotions have enabled Sunfeast to move to the top league in the biscuit market with in a span of 3 years. We may see this brand expanding to many categories .Hope they don't mess the brand by extending it to underwears.

Sunfeast : A marketing success story.


  1. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Dear Harish.

    you know what.. the best(read worst) extention i have seen is odonil room freshners and sprays... i dont know whether they have body spray and deodarants...

    Let me quote jack trout
    "The true test of a general is not knowing when to advance, but knowing when to stop and retreat"

    To that i say.. amen..!!!


  2. Dear Harish,

    I read your article and I found a major omission here. You made no mention of the agency behind the Brand Identity creation of Sunfeast, which happens to be DMA Branding. Before FCB took over DMA was responsible for creation of its imagery, logo, packaging and Sun Mnemonic that you see all around - spreading the smile. They at least deserve a mention for creating such a powerful Brand.



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