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Parle Agro targets a 50% growth in 2021 over 2019 as India prepares for its hottest summer; sets aside Rs 240 crore for marketing activities
Parle Agro has set aside combined spends of Rs 240 crore for Frooti and Fizz portfolioParle Agro
The beverage company has increased its marketing budget every year since 2019

Parle Agro targets a 50% growth in 2021 over 2019 as India prepares for its hottest summer; sets aside Rs 240 crore for marketing activities

The beverage company has increased its marketing budget every year since 2019
  • 2021 is going to be one of the biggest growth years for Parle Agro as it is set to release two high impact campaigns for its power brands Frooti, Appy Fizz and B-Fizz simultaneously.
  • With combined spends of Rs 240 crore for Frooti and Fizz portfolio, Parle Agro is aiming to dominate the beverage category this summer.
  • Nadia Chauhan, Joint Managing Director and CMO, Parle Agro tells us how the brand aims to beat the cola category with its strong marketing strategy and how it would go about spending the earmarked marketing budget of Rs 240 crore.
Last week, Mumbai recorded its hottest day of this season and the India Meteorological Department issued a yellow alert with a warning of heat wave. Mercury in Odisha has crossed 44.6 degrees, the highest so far. IMD predicts this year to be the hottest summer in India and it’s only April! To beat this heat, consumers turn to refreshing cold beverages and ice-creams and naturally, summer is the peak season for those categories.

For Parle Agro that houses drinks like Frooti, Appy Fizz and B-Fizz, 40% of its overall annual sales come from the summers. Last year, the beverage industry’s business plateaued due to the lockdown. Parle Agro decided to curtail its 360-degree media spends until October and started working on its comeback marketing strategy. So, 2021 is going to be an important year for the conglomerate to revive its business.

Sharing her expectations for summer 2021, Nadia Chauhan, Joint Managing Director and CMO, Parle Agro said, “The summer months alone from March to May account for approximately 40% of our overall annual sales. We have witnessed a higher consumption in mango drinks over the Fizz category in summers because Mango is a seasonal fruit hence, a higher intake over the Fizz category which is evenly balanced out year-round.”

While the beverage category was struggling in the first quarter of 2020, once the market opened up, Parle Agro launched an innovative product ‘B-Fizz’ and expanded its market share strategically. It is now aiming to grow by 50% over 2019.

“Looking at the past year, the lockdown had an immense impact on the beverage and FMCG segment as a whole. Due to mobility restrictions, we focused on reinventing our sales and distribution strategy to cater to the market effectively despite the lockdown. This helped us gain an 8% market share within the category. We avoided a 360-degree brand campaign during the summer months of 2020 as it would not serve the desired purpose due to mobility restrictions. Subsequently, we invested in a strategic marketing strategy in September 2020 when we launched B-Fizz. This year, for 2021, with increased mobility and rise in temperatures during summer months, we are expecting a boom in consumption and are targeting a 50% growth in 2021 over 2019 across all brands,” said Chauhan.

However, the lockdown did have a silver lining for Parle Agro after all. The consumer pattern changed and they started preferring fruit-based beverages.

Chauhan said, “We have witnessed a consistent increase in consumers moving away from synthetic beverages and more towards fruit-based beverages. Along with that, we also see a demand in products under the good-for-you category. The lockdown has also given consumers an opportunity to spend more time with family and friends. This has resulted in a boost for larger packs for in-home consumption.”

Marketing campaigns for 2021

Parle Agro has launched its summer campaign starring brand ambassadors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Jr. NTR for B-Fizz. With marketing investments of Rs 120 crores for the Fizz portfolio this summer, Parle Agro plans on generating tremendous buzz with a multimedia campaign. The TVC will be aired across national and regional channels.

On the other hand, its new summer campaign for Frooti starring Alia Bhatt, Allu Arjun and Varun Dhawan aims to accelerate growth and strengthen brand equity. Parle Agro has earmarked Rs 120 as marketing budget for Frooti and Rs 120 for Fizz category.

The beverage company has increased its marketing budget every year since 2019.

Chauhan shared, “Our overall marketing spends for 2019 amounted to Rs 220 crore while our summer spends for 2021 is Rs 240 crores.”

Telling us more about the media spends, Chauhan added, “We have an aggressive multimedia campaign charted out for 2021 with the objective of boosting consumption patterns, gaining substantial market share and driving significant growth for Parle Agro in the beverage industry. Our plan includes using strategic mediums and touch points to ensure impactful reach and visibility for our brands via the right audience. This includes Television, Digital and OOH mediums.”

To further break through the clutter, the Indian beverage giant will look at enhancing visibility via on-ground branding opportunities at retail outlets, kirana stores and continue investing in e-commerce.

A significant amount of its marketing budget will also be spent on the biggest event of the summer season - IPL. Frooti is the official on-air sponsor for IPL in the mango drink category and B-Fizz is the beverage partner for IPL on Disney+ Hotstar.

Telling us how important IPL has grown to be for the brand, Chauhan shared, “IPL has been a game-changer for Frooti and our FIZZ range. We started advertising with IPL for Frooti in the summer of 2014 since most of the investment for the brand happens in this season. IPL being the biggest event of the summer months has helped propel visibility for Frooti during this period, ever since we started advertising with the property. The year 2021 is a big year for Parle Agro. To further drive high SOV for our brands during the high consumption summer season, we have associated with IPL. Frooti shall be the on-air sponsor on TV on Star Sports Network. While in the digital space, B-Fizz will be the associate sponsor for IPL on Disney HotStar. If we go by numbers, just these two platforms will drive a reach of over 500 million people.”

With combined spends of Rs 240 crores for Frooti and FIZZ portfolio campaigns, Parle Agro is set to dominate the beverage category this summer. It has the lion’s share of fruit plus fizz category and Frooti, too, ranks among the top two mango drinks in India.

Elaborating on the beverage company’s expansion plan and current market share, Chauhan said, “For Frooti we have 28% market share in the mango drink category. In the apple-based drink category, Appy holds the largest share with 61% and in the sparkling fruit drink category, our FIZZ portfolio i.e. Appy Fizz and B-Fizz combined, holds the highest market share of over 90%. We are looking to further grow market share and target new consumers by increasing our reach and market penetration. We are already witnessing a massive boom in consumption this season after a slow 2020. Frooti is part of every household, for every social occasion, these indications instil confidence that the product will become a dominant player soon. And with our aggressive plans for Frooti and FIZZ portfolio this year, we aim to further boost consumption and drive significant growth for Parle Agro in the beverage industry.”

Apart from spearheading an aggressive marketing campaign this year, Chauhan will also prepare every level of leadership across all teams in her organization who have all been impacted in different ways by the pandemic, to be really prepared and maintain a very positive mindset.