Marketing review news
08 December 2003

New channels launched
Couch potatoes rejoice. There are now a number of new channels to watch. National Geographic Network has launched The History Channel while Turner Network has come up with Pogo, a children's channel, and Care TV, a health care channel.

Soon a movie channel from the Turner stable is also expected while a horseracing channel is considering entering the Indian market. Rumours are doing the rounds that Zee is scouting for niche channels and both Bloomberg and Reuters are surveying the market.

Amway introduces Berry Blast
After tasting success with protein supplement Nutrilite-B, direct-selling company Amway India has launched yet another nutritional drink, Nutrilite Kids Berry-Blast. Amway says that this berry-flavoured drink is the most balanced nutritional drink available for children, as it contains all the essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. But, at Rs 799 for a 500-gm pack, it isn't exactly a value-for-money purchase, especially since other nutritional products such as Horlicks and Complan are available at much lower price-points.

CavinKare buys Ruchi pickle brand
Cavinkare, to augment its branded foods portfolio, has acquired the Ruchi brand of foods from the Shyam group, which runs a chain of hotels and restaurants in South India. CavinKare paid Rs 15.5 crore for the Rs 12-crore brand as well as for the manufacturing plant and machinery. This acquisition will give the company a presence in the foods market, into which it has recently entered and especially so in South India where Ruchi is a major player in the branded pickles segment.

The company plans to launch the brand at the national level in the near future. The size of the organised pickles market in the country is estimated at Rs 250 crore. Ruchi also has instant food mixes, spice powders and asafoetida under its belt, apart from a small presence in dates. The brand valuation has been done internally and paid for from internal accruals. The sale included the acquisition of Bhima's, another pickle brand owned by Ruchi Agro Foods.

Dabur Foods aims for a fruity punch
Dabur Foods has big plans for its range of fruit juices and fruit pulp and plans to give its competitors some nasty moments. In a nutshell, Dabur plans to become the first food company in India to offer a number of products made from fruits. Apart from offering its juices and pastes the company will offer all fruit-based products like ketchup, pizza sauce, fruit essences tomato puree and tomato juice. Moreover Dabur Foods has decided to buy fruit directly from farmers and process it in a new Rs 20-crore plant, plus export to Australia through the Woolworth chain of stores.

Dabur Foods is leveraging its strong distribution network and linkages with bulk buyers like hotels, hospitals, airlines and institutions to introduce a wide range of specialised food ingredients under its brand for behind-the-scene products — Nature's Best. Sources say the strategy is aimed at increasing Dabur's share of the country's fruit juice market, which is slated to reach almost Rs 500 crore by 2008. Pepsico's Tropicana is the only other significant player in this segment with a quarter of the market.

Honda Siel November sales up 59%
New City has powered Honda Siel Cars India to a 59-per cent jump in sales in November at 1,827 units against 1,152 units sold in November 2002. The new Honda City sold 1,431 units in November, recording a 36-per cent increase over 1,051 units sold the same month a year back, according to a statement from the company. During the April-November period, cumulative sales of the company increased to 10,280 units from 8,621 units in the corresponding previous period.

P&G to focus on diapers, go low key on Ariel bar
Procter & Gamble is going low key on its Ariel detergent bar and plans to focus on a hitherto neglected brand in India, at least which is Pampers diapers, among P&G's top brands globally. The company sees diapers as having huge potential in India. According to market researchers AC Nielsen Org-Marg, the detergent bar market has shrunk by 5.5 per cent in the last year.

The other players in the baby diaper category are Kimberly Clark (joint venture between Hindustan Lever and Kimberly Clark of the US with Huggies) and Godrej Consumer Products with Snuggy. The Indian diaper market is pegged at nearly Rs 70 crore and is estimated to grow by between 5-10 per cent.

Henkel hopeful of sales rise post-rebranding
Henkel KgaA of Germany is hoping that its rebranding exercise undertaken last year will begin paying off now. The company says it made the mistake of not promoting the product brand and the corporate brand together as a result of which customers failed to connect some of the successful products to the company. A year ago, Henkel created a corporate slogan for brand identity, 'Henkel - A Brand Like a Friend,' a takeoff on the advertising maestro David Ogilvy's quote, 'A Brand is a Friend.'

Shaw Wallace to set up country liquor division
Shaw Wallace & Co is planning to create a new division for country liquor business. Company officials confirmed this and said the formalities and paperwork are in process of being competed for the division. The company recently restructured its Indian-made foreign liquor and beer business into two separate entities — Shaw Wallace Distilleries and Shaw Wallace Breweries, which merged with SABMiller as a 50:50 joint venture.

Hidesign introduces a range for women
Hidesign has introduced bags in casual styles and will target women with the new range. Till recently Hidesign's range of products (briefcases, computer bags, handbags, wallets and accessories) were targeted at men. Over the past year the company has introduced more products targeted at women. Company officials say at present women-oriented products make up just under 50 per cent of the range, and will go up to 60 per cent soon. The company recently launched a range of premium 'jewellery bags' for the evening priced at Rs 3,695 upwards.

— Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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