Ananya Pathak

Perfetti’s Rohit Kapoor on candy consumption in India…

We spoke to the company’s marketing head on sidelines of the launch of brand’s latest corporate film that stages Alpenliebe as the hero.

“Abhi kuchh dino pehle, Duniya ki muskurahat kho gayi. Pata nahin kahin rakh kar bhool gayi, ya shayad kisi ne chura li…” This is how the latest ad film from the leading confectionery and gum manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle India (PVMI) opens.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, the one-minute-25-second-long film features a girl, named ‘Duniya’, who’s lost her smile. She’s sad, and has stopped going out and meeting her friends.

Duniya does find her smile when she opens a ‘magic box’ and finds an Alpenliebe in it - the hard, chewy candy from the house of Perfetti. Towards the end of the film, one gets to see the company’s other offerings (brands), including Center fresh, Chupa Chups, Center fruit, Juzt Jelly, Mentos and Happydent White.

Perfetti’s Rohit Kapoor on candy consumption in India…

Rohit Kapoor, marketing head, PVMI, told afaqs! that through this initiative, the brand wants to reach out to the consumers with the message of staying optimistic and hopeful about the future.

Rohit Kapoor
Rohit Kapoor

“We want to leave the viewers with a simple message of hope, i.e., if we can find our smile, we can find our way through this tough period. And like the girl, who returns to her usual joyful state, we believe the world will also find its laughter once again,” he says.

But why did the brand think that Alpenliebe was the perfect fit for the story? Kapoor mentions that the toffee, which was launched in 1995, is among the most known (popular) brands from the house of Perfetti India.

“Alpenliebe is positioned as an indulgent sweet treat and was a perfect fit in the story, given the tonality and demand of the script. It provided a strong connection to remind the consumers about Perfetti India. At the end, we do showcase other brands. It’s a message of hope and positivity, as explained above,” he shares.

About the film, Anurag Agnihotri, managing partner (creative), West at Ogilvy, tells us that the brand wanted to do a message of hope in the context of what we all are facing right now.

Anurag Agnihotri
Anurag Agnihotri

Because this message was coming from a candy brand, we took care that the ad must belong to the category in an authentic manner. A kid is so happy to see a candy and we sort of used that as a metaphor to say we all will smile again. We devised the element of magic, in a fairy tale way, where candy is just a symbol of brightness and magic. We brought in magic dust etc in terms of execution. There is so much uncertainty and we must tell each other to keep faith and that everything will be fine again," he shares.

Perfetti’s Rohit Kapoor on candy consumption in India…

Alpenliebe is available in the Indian market in two different formats - candy and POP. The candies include: Alpenliebe Mangofillz, Alpenliebe Orangefillz, Alpenliebe 2Choco Eclairs, Alpenliebe Gold, Alpenliebe Creamfills and Alpenliebe POP. Alpenliebe Gold comes in two flavours - caramel and cream strawberry.

Speaking about the current consumption of candies in the Indian market, Kapoor points out that jellies, eclairs and candies continue to show good recovery, in terms of demand. “In line with various other categories, in-home consumption is going up as expected, especially for the products which provide joy, are stress busters and uplift the mood. We play in multiple sub-segments within confectionery,” he mentions.

Kapoor also points out that in terms of out-of-home consumption, categories that are gradually recovering include mint candies and gums.

He says that the overall demand is better in Tier-II cities, smaller towns and rural areas, as compared to urban cities. “Again, we have a mix of portfolio to cater to different geographies, and at different price points, starting from Re 1, and then Rs 5, Rs 10 and above,” Kapoor says.

A new product under Alpenliebe – called Alpenliebe Juicyfills – will soon be launched. The liquid filled candy, with fruit juice and vitamin C, will be available for Re 1.

Kapoor opines that consumers today seem to be less experimentative and more loyal towards the brands they love, “… and hence lead brands in sub-categories continue to do well”.

“Brands which have a stronger connect are doing better during this period because of the trust they have built over the years,” he elaborates.

He also sees better acceptance of functional and fortified products, going forward. “We already have relevant brands in the portfolio, such as Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly with 25 per cent fruit pulp, Alpenliebe candies with the goodness of milk/calcium, and Alpenliebe Lollipop with calcium and vitamin C. These products/brands have recovered well, in terms of demand,” Kapoor signs off.

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