Zoher Kapuswala, India Marketing Head - Tic Tac, Rocher, Nutella talks about the priorities of Tic Tac as a brand and its plans ahead.
Tic Tac, the mouth freshener brand from the house of Ferrero was launched in India almost a decade ago. At the time, the mouth freshener category in the country was dominated by products that cost 50 paise to 1 rupee. Over the years, the brand has established itself as a serious player in the confectionary/mouth freshener category.
Talking about Tic Tac India’s growth plans, Zoher Kapuswala, India Marketing Head - Tic Tac, Rocher, Nutella says while Tic Tac was launched in India at a premium price point, they have built the brand while positioning themselves as a fun and young brand. “We caught the eye of the youth in urban markets and have been able to capture a good share and we continue to be on this journey,” says Kapuswala.
He says Tic Tac’s growth in India has been in line with Ferrero’s other brands like Nutella and Ferrero Rocher.
Speaking about Tic Tac’s position as a brand in India, he says, a big chunk of the market in the country is captured by the local Indian mouth freshener segment and the like of 'saunf' and ‘mukhwas’. Kapuswala says that they are focusing on capturing the growing Indian market with consistent marketing, product innovation, and distribution efforts.
When Tic Tac was launched in India, it positioned itself as a premium brand. While most mouth fresheners still cost the consumer anywhere between Rs 1 or 3, one pack of Tic Tac costs Rs. 15 today.
"There is a lot of merit at the bottom of the pyramid and as India is progressing and growing, we feel premium products will pick up."
Asked if the price point of the product stands as a challenge to them given India is a price-sensitive market, he says, “India is one of the largest economies in the world today. There are 1.4 billion people you can cater to. We are not big because of consumption happening by a few people but because consumption happening by a lot of people. There is a lot of merit at the bottom of the pyramid and as India is progressing and growing, we feel premium products will pick up. India is a focus market for us and we continue to grow it and gain share in the market.”
He further revealed that at the moment, the southern 5 states as well as Maharashtra have been big markets for them. The brand is now focusing on capturing other metro markets and Uttar Pradesh. Over the years, the company has also delved into the affordable mint category with the launch of ‘Tic Tac seeds’.
“Trade in India is very fragmented, you don’t have to sell the product once but you have to sell it on an ongoing basis."
Kapuswala says that in a large market like India, availability and distribution alone are not enough to get sales. “Trade in India is very fragmented, you don’t have to sell the product once but you have to sell it on an ongoing basis. Hence, availability without visibility is not available, especially in the confectionery segment.”
“Availability with ‘visibility’ is important for us, this means consumers not only need awareness but also strong recall. We want them to think of Tic Tac when they want to refresh themselves,” he explains.
To ensure the same, the brand has increased its advertising spends especially on digital, says Kapuswala. He further stated that as a brand, they are moving away from interrupt marketing and moving towards permissive marketing with a strong focus on influencer and content marketing. He says their recent campaign with Yashraj Mukhate is an example of that.
Asked if the brand will now be digital-only, he says that although their presence will be strong on digital, they will be spending on traditional channels too.
On building other brands under the umbrella
Other than Tic Tac, Ferrero also houses brands like Nutella, Kinder, and Ferrero Rocher in India. Speaking about how the brand building for other brands under the umbrella has been, he says they onboarded Ranveer Singh and Vikas Khanna as brand ambassadors for Nutella India.
“We have started investing in Ferreo Rocher as well, before this we were a pure BTL brand. We onboarded Hrithik Roshan for Ferrero Rocher and Sara Ali Khan for Ferrero Rocher moments. We are focusing a lot on in-store activation for the brand as well as festivals. We are also partnering with e-commerce players for brands other than Tic Tac because a lot of them(e-commerce players) are leveraging IPL and we are doing activations on their platforms. We are investing heavily in these brands and are aspiring to grow rapidly,” says Kapuswala.