Aishwarya Ramesh

"70% of our business comes from the app and roughly 30% from stores": Aruna Jathar, TenderCuts

In the meat delivery category, TenderCuts competes with Licious, Fresh2Home and others. A conversation with TenderCuts chief marketing officer and Lowe Lintas' Kishore Mohandas about its latest ad campaign.

When Indian actor Prakash Raj appears on the screen, he’s usually seen wielding a gun, a sickle, or another weapon. The South Indian actor has a menacing glare, a loud voice and an aggressive tone.

But for meat and seafood omni-channel company TenderCuts’ latest campaign, Raj has taken a step back from his on-screen (villain) persona. He is seen gearing up to shoot an ad, and appears more relaxed, calm and focused.

The ad is part of TenderCuts’ multi-lingual campaign, titled ‘Good meat. Genuine meat. Always’, created by Lowe Lintas Bangalore. Through the narrative, the campaign aims to drive home the message that TenderCuts offers the freshest meats at prices that are lower than the market rates.

afaqs! caught up with the brains behind the campaign – Aruna Jathar, chief marketing officer, TenderCuts, and Kishore Mohandas, executive creative director, Lowe Lintas, over a call. Jathar says that the campaign’s key objective is to increase brand awareness and consideration to drive consumer trials.

People these days are quite particular about the quality of the products that they buy – especially when it comes to meats and seafood. Most people still prefer to physically purchase the products to ensure that they get the best quality and cuts of meat. According to a press release, Lowe Lintas used this insight to showcase the various elements of meat buying and how TenderCuts can play a role in a consumer’s life.

Jathar’s brief to the agency was to communicate to the target audience that TenderCuts offers best quality meats at competitive prices, because of the brand’s omni-channel model of functioning.

"When we came up with the idea, the first thing that my teammate asked was – ‘Isn’t he (Raj) generally well known as a villain?’"
Kishore Mohandas

“When we came up with the idea, the first thing that my teammate asked was – ‘Isn’t he (Raj) generally well known as a villain?’. We realised it is the persona he has created, but that’s not who he is, as a person. We wanted to showcase Prakash Raj as an actor, that’s why we came up with the idea of a shoot within a shoot, so that people can see him, as he is,” says Mohandas.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Kishore Mohandas</p></div>

Kishore Mohandas

According to him, the biggest problem in the online meat delivery space right now is that there are multiple players vying for the consumer’s attention. The challenge is to break the clutter and create an impression. Some of TenderCuts’ competitors include Licious, Fresh2Home, Meatigo, Fipola, and quick grocery delivery apps such as Swiggy and Dunzo – both of which have dedicated meat stores in their apps.

Jathar mentions that this isn’t the brand’s maiden campaign, though. In November 2021, TenderCuts released a celebrity-led campaign. This time around, the brand chose to work with Raj and wanted to showcase his finesse as an actor.

The campaign includes three films that highlight different messages of the brand. The first one (which has been released) showcases best quality meat products at the most honest prices. The second one features the ready-to-cook (RTC) range of TenderCuts. It includes the freshest meats that are freshly marinated. The third film focuses on the fact that all the products are freshly cut only after an order is placed.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A screenshot of TenderCuts website</p></div>

A screenshot of TenderCuts website

The company currently runs 60 stores in three cities – Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. These are the markets in which the integrated campaign will be live across TV, digital, print and OOH mediums. TenderCuts is also eyeing expansion, and the ad with Raj has even been dubbed in Marathi and Gujarati – since he is well known as an actor in both these states.

The company follows an omni-channel business model – a customer can either order the meat online and pick it up from a store, or have it home delivered. One can also just walk into a retail outlet and pick it up.

"Seventy per cent of our business comes from our app and 30 per cent comes from our stores."
Aruna Jathar

“Seventy per cent of our business comes from our app and 30 per cent comes from our stores. We’ve observed that in these three cities (Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru), chicken is the meat of choice. Most of our revenue comes from the fresh meat vat we sell,” says Jathar.

When it came to marketing the products itself, how challenging is it to make the meat look as palatable as possible? Mohandas says it is, indeed, quite a challenge. He recalls his childhood – when he would accompany his father to the market to buy meat. His father knew how fresh the meat was, by just looking at it.

“The biggest reason that people still visit wet markets is because of the familiarity factor. They want to be able to gauge for themselves, how fresh the meat is. That’s where our challenge lies – to encourage adoption of the app to order meats for cooking,” says Mohandas.

"Consumers want to gauge how fresh the meat is. That’s where our challenge lies – to encourage adoption of the app to order meats for cooking"
Kishore Mohandas

Jathar is not particularly worried about digital adoption. She mentions that the trend accelerated because of COVID, but will not reverse, going forward. According to her, 90-95 per cent of the meat market in India is made up of unorganised players, such as local butchers and meat shops. She sees an opportunity for growth in the segment and is optimistic about the future.

“We are seeing a growing popularity in our RTC segment (marinated meats) and, as people return to offices, we expect that trend to continue, if not increase. Right now, the pre-booking of slots are also very popular on our app, as it helps people plan the meals they’re cooking and buy the ingredients accordingly,” Jathar signs off.


Client: Aruna Jathar, Dhanya Hemanthraj

Creative: Kishore Mohandas, Lohith Chengappa, Pradeap Krishnan, Dipanjali Bhattacharya

Account Management: Sonali Khanna, Sudhir Nayak, Sakhi Roy, Anjalie Nair

Planning: Kishore Subramanian, Namrata Sukumar

Production House: Lintas C:EX (Director: Rajiv Menon)

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