The brand is the latest entrant in the category, after Marico, Amul and Kissan.
With peanut butter’s increasing popularity, many FMCG brands like Saffola, Amul and Kissan also entered the category in 2022, 2021 and 2020 respectively. While brands like FunFoods, Veeba and Sundrop first introduced the product to the Indian audiences, the market today is flooded with many D2C brands, like Pintola, MyFitness, The Butternut Co and The Whole Truth Foods.
Speaking with afaqs!, Rajat Mathur, AGM - consumer marketing, Dabur, says that over the last couple of years, the company has entered newer categories that add to its existing portfolio of products and where exists a strong market opportunity.
Some of these categories include apple cider vinegar, cold pressed edible oil and ghee. Dabur Real forayed in the superfood category earlier this year, with the launch of chia and pumpkin seeds. As per Mathur, all these categories are extremely relevant for the new-age digital-savvy consumers.
“We realised that peanut butter has been gaining a lot of traction lately. It is largely a result of COVID and it has continued to remain that way even post-COVID. When Dabur looked at this opportunity, it thought that for its brand Real, it seemed like a natural fit. It is an extension from beverages and juices to healthy food category,” he adds.
Sharing the reason behind the sudden uptick the peanut butter category has witnessed over the last two years, Mathur shares that post-COVID, there has been a shift in consumption. An increasing number of people have realised that protein is a vital ingredient of one’s diet.
As a result of this, many consumers are including protein in their diets, as a supplement. Peanut butter is rich in protein. Although it may seem a bit alien to the Indian palate, Mathur points out that given its strong health benefits, the product has gained traction pretty fast in the Indian market.
This is also the reason why many FMCG brands are showing interest in the category. Although Dabur is one of the late entrants and there are multiple established brands in the category, Mathur believes that it will soon become a significant player.
All of Dabur’s new launches are digital-first in nature, he informs. This means that the brand’s peanut butter range will be first launched on e-commerce platforms. Once the brand is confident about consumer traction, it will then be rolled out on other channels like modern trade outlets and eventually general trade as well.
“Some of our past launches, like apple cider vinegar, have already reached that level of maturity where they are now available in modern trade and specific general trade outlets,” Mathur says.
Peanut butter’s early adopters in India used it as a bread spread. It’s largely a breakfast or snack item. The large growth in the category can also be attributed to peanut butter replacing other bread spreads, like jams and chocolate spreads. However, many consumers are still not used to its taste.
Mathur informs that there are two segments in the peanut butter category, the 100% natural variant and the other one includes sugar and oils.
“Dabur is eyeing the former, which is mostly used as a protein supplement, rather than for its taste. The target consumers, who are consuming this variant, include gym-goers, fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious people.”
It is interesting to note that the Real peanut butter's chocolate variant is also getting positive feedback from both the consumers and channel partners.