The food arm of Emami Group recently forayed into the spices segment. Will Emami Mantra’s ‘zip-lock’ masala find buyers?
Emami Agrotech, the food arm of Emami Group recently forayed in the spices category with ‘Emami Healthy & Tasty Mantra Masala’. The conglomerate already has been dealing in edible oils for more than a decade. And hence, spices is a natural extension for the brand.
As per the brand, its USP is in its rich and pure aroma, colour and taste that comes from the use of cryogenic technology. The cryo-processing at zero to minus 50-degree Celsius helps the spices to retain high level of natural oils up to 95% as compared to traditional grinding process using heat up to 70 degrees Celsius, where essential oils are retained only up to 40%.
Additionally, Mantra’s spices come in zip-lock packs which makes them easy to store and fresher for a longer duration.
Sharing the idea behind the packaging, Krishna Mohan Nyayapati, director, Emami Agrotech, says, “The brand is the first in the country to do it, while there are some players that have the zip-lock but they make it for the export markets. This along with the cryogenic technology will play a differentiated role in terms of our marketing as well.”
During the initial months of the launch, the brand will focus in Northern India states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. “In the next three years, we would divulge 100 to 220 crores on the Mantra brand. And in the next five years, we are targeting anywhere between 700 to 1000 crores returns from the spices range,” adds Nyayapati.
India is known as the land of spices and is one of the world’s largest producers of cardamom, cloves, chilli, curry leaves, fenugreek and fennel seeds, turmeric and black pepper, among others. The country is also the largest exporter of spices. Some of the key players in India include MDH, Everest Food Products, Badshah Masala, Aachi Foods and Eastern Condiments. In a market which is dominated by a few key players, how will Mantra Spices make its way to the Indian kitchens?
Nyayapati explains that the brand’s constant focus will be on marketing and telling the benefits of the product’s packaging and sourcing of raw materials to the consumers. “This will help consumers try out our product. Secondly, the spices market is in the loose segment (unorganised), and there is a considerable growth or shift that is coming in for branded or packed form. Hence, we want to target people who are shifting from unbranded to branded products."
It must be mentioned that people are less open to experimenting with a category like spices and tend to use a brand that has been used by the family over the years. Will consumers be open to trying a new brand and how will Mantra spices drive this change?
As per Nyayapati, “While there will be some pockets where it will be difficult and slower to penetrate, most consumers will try out the product because of our marketing, sales and distribution efforts. The Emami branding will help us in breaking these barriers.”
The ad film for Mantra masala features actor Katrina Kaif having fun banter with her friends who can be seen teasing the actor for her cooking skills.
Mantra’s collaboration with Katrina Kaif is aimed to reach out to audiences across age groups. Nyayapati says that while the aim is to cut across all age groups, the brand resonates more with the young housewives.
Talking about the choice of the brand ambassador, Nyayapati says, “We wanted it to be a bit different in terms of communication and messaging. Katrina is a celebrity who is liked by all age-groups, has a modern style and has a great aura around her. The youth also connects well with her. All these reasons led the brand, to take her as the ambassador for the spices range.”
The new brand of spices will be utilising and banking on Emami Agrotech’s ‘healthy and tasty’ products distribution network. The same sales and distribution network will be used for Mantra informs the director.
Emami has close to about 700 distributors that cover about two lac outlets as of now across markets. E-commerce and modern trade will also be significant partners for the brand.
“The brand has tied up with the major e-commerce marketplaces and the products will be available on these platforms in the next fortnight. Our sales contribution from e-commerce should be close to about 16 to 20% in the next five years,” mentions Nyayapati.