As Fortune Chakki Fresh Atta solidifies its footing in the market, the brand’s AVP of marketing tells us how.
Stoneground flour (or Chakki Atta) is perhaps the quintessential ingredient in Indian households, making it one of India’s largest markets. For Adani Wilmar, the objective is to gradually woo the consumers towards Fortune Atta, in the mix of the largely unorganised Indian flour market.
2023 for Fortune Chakki Fresh Atta was one of introspection and building brand awareness. Advertising efforts supplemented by a solid retail presence took centre stage in Adani Wilmar’s efforts to market its packaged flour.
Fortune Chakki Fresh Atta has been in the market since 2017. In its six years of operations, the brand has managed to take the number two rank in the leaders of the packaged flour market.
Vineeth Viswambharan, who is the associate vice president of marketing & sales, Adani Wilmar, breaks down the brand’s journey so far in the Indian stoneground flour terrain. He says, “Over the last six years, our advertising and our retail presence has managed to create a lot of what we call total awareness. If you ask consumers about Fortune, almost universally people say yes.”
We are, therefore, sitting on a huge opportunity space. It's been one of the fastest growing categories in the entire FMCG universe, fueled by the fact that there is nearly 85% of the market still waiting to convert to packaged printed form.
As per Viswambharan, the largely unorganised flour industry stands at nearly Rs 1.5 Lakh crore. Out of this, he points out, roughly 10-15% is branded flour, amounting to an estimate of Rs 20,000 crore. Hence the opportunity to capitalise.
He says, “We are, therefore, sitting on a huge opportunity space. It's been one of the fastest growing categories in the entire FMCG universe, fueled by the fact that there is nearly 85% of the market still waiting to convert to packaged printed form.”
With brand awareness already under its belt, the brand is now aiming for conversion and adoption. Viswambharan explains, “With where we are in the lifecycle of the brand, we want to start generating a little bit more brand loyalty. There's a strong market leader, so we start converting high levels of awareness and trial to more regular usage and adoption is the challenge.”
Finding the consumer rationale
For Fortune, conversions and adoption could happen if the brand managed to convince consumers to first try their product. With an established competitor already in the market, that is ITC’s Aashirvaad, what was the strategy?
Viswambharan answers, “One option was that you need to give a very strong rational reason for the switch. Therefore, we did a lot of consumer work to figure out what may be that extremely consumer-relevant reason that hasn't been talked about much.”
Fortune Atta absorbs more water and is easier to knead. Now, that has become one way of using a very strong functional reason for consumers to switch.
It ended up being the pain point of ‘roti-makers’ across the country who struggle with kneading. It’s exhausting, it’s tiresome, and frankly, there needs to be a fix.
“Fortune Atta absorbs more water and is easier to knead. Now, that has become one way of using a very strong functional reason for consumers to switch. But we feel that is not enough. We also have to build a stronger emotional connection with consumers.”
This is how the brand conceptualised its latest campaign to bring this selling point to the forefront. A TVC that puts together emotions and the utility of the product in an attempt to woo consumers away from the competition.
The right price
The significance of the price point emerges as a critical factor shaping the dynamics of this sector. According to Viswambharan, a substantial 85% of the category still exists in a non-branded packaged form, underlining the highly commoditised nature of the industry.
The growth in the branded packaged segment is primarily fueled by the annual conversion from loose to packaged products. Therefore one cannot be too distant from the cost of the source of business.
There are still practitioners of the traditional method of consumption, which involves purchasing wheat at a certain price, having it ground at a local mill, or acquiring loose flour from a grocery store. The pricing, in such cases, is primarily determined by the cost of grinding in a mill and subsequent transportation, resulting in a thin margin for businesses operating in this space.
“The growth in the branded packaged segment is primarily fueled by the annual conversion from loose to packaged products. Therefore one cannot be too distant from the cost of the source of business. Which is why we keep a watch on that across every geography that we operate in.”
The long-term strategy is that while there may be a slight divergence from the commodity cost year by year, the focus remains on maintaining a delicate balance. The objective is to sustain the growth of the consumer base while gradually achieving margin growth by positioning the brand as a slightly more premium choice in the market.
Cutting the costs
The brand is aiming to avoid creating a product that is perceived as excessively luxurious or unaffordable. This goes right back to the supply chain of the brand, with a primary goal of cost-saving at every juncture. Notably, these cost-saving measures were clarified to pertain to operational efficiency rather than compromising on the quality of the wheat itself.
A pivotal aspect of the brand's strategy is the geographical placement of its production facilities. Viswambharan highlights that the location of the plants is intricately linked to the direction of wheat cultivation. For instance, in regions where wheat doesn't grow, such as the south, the production plants are strategically positioned in proximity to the wheat-growing territories.
“This ensures a streamlined flow of the product from cultivation areas towards the end consumer. The brand's approach is to set up production facilities in close proximity to the wheat source, thereby facilitating a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.”
The media mix
Television is a cornerstone of Fortune Chakki Fresh Atta’s outreach. As per Viswambharan, the brand is investing primarily in General Entertainment Channels (GECs) across languages and regions.
The brand's presence extends across High-Speed Media (HSM) in Marathi and Bengali, ensuring a comprehensive coverage that resonates with diverse audiences. The new ad film is poised to be a central creative asset, not only for traditional television but also in digital channels to enhance frequency and target specific geographies.
The brand also has a few influencer activities up its sleeves, aligning with the overarching theme of "earning your daily bread."
“The creative idea behind the campaign is versatile, allowing for its adaptation into various digital and social media formats. While the primary focus currently lies on TVC impressions to build recognition, plans are underway to roll out the second phase of the campaign. This will encompass diverse content inspired by the central theme."