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Business Standard

Parle Agro: In nature's lap

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You hear the pop of blooming buds and the ruffle of unfurling petals, and spy insects feeding on nectar in this idyllic garden, bathed in the early morning sun. Just as you get drawn in by visuals that could rival footage on any nature channel, you notice the flowers are nestling fruit juice cartons — as if they too have blossomed in the heart of nature. This is the ad for Parle Agro’s 100 per cent fruit juice, Saint, being aired on English lifestyle and news channels. “Juice the way God meant it to be,” says the punch line.

Buyers, the company says, have noticed the campaign. Sales have jumped 80 per cent. The Rs 8-crore campaign will also have an outdoor component and will be backed by on-ground sampling. Such activation has seen as much as 95 per cent conversion for the brand!

Saint, to be sure, was launched last year. Why did wait for a year to come out with this campaign? “It was the time taken to settle in the market,” says Parle Agro DirectorNadia Chauhan. 

Unlike rival beverage makers who have variants such as fruit drinks (20 per cent fruit pulp), nectar (25 to 85 per cent pulp) and fruit juice (85 per cent-and-above pulp), offers 100 per cent orange, mixed fruit and grape juice. This and the fact that the juices contain no unnatural additives (sugar, colour or preservatives) and are made from pulp concentrate brought from Europe meant that the target audience had to be premium. So, the company decided to test the waters before launching a full-fledged campaign.

Saint’s prices are above rival 100 per cent juices like Dabur’s and PepsiCo’s 100 per cent. Saint’s one-litre packs are priced between Rs 95 and Rs 100 and 200 ml packs between Rs 20 and Rs 22. Parle Agro needed time to set up a distribution network and get consumer feedback. The network for its mass-market beverages, and Appy Fizz, could clearly not be leveraged for Saint.

Parle Agro, therefore, reached modern retail stores such as hypermarkets and self-service stores in up-market neighbourhoods as well as stalls in hotels and multiplexes. Eighty per cent of volumes for 100 per cent juices come from the top three or four cities of every state. Parle Agro handpicked the retail outlets for Saint. This may have taken a lot of time but it has helped keep the brand essence intact. Without the distribution in place, the spurt in demand caused by the current campaign would have been a disaster because the product would have not been available.

The feedback from consumers too was vital. Parle Agro’s researchers found that the homegrown company’s parentage actually pushed consumers to opt for Saint, because they thought an Indian 100 per cent juice brand would mean more freshness unlike imports. This in spite of the fact that Saint has a shelf life of eight months which, claims Chauhan, is the highest in the market. The Parle Agro logo, then, was moved from the side of the carton to the front. The packaging also enabled the product to merge effortlessly in the ad. The film was developed by Creativeland Asia, Prakash Varma of Nirvana Films and The Mill, London.

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