Marketing review news
02 November 2006

P&G considers launching its `connect + develop' model in India
The $68-billion pharma and FMCG major Procter & Gamble is considering rolling out its `connect+develop' model for bringing in innovations into India. The model developed by P&G Inc, US relies on innovative ideas developed by just about anybody to develop new technology on which the company can make new products.

P&G has ambitious plans for growth in India and wants to double its turnover in the next 10 years. In-house R&D, despite a fleet of 9,000 technical persons, cannot generate enough innovation ideas as needed for such growth. A few years ago the company decided to build a huge network of technical people any of whom could be co-opted to generate ideas or come up with solutions for a given problem.

Some of the problems are put up on the internet and anyone can provide a solution. And if the solution works the company pays the solution provider.

For example, P&G asked for a solution for printing short messages on potato chips. The solution came from an Italian professor, who also ran a bakery.

Apart from a net-based approach, P&G also networks with companies and professionals for generating ideas, solutions. Hence the name of the model `connect + develop'.

Italy's illycafe to promote gourmet coffees in India
Italian coffee company illycafe S.p.A plans to open a branch of its `University of Coffee' in Bangalore to develop and promote gourmet coffee culture in the country.

illycafe, which produces and markets a single blend of Arabica coffee worldwide, runs its own university Universita del Caffe at Trieste, in Italy, to spread the coffee culture worldwide.

According to the company the University of Coffee would start functioning from January and would train both Indian growers and baristas. An official said, "We would like our experts to work directly with growers' community here to enable improvement in methods of harvesting, curing, processing and packaging." he said.

The University would also organise courses for food and beverage industry, professional baristas, coffee shops and restaurant managers and in the future, consumers.

Bangalore would be the sixth branch for the university, which already operates in Italy, Brazil, Holland, China and Korea. Over 70,000 tonnes of coffee are consumed in India annually. The gourmet coffee boom, which started in the US a few years ago, is now coming to India. The increasing disposable incomes, coupled with the growing exposure of the middle class to the Western culture and lifestyle are driving the coffee consumption.

Dabur Foods to focus more on institutional sales
Dabur Foods, the foods and beverage group company of Dabur India has launched four new products specifically for institutional channels.

These new products — pineapple slices, peach and pear halves and litchi wholes cater to institutions like hospitals, hotels, airlines, restaurants and caterers. Priced at Rs70-Rs100 for an 850-gm tin, have been launched under Dabur's Nature Best brand that exclusively caters to the food services sector. The company already sells tomato ketchup, cornflour and Alphonso mango pulp to institutions under the Nature's Best brand name.

The company now plans to launch a total of 11 products by March 2007 five of which will be launched by December 2006, for the purpose of institutional sales as part of its increased focus on the food services sector.

The company is foraying into products such as tomato-based dressings for snacks, other sauces and dips. The company already caters to Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, the India Hotels Company and the Oberoi group of hotels and resorts, amongst others.

The company is also trying to increase its share in the culinary segment of the food services sector, consisting of fruits and vegetables, the market size of which is about Rs600 crore.

Disney to increase India content
The Disney Channel is all set to increase content produced in India. Walt Disney Television International (India), the channel that airs Disney's international programmes dubbed in Hindi, will now buy, produce or commission more programmes in the country.

Programmes such as Vicky and Vetal, Akkad Bakkad Bombay Bo and the animated series, Hanuman are already on air.

Maruti Suzuki emerges most favoured company: JD Power Survey
Maruti Suzuki has come out as the most preferred car company in the country in terms of customer satisfaction for the seventh consecutive year.

According to a survey conducted by automotive consultants, JD Power Asia Pacific, Maruti Suzuki scored 848 index points on a 1,000-point scale, against the industry average of 776 points. Nearly 50 per cent of Maruti Suzuki's customers indicated that their expectations were exceeded, which generally results in particularly high levels of loyalty.

Maruti was followed by Ford, with Mahindra and Toyota tied at the third place.

The study also said Tata Motors' performance on the customer satisfaction index had improved significantly and the company added 31 points to its previous years' score.

The customer satisfaction survey measures the overall satisfaction of vehicle owners who visit their authorised dealer or service centre for maintenance or repair work during the first 12-18 months of ownership.

Coca-Cola launches new packaging
Launches innovative "Frosted" bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite in Mumbai Added excitement includes extension of the Schweppes range - all part of company's international brand portfolio i.e. Premium water, Tonic water & Soda water Coca-Cola to make available its premium juices — orange, tomato, strawberry and multivitamin flavors.

All these new innovations, have been made available in over 45 select locations across Mumbai city — includes café's, high end restaurants and 5 star hotels.

Coca-Cola India has launched Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite in new frosted bottled exclusively in Mumbai. At the same time Coca Cola has extended the Schweppes range of its international brand portfolio and would also make available its premium juices in flavours like orange, tomato, strawberry and multi vitamin.

All these new innovations have been made available in over 45 select locations across Mumbai city - includes café's, high end restaurants and 5 star hotels.

The premium frosted bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite are priced at Rs35 per 250-ml bottle. The Schweppes brand portfolio of Coca-Cola launched in India includes premium water, tonic water and soda water. The Schweppes range has been priced at Rs30, Rs30 and Rs20 respectively. Coca-Cola's premium range of juices made available to Mumbaikars includes flavours like orange, tomato, strawberry and multivitamin, all in 200-ml bottles, priced at Rs50.

Tata Tea to position green tea on health plank
Tata Tea plans to launch a number of packet teas in the Indian market. The company will also launch green tea under the Tetley banner and premium Darjeeling under the Tata Gold brand name in India.

Tata Tea is positioning anti-oxidant-rich green tea as a health drink for the Indian market and is in talks with yoga centres, gyms, spas, airlines, health magazines and cosmetics companies to market its green tea. Such green tea will be available in two flavours - 'ginger, mint and lemon' and 'lemon and honey'. The company will launch the products by end-November in select locations in the country.

According to the company, "The market for green tea in India is at a nascent stage and is below 1 pc of the total tea market in the country. With Indians becoming more health conscious, we see great potential for this product in the coming years. We also have plans to introduce green tea in sachet form mainly for the institutional buyers."

The company would launch four varieties of tea — Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Nilgiris — under the Tata Gold brand. These packets will contain premium orthodox teas.

Amul introduces ready-to-drink coffee across India
Amul has entered the ready-to-serve coffee market with the launch of Amul Kool Cafe across the country. Targeted at `Generation X', Kool Kafe was already being sold in certain niche markets of Gujarat like Ahmedabad and Vadodara in the last four months according to the company.

Made from milk and coffee, this product will now be available across India in different drink-pack options like disposable bottles, tetrapaks and cans, it said.

The product is priced at Rs15 per 200-millilitre bottle or tetrapak and at Rs20 for a 250-ml can.

The company is also planning to launch different flavours of coffee drink including Coffee Mocha, Coffee Sugar-free and de-caffeinated flavours.

Bisleri taps flavoured water market
Packaged water company Bisleri, which recently launched mineral water in the domestic market, has signed an agreement with New York-based Minerva Group to launch flavoured water and vitamin water in the US market.

Minerva Group, which is the holding company, will manage the manufacturing, distribution and advertising of Bisleri's flavoured and mineral water, under one of its company called Apple Tree. While Bisleri will provide the technical know-how, Apple Tree will be in charge of all the operations and capital influx.

The initial investment is close to $5 million in the project. Bisleri, according to sources, will receive a royalty of approximately 5 pc for every dollar earned.

Bisleri flavours include rose, tamarind, cinnamon, lime & lemon, aniseed, nutmeg, Kevda (Indian wild cactus) and ginger & lemon along with vitamin water.

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