Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kellogg's, Amul and GSK bullish on food for fair sex

If food companies in India were looking for a fair deal, they seem to have found one. While women have been a preferred consumer constituency for beauty and fashion majors, now food majors such as Kellogg’s, Amul and GlaxoSmithKline have begun to target them in the right earnest. Leveraging on the growing concern about health & nutrition among Indian women, FMCG companies are aggressively pushing niche products to address specific needs of this consumer segment. While Kellogg’s brought its flagship brand Special K to India last week, Amul has launched its CALCI+ milk and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) introduced its Women Horlicks. Sources say, Nestle has similar products in the pipeline. Positioned to enhance the nutritional level in a woman’s diet, these products promise high-quality ingredients. While Amul Calci milk offers a fat-free and calcium-enriched milk for pregnant women, Kellogg’s $1.5-billion flagship brand Special K is targeted at the platform of wealth management.
It is important for a product to functionally deliver all essential minerals,” says Kellogg’s India managing director Anupam Dutta. “For the 12 crore obese urban women, Special K will be a tasty solution to keep a check on their weight.” For GSK, Women Horlicks is a solution to perennial problems like anemia, osteoporosis and other health related problems. According to Shubhajit Sen, vice-president, marketing, GSK, it is an appropriate time to come out with products for women since their role is dramatically changing and nothing specific is available in market to address their ever-changing demands. “We see a huge opportunity in coming out with ‘women only’ products in food and beverage segment,” he says. “We are positioning the drink for health-conscious women across socio-economic classes who face similar problems.” While GSK also offers a ‘women only’ health drink variant, Mother Horlicks, targeted at pregnant women, it is a prescription-led unlike Women Horlicks which sells over-the-counter. Though companies may not want to admit, analysts believe such differentiated niche product with higher perceived nutritional appeal allows them to charge a premium. “While for us it is not a mode to charge extra price, but it’s true that value addition does command a reasonable premium,” agrees GCMMF marketing head, R.S. Sodhi.

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