Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Advertising

Ready-to-cook foods brand McCain eyes ‘new snack time slots’ in the home-bound consumer’s day

The Snack-O-Clock campaign targets new snacking occasions like between zoom meetings, while binging web series and in between online classes.

Frozen food company McCain Foods India’s latest digital campaign Snack-O-Clock takes note of the emergence of multiple snacking occasions in households due to the COVID-induced lockdowns. These days, most people are working from home and children are learning online. It has given rise to new snack timings, and the campaign builds on this fact.

Prior to the pandemic, snacking usually took place in between major meals, like between breakfast and lunch (around 11 a.m.), and lunch and dinner (around 3 p.m./7p.m.). The new snack timings now include snacking in between Zoom meetings and classes, while taking a break from work and binging on OTT content, etc.

Ready-to-cook foods brand McCain eyes ‘new snack time slots’ in the home-bound consumer’s day

Reports suggest that in-home consumption of food has gone up, and it’s particularly true for a convenience-oriented food segment, like frozen food.

While in-home consumption soared, a large part of McCain’s B2B business with fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC took a beating. With the restaurants now shut, the consumers are trying to cook food items usually consumed in restaurants.

“We didn’t even have to create these occasions. We wanted to acknowledge the fact that there are new consumption moments which have emerged as a lifestyle today,” says Mohit Kumar, head of digital marketing, McCain Foods India.

The frozen food category includes players like Godrej Agrovet, ITC, Venky's, etc. In terms of product variants, it includes frozen fruits/vegetables, fish, sea food, meat, meals, soups, and appetisers.

According to a report by Research and Markets, India’s frozen food market was valued at around $1.3 billion in 2020, and is expected to surpass $3 billion by 2025.

The growth is being driven by the demand for convenience and newer retail avenues like e-commerce and hyper-retail. The pandemic brought positive outlook towards frozen food among Indian consumers, along with a demand for local flavours.

The McCain campaign is targeted towards working moms who, apart from their jobs, are also responsible for the household. With scenarios like Instagram scrolling and binge-watching packed into the campaign promo video, it is targeted towards the younger lot.

Ready-to-cook foods brand McCain eyes ‘new snack time slots’ in the home-bound consumer’s day

“It is positioned against the idea of constantly coming up with ideas about how and what to cook, and looking for recipes on YouTube. We have a wide range of snacking options and one can do a lot with them,” Kumar says.

"It is positioned against the idea of constantly coming up with ideas about how and what to cook, and looking for recipes on YouTube."

The report by Research and Markets also suggests that with more women joining the workforce in the country, it has become “considerably tricky for them to cook meals, which results in consuming frozen ready meals.”

Now, McCain also positions its products as ingredients for complete meals. This could give the brand an edge over other RTC brands like Maggi, MTR, etc., which have also been trying to fit their products in the snacking routine. In fact, some of them have been doing this for years.

In its latest brand campaign, Nestle tried to pitch Maggi as the WFH era afternoon snack.

"Items like French fries go really well with occasions like binge-watching with the family."

“Unlike other available options, one can actually have a full meal with the burger and fries, or quickly cook up a malai kofta with the cheese balls, or say, a Manchurian dish. The portfolio is large, and it even allows to do a lot more. Over that, items like French fries go really well with occasions like binge-watching with the family. And, it doesn’t need extra ingredients,” Kumar says.

Like Maggi’s ‘Ready in 2 minutes’ proposition, McCain’s products also carry a ‘Ready in 3 minutes’ tag.

The initial campaign videos on social media will be followed by a series of timed posts, which will be put out according to the time of the day and situation.

“We will do a lot of work with timing. The digital ads are designed and timed for specific real life scenarios, like checking scores, watching OTT content, etc.,” Kumar signs off.