Pooja Yadav

From plant-based meat to spices; Licious enters yet another category

With its latest foray, the brand aims to build the category to more than Rs 300 crore over the next five years.

Post-COVID, there has been a gradual shift from unorganised to branded spices. The latter has seen a spike in demand. According to Avendus Capital, this shift and the increasing adoption have made blended spices a high-growth category. The organised sector is expected to account for half of the total business by 2025, up from 36% in 2020.

Looking at this growth scenario, Licious, a leading homegrown meat brand, has announced its foray into the spice segment, with the launch of its new range of meat masalas. From 'biryani cuts' to 'meat masala', the brand's foray into the spice category has left consumers wondering: what new category will Licious enter now? Will the brand's next category foray be into consumer goods?

afaqs! talked to Yash Bhatia, business head, Licious, to get some answers.

"Consumer needs have shifted, post-pandemic. Making dishes and consumer experimentation are the latest trends we observed this year. Keeping consumer needs in mind, we decided to come up with this meat masala range," he shares.

"The category of blended spices has always been generic in nature. Nobody has been able to come up with something special, when it comes to meat masalas. We think meat needs a special treatment and a special understanding of cooking. We have created a category that was non-existent. Our target audience are meat consumers."

From plant-based meat to spices; Licious enters yet another category

“With our deep understanding of consumer’s meat eating preferences and subsequent needs, we have been able to achieve a superior and differentiated product with our meat masala range. Most offerings in the masala category at present, are not specialised for meat dishes. With our new range, we aim to bridge this gap in the category and, at each step, make Licious a part of the consumer's gastronomic journey. With our latest innovation, we are aiming to build this category to more than Rs 300 crore over the next five years.”

According to Bhatia, the brand studied the meat masala category for a year to understand major challenges, like the time-consuming marination process, lack of authenticity, and masalas losing its potency and freshness.

"We looked at the challenges and came up with a complete spice mix, marked by natural tenderisers that reduce marination time to 15 minutes. Moreover, we have used cryogenic technology to provide higher potency and aroma to our masalas. Last, the masalas are packed in single-use sachets to maintain freshness and ease of use."

The brand has also rolled out a digital film around the proposition of 'Perfect Match', with ace matchmaker Sima Taparia.

The film opens in typical ‘Sima’ style, where she is seen advising a mother-daughter duo on what to expect in a potential match, while the father is busy cooking in the background. The mother and daughter listen intently, as Sima goes all matchmaker on them, confidently stating that there is nothing like a perfect match in this world

“Perfect match? kabhi nahin!" This is met by a loud scoff from the father, "Kuchh bhi!” The film goes on to introduce the new range of blended masala mixes that are, undoubtedly, a 'perfect match’ for any meat dish.

On the social media front, the brand has several activities planned to engage with its existing consumers. The brand will also be inducing experiential trials of the new product line for consumers.

The brand also plans to expand to a regional range and take this segment to the offline market over the coming 6-8 months.

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