The Strawberry variant of Little Hearts was launched a few weeks ago.
Most of us have sweet childhood memories of the classic Britannia Little Hearts. Since its launch in the Indian market in 1993, the sugar coated biscuit - Britannia Little Hearts Classic - has lured consumers with its sweet taste and heart shape. The Kolkata-headquartered food-products corporation Britannia recently launched the strawberry variant of this iconic biscuit in the Indian market – the Britannia Little Hearts Strawberry.
In a press note released at the time of the launch of the new flavour in November this year, the brand mentioned that it conducted many rounds of consumer research and found that the strawberry flavour appealed most to its target audience: the millennials. To promote the variant, the brand has an ongoing digital campaign which features the 'unmushing' escapades of the brand’s mascot- the Strawberry Ninja. Remember Ninja Turtle? Strawberry Ninja reminds us of it.
Speaking about the launch, Vinay Subramanyam, head, marketing, Britannia Industries, said, “Strawberry as a flavour is often associated with the old romantic and mushy version of love. With Britannia Little Hearts, we want to extend the ‘Break some hearts’ concept by taking down the stereotypes around strawberry and unmush it for good.”
Britannia Little Hearts Strawberry will be available in three sizes, priced at Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 each, available across general trade outlets, e-commerce platforms and all modern trade stores.
Britannia has, in the past experimented with flavours of its other biscuits as well. Its Good Day Wonderfulls was launched in three variants—Choco Nut, Butter Almond, and Berries & Nuts in 2017.
Earlier this year, Parle Products launched two new variants for its cracker brands - KrackJack and Monaco - KrackJack Butter Masala and Monaco Pizza.
Mondelez launched three new flavours of Oreo, initially launched in Vanilla flavour – Orange, Choco Crème and Strawberry.
However, given the familiarity of the taste of the originally launched flavour, we wonder about the risks involved in launching a new flavour of the product in the market. We reached out to Akanksha Patankar Mirji, a brand consultant and storyteller, to understand this.
Mirji says there are numerous factors an established brand works on before launching a new flavour variant in the market. Background research with testing is something that has to be done by every brand irrespective of whether the brand is an established one or not. “All brands follow the typical 4P's, and now the 7P's of marketing. Everyone has finally understood the importance of this. Usually, brands get the product, pricing, packaging, placement mix right. However, what is sorely lacking is consistency in the brand and product story. And that is where a lot of brands make mistakes.”
She opines that the biggest risks involved are related to the customer.
1. As a brand, have you truly understood what the customer wants or is looking for in terms of variants?
- The product has to get the flavour right and the reasoning for the variant right as well. For instance, has strawberry been introduced as the variant because it is perceived as healthy or simply as a symbol of style and love?
- Is the variant catering to the same customer base as earlier? If yes, then there is an emotional connect of some sort.
2. The brand story is extremely important in order to strengthen the emotional connect with the customer. If it is an established brand, there is a legacy and a story that is already being told. How the story is told is really critical. By introducing variants, you provide variations to an existing story. While there can be variations, the essence of the story has to remain the same. For instance, the story of the hare and tortoise can be told in many different ways with changes and each change leads to a different end in terms of who wins the race. So, storytelling is the essence.