Yash Bhatia

Beyond Snack of ‘Shark Tank’ fame wants consumers in Tier-1 cities to go bananas

Co-founder Manas Madhu talks about Beyond Snack’s maiden campaign, popularity after ‘Shark Tank’ and rivals.

Beyond Snack appeared in the first season of business reality show ‘Shark Tank India’. The brand offers ‘authentic’ banana chips in a variety of flavours. Aman Gupta and Ashneer Grover, both sharks on ‘Shark Tank’, have invested in the brand.

A year after its appearance on ‘Shark Tank’, Beyond Snack has unveiled its maiden campaign, titled ‘24 Carat Taste’. In the video, banana chips are compared to 24 carat gold. The campaign is executed by the creative agency Sterling AG.

Sharing the idea behind the campaign, Manas Madhu, co-founder, Beyond Snack, says, “As we are a growing brand, so we wanted to reach out to more people through a story format. We could have talked about our technology, great product texture, crunchiness, healthy cooking methods, or the quality check level. But we knew that the consumers are not really interested in too much nitty-gritty of the product. They are just looking to understand whether the product is great or not, etc."

The brand decided to convey this in the shortest format, and talk about the 24 carat aspect of it. It is looking to position itself as the gold standard in banana chips.

Madhu explains, “At every level, we see the gold standard of everything, whether it is the Apple iPhone in the mobile category or Nike in the shoe category. Similarly, we are looking to position ourselves as the gold standard in banana chips. We then decided to deliver this core message to our customers.”

The media mix of the campaign is purely digital, and the brand is planning to launch it on OTT platforms soon.

Fame after ‘Shark Tank’ appearance

The ‘Shark Tank’ judges and their memes have become quite popular. In the first season, the show created a lot of buzz around entrepreneurship. After appearing on the show, various brands witnessed a lot of visibility, growth and Google searches.

As the second season approaches, has the visibility faded away? Madhu responds, “We never saw a dip and grew after our ‘Shark Tank’ appearance. But the growth percentage did start coming down and this made us realise that we need to target the next set of customers. We are trying to reach out to them with this new storytelling campaign.”

“After our ‘Shark Tank’ appearance, many people came to know about Beyond Snack. With the new storytelling format, we’re appealing to the masses. India is such a massive country and only a limited set of people know about ‘Shark Tank’. We are now looking to reach beyond that market, and this is where the storytelling aspect comes into the picture.”

Market size and competitive landscape

According to a Statista report, the snack food industry is expected to increase at a rate of 7-8% per year, and potato chips will account for 85% of the entire salty snack market.

India is the largest banana producer. About 90% of banana produced is consumed domestically as fresh fruit, of which merely 5% is in processed form, and 2.5% is processed as banana products. In Kerala, the entire production of banana chips is carried out in an unorganised manner. There are no big players in the category, as the sector is highly unorganised with local players foraying into it.

When asked about the rival landscape, Madhu mentions “Our market is highly fragmented, and entering it was a challenge, as we were competing with local players. The local players have a lot of advantages, as compared to us. They don’t have to track quality standards, oil usage, etc. Nobody is tracking them.”

Local players offer the same product at a lower price point. So, the consumers will automatically be attracted to their product. 

Madhu highlights that this is why his brand is currently targeting consumers in Tier-I cities who aspire for a ‘24 carat life’. 

“We don’t have distributors and investments in Tier-III/IV cities. We are looking to target people who have high per capita income as well as purchasing power.”

“We are unavailable in the Rs 10 packet, as that product will cater to an entirely different set of consumers. I believe that brand-building happens in metro cities and monetisation happens in Tier-II/III cities. Currently, we are in the first phase.”

Offline versus online

The brand is currently focussing more on online (including e-commerce platforms and quick commerce delivery apps). The products are also available in supermarkets such as 24x7, The New Shop, etc.

70% of the brand’s business comes from online channels and the rest 30% from retail.

“Retail is slowly making progress, and we are looking to have an equal split of offline and online by the end of the next financial year. Hardly any sale takes place on our own website. The category is an impulse buying one and that happens mostly on marketplaces,” Madhu mentions.

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com