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DS Group Chingles the confectionery market

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Dharampal Satyapal (DS) Group is all set to take a bite of the growing confectionery market in India starting with the launch of Chingles chewing gum. It will invest Rs 150 crore in the new business and is aggressively seeking to add three more products in its confectionery portfolio.

Puesh Kumar, Director, DS Group, cites reasons for the entry, “DS Group has forayed into the growing confectionery business to expand its foot print in the food space.   Food business, especially confectionery will be a new growth driver for the company. For the business, it is an extension of our product line where we can leverage the depth of our retail network.” According to EuroMonitor and Tata Strategic Management Group, the confectionery industry in India is pegged at Rs 9,000 crore out of which chewing gum constitutes for around Rs 1,600 crore. The latter is growing at a pace of 25 per cent per annum.

Puesh Kumar, Director, DS Group

Puesh Kumar, Director, DS Group

The company is looking at the new launch as an extension of the existing Pass Pass brand. Thus, the brand positioning of the mouth freshener has been extended to Chingles, which promotes the concept of sharing and togetherness. Moreover, in order to gain more traction and brand recall the company has deliberately chosen the umbrella branding route for the new launch.

Chew this
Seeing a positive response from the test marketing of Chingles in metros, the company delayed the launch by another month so that it could get its production capacity in place to meet anticipated demand. The company is expecting a turnaround of around Rs 365 crore in the first year with Chingles and Pass Pass, and another Rs 125 crore from new launches. This confidence rises from the company’s effort of differentiating Chingles in terms of product innovation.

In terms of product differentiation, Chingles are not the regular sized chewing gums but mini gums with distinct flavours as they come in mint, nimbu (lemon) and saunf (fennel seeds) flavours, so the company has made efforts to localise the taste according to the Indian palate. “Our saunf flavor is in line with the idea of chewing saunf right after eating food. At hearts Indians will remain Indians, even MNCs cannot opt for conventional marketing tactics but have to cater to the local needs of the consumer. Though our format and packaging are more contemporary the taste is still traditional. For instance the refreshing lemon flavour is apt for a hot country like ours,” explains, Bhavna Sood, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, DS Group. She adds that consumers are looking for newness in flavours even in a category driven by impulse purchase. Chingles are available at Re 1 for 2.52 grams for a sachet and Rs 5 for 10.8 grams for a zipper pouch.

With Chingles, DS Group is looking at consumers in the age bracket of 15-35 and promoting it as a fun brand. The company will be using its wide distribution reach ranging from local paan stores to modern retail stores. The company is aggressively looking at ATL and BTL campaigns that include promotions at points of purchase and sampling exercises.

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