Dalda goes for an image makeover

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 14, 2009
The 75-year-old brand has finally woken up to the rapidly changing edible oils category and its fast evolving players

After Dhara and Fortune, Dalda has now joined the makeover edible oil brand wagon.

What's surprising is that while Dhara went for the new look after almost 20 years of its existence; Dalda woke up after having been around in the Indian household for 75 years.

The iconic brand, once synonymous with hydrogenated cooking mediums or 'vanaspati ghee', has been re-launched with four varieties of refined cooking oils under the brand name, Husband's Choice.

The Dalda brand, which was part of Hindustan Lever's portfolio, was acquired by Bunge India -- a 100 per cent subsidiary of the US-based agribusiness and food company, Bunge -- in 2003.

Now, as part of the makeover, a new identity and fresh product proposition have been announced for Dalda. To cater to the health concerns of consumers, all Dalda oil variants will be fortified with vitamins A, D and E.

The new product range is currently available in Kolkata and Delhi and will be rolled out nationally in the next few weeks.

The new identity comprises gold ribbons that signify premium values and a seal of protection. The mother and child symbol connotes the purity and caring nature of the brand. Bunge's endorsement is a guarantee of international quality and credibility.

The white font connotes a modern, contemporary brand -- clear, safe and pure; while the positioning brings in values of health and safety. The new campaign tagline will be "Swad lo, Active raho."

The new identity has been created by Shining Strategic Design, headed by Shombit Sen Gupta. The creative duties for the brand are handled by Saints & Warriors, while OMD handles the media duties.

Commenting on the development, Adhiraj Sarin, managing director, Bunge India says, "Bunge understands that India, and Indian consumers have changed significantly in the last few years, and it was imperative that with the edible oil business being one of our future growth drivers, Dalda needed to reinvent itself for the edible-oil consumer. Our extensive consumer research has shown that Indian consumers, though health conscious, believe that they are compromising on taste when it comes to edible oils. Dalda Husband's Choice oils will address this concern by its upgraded product offering through added vitamins, along with the heritage of taste that it owns."

The new logo and look of the packs brings contemporary values to the brand and have been adopted to help connect it to the younger lot of consumers, who have a nostalgic association with the brand.

With this initiative, Bunge intends to make the brand more relevant to the modern, health conscious Indian consumer. It also aims to acquire a double-digit market share of 15 per cent by 2011, in the soyabean-oil category.

When asked whether Dalda had reacted to competition and the fast-evolving edible oils players, Biswaranjan Satpathy, senior manager - marketing, Dalda Foods, says, "This new identity has been almost a year and a half in development, with extensive consumer research at each stage of the process. Indian consumers today have either adopted or are adopting refined oils as a cooking medium. With this background, it was imperative that we upgrade our product offering as well as brand imagery for refined oils. Our competition had nothing to do with the change."

Currently, the brand portfolio consists of refined soyabean oil, sunflower oil, groundnut oil and kachi ghani mustard oil under the Husband's Choice range. All these variants have been in the market prior to the re-branding.

But will the consumer be able to look beyond the oil-soaked puris or jalebis, which brand Dalda has been serving to the Indian taste buds for decades now?

Satpathy agrees that most consumers, even today, link Dalda only to vanaspati, and says, "It was for this reason that a different identity was imperative for our edible-oil consumers."

"Today, when we talk of Dalda, we need to be clear about addressing both the product portfolios -- vanaspati (which is what brand Dalda started out with) and edible oils -- which today is the growth driver for the brand," he adds.

To drive home the change, the brand is going for an aggressive mass media campaign. The primary media used would be television and radio, supported by BTL activities. The campaign would be unveiled in the coming weeks.

© 2009 afaqs!