Namah Chawla

“50 per cent of our revenue comes from snacks”: Raghav Verma, Chaayos

The ‘chai’ startup redefines the quotidian ‘chai break’ with a rebranding campaign #RelaxwithChaayos.

People across the world have been drinking ‘chai’ or tea for centuries, and for good reasons. If studies are to be believed, chai may help boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart diseases.

While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that regularly drinking your favourite cup of chai can have a lasting impact on your wellness.

The leading tech-enabled food brand Chaayos has just launched an integrated campaign #RelaxwithChaayos. The OOH and digital campaign plans to redefine and take the quotidian ‘chai break’ to the next level.

Co-founder Raghav Verma tells afaqs! that the idea to start Chaayos (in December 2012) was that it is very difficult to get good chai outside of one’s home.

“The core USP of our brand is that we personalise the chai and the experience for our customers. There are about 80,000 ways in which you can prepare your cup of chai. We also serve a very good menu that goes with chai - bun maska, poha, vada pao, matar kulcha, pao bhaji.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Raghav Verma, Chaayos</p></div>

Raghav Verma, Chaayos

During its consumer research, the brand found that Chaayos’ chai and snack experience helped people to relax and unwind after a stressful day, and also release positive energy. The brand then put this together for its rebranding campaign.

Says Verma, “Our USP is ‘meri wali chai’, and that is what our messaging and communication has been about. We realised, over the last few years, that the food is a very important part of the entire offering.”

Motherland provided the strategic direction for the rebranding exercise ‘Relax’, and Wondrlab drove the creative mandate of the campaign.

The brand’s brief to the agency was to simply bring ‘Chai + Snacks = Relax’ to life. Chaayos wanted the chai to be an antidote for both mental and physical stress. That is what the ad films convey.

Chaayos wants to be more than just a place to work out of or have investor meetings in. The campaign aims to position Chaayos as a sensorial place, where tea aficionados and customers can visit, unwind, relax and walk out refreshed to take on the rest of the day. And, all they need is a warm cup of ‘meri wali chai’.

The target audience for Chaayos could be an 18-year-old or even a 65-year-old person.

Chaayos has 140 operational cafes across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Chennai and Karnal. It plans to have 175 stores up and running by the end of this financial year (ending March 2022).

Highlighting the importance of snacks in Chaayos’ menu, Verma mentions, “Fifty per cent of our revenue comes from snacks, hence, it is a very important part of our portfolio. Almost all our transactions have a chai and a snack that goes with it. Traditionally, at homes and offices, tea is consumed with a snack. People have it with either a cookie, a bun maska or pakodas. Chai and snacks go together.”

The shut down of offices due to COVID impacted the revenue of office outlets of Chaayos. However, it has managed to survive and find different avenues to increase its sales.

“Office outlet locations have not been able to get sufficient sale numbers, but delivery and high street footfalls have grown, and gone beyond what we witnessed pre-COVID. It has been a tough phase, but there has also been a silver lining,” mentions Verma.

Talking about future plans, he says, “We have tried to prove to ourselves that wherever a cup of chai has been consumed, be it an office complex, a metro station, a highway or an airport, we can be present there. All our cafes are making money at the moment. Now, we want to expand and also penetrate further into the cities we are already present in.”

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