Marketing review news
19 May 2005

Rajesh Metal Industries launches HotMuggs
Rajesh Metal Industries has made an entry to the high-end branded segment with the launch of HotMuggs. HotMuggs are an innovative specialised drinkware in a functional metal crafted to excellence through appealing designs.

According to the company HotMuggs is a pioneering a concept that not just provides a `functionality plus feature' to the consumer.

Rajesh Metal has positioned the HotMuggs Concept as youthful, energetic and funky, targeted at Indian middle income group. HotMuggs is available at leading lifestyle stores across the country, Shop-in-shop concepts, co-branding and co-marketing. The range comprises Inclined Muggs, `Groovy' Muggs, `Message' Muggs, `Sun Sign' Muggs, Classic Cupps and Saucer, and `Globe Cupps and Saucer.

LG Care slashes prices
LG Care, the FMCG division of Korean consumer electronics giant LG, has cut prices of its various products by 20-30 per cent. Besides shampoo and toothpaste, LG Care sells soaps, detergents and diapers through a sole licensee agreement with Chennai-based India Household and Healthcare Ltd.

Analysts say that at the higher end of the market brand equity matters more than price. LG Care till now is a fringe player in a large market and will need more than price cuts to sell in the league of HLL and P&G.

LG Care made its Indian debut with high priced products when most established players in the market were cutting prices. While its products sold somewhat in supermarkets and malls, it has led to stagnant sales at smaller retail outlets.

Mason & Summers to launch new brands
Scotch major Inver House's Mason & Summers Alcobev, recently acquired by Ramesh Vangal-managed Katra Group, will soon launch new brands for the Indian and international markets. The company is scouting for international collaboration for its global distribution arrangements.

The company recently launched Glen Drummond, the first single malt scotch whisky, and Royal Crown, a rare deluxe whisky in Kolkata and Goa, respectively. The company is also planning to enter the north Indian markets and launch both products in Delhi by mid-June this year.

Mason & Summers had earlier launched Wild Horse Whisky, a regular priced Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL), which averages monthly sales of about 50,000 cases. Similarly, the company's Royal Crown, a deluxe priced IMFL whisky, pitched against Seagram's Royal Stag is also doing well in the market.

The company has roped in a Bangalore-based advertising agency to handle its creative duties.

Nutrine to give Cadbury's and Nestle a fight
Nutrine Confectionery Company is trying to expand its market share in the Re1-segment, dominated by Cadbury's and Nestle, with the launch of 'Nutrine Eclair Hazelnut' priced at Re1.

The company is confident of capturing 20 per cent of the market share of the segment.

Nutrine Confectionery has a 33 per cent market share among Eclairs with Nutrine Eclairs priced at 50paise.

Nutrine plans to position its Eclair Hazelnut in 6,000 outlets in Bangalore in six months. The product will also be available in over 14,000 outlets in the state in a year's time.

At present Nutrine Confectionaries has a market share of 70 per cent in the rural areas on the back of the 25- and 50-paise sweets.

Philips to come out with energy efficient products
Philips India is coming out with products that will be fuel-efficient. These include compact fluorescent lamps for urban markets and solar lighting for rural areas. The company also plans to introduce electronically controlled lighting products.

In the consumer electronics sector Philips is focusing on the concept of `flat-slim-wide', televisions like the recently launched Ambi light, a lifestyle product. The company also plans to enter the water business to provide drinking water as the company has the UV technology, which is widely used for water treatment.

The company will invest Rs90 crore in its marketing and advertising campaign this fiscal.

Agro Tech to focus on strategic brands
Agro Tech Foods (ATFL), a subsidiary of global food major ConAgra, after selling its stake in Advanta India, will increase focus on its strategic brands and businesses.

The Rs1,054-crore company has a strong presence in edible oils and foods business in India with brands such as Sundrop, Crystal, Rath and ACT II.

In recent times the company has been pushing its ACT II brand, which earlier contained only popcorn. In the past year ACT II has been extended to corn chips and potato chips.

Bajaj Auto to restructure retail network
Led by its new managing director Rajiv Bajaj, Bajaj Auto has kicked off a project to completely restructure the company's retail network and create multiple sales channels.

Over the next few months, the company will set up separate sales channels for every segment of its business and consumers. As of now all the company's dealers are authorised to sell the company's entire product range from the entry level to the premium.

The company is now setting up separate dealer networks catering to the urban and rural markets as well as its three-wheeler and premium bike segments.

The company is also planning to rationalise its 500-strong dealership network, closing down nonviable city dealerships or asking them to move to the rural areas.

The company has identified 20 cities outside which rural dealerships will come up, including Chakan near Pune, Niphad near Nashik, and the outlying areas of Surat and Kanpur to begin with.

Parle to withdraw Hide & Seek variants; launch Parle Cookies
Parle Products has withdrawn the variants of its chocolate-chip cookie brand, Hide & Seek and will bring them under the Parle franchise and sell them re-named as Parle Cookies. The brand is currently being test marketed in the south.

According to the company, Hide & Seek has a strong association with chocolate and has been accepted as a chocolate chip cookie brand. Consumers were not ready to accept the butter and cashew variants. Thus the variants have been delinked from Hide &Seek and re-introduced as Parle Cookies. The products will soon be re-launched nationally.

The company extended the Hide & Seek franchise early last year to two new flavours — butter and cashew-badam — the biscuit major has now restricted it to chocolate-chip cookie.

New variant of Pass Pass launched
Pass-Pass the 100 per cent herbal and natural mouth freshener has launched one more variant to its range of fun mixes - "Pass-Pass Meetha Magic". The launch coincides with the release of a new Pass-Pass commercial with Shekhar Suman.

The new tagline 'total natural total fun' tries to create the image
of a fun brand in the consumer's mindset. A series of advertisements has been developed on topical issues related to known celebrities and personalities, popularly known as 'Pass-Pass Panga' that tries to create excitement around the brand. Leading advertising agency Dentsu has conceptualised and executed the advertising campaign.

According to the company Pass-Pass is a pioneering innovation in the branded mouth freshener category and has become a benchmark in the mouth freshener category and is a leader, much ahead of the competition. With the re-launch, Pass-Pass has been established as a brand that inspires togetherness and stands for 'masti and fun'.

DS Group has signed film & television celebrity Shekhar Suman as its brand ambassador.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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