Shreyas Kulkarni

Too Yumm! swaps healthy snacking cred for a taste-heavy one, targeting Gen Z appetites

Year-old Bhoot Chips and new 'Twisties', and with them a new Marvel collab target school kids' tastes as part of new brand positioning.

Since 2016, Too Yumm! differentiated itself from rivals in India’s snacks market with its healthy snacking equity; if cricketer Virat Kohli, one of the fittest athletes in Indian sports, appeared on television claiming all Too Yumm! products are baked and not fried, and is a healthier alternative to other fried products, viewers believed him. 

However, the snacking brand has slowly distanced itself from this years-old equity in the past two-and-a-half years because it was not making as deep a dent as it wanted in the minds and wallets of India’s Gen Z cohort, the hottest TG for marketers today. 

Research firm Mintel, in 2023, said that Gen Z is the “super snacking generation” and “nearly half (49%) eat snacks to boost their moods while 30% agree they are a convenient meal replacement.”

“From our early perception around healthy snacking, consumers felt Too Yumm! was more relevant to slightly older audiences which we wanted to change,” admits Yogesh Tewari, vice president, marketing, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, FMCG division. The group owns Too Yumm! through its business Guiltfree Industries.

The first result of this taste-led equity came forth in August 2023 when the brand launched Too Yumm! BHOOT Chips, a collaboration with Indian hot sauce brand Naagin led to the creation of a chip variant infused with the heat of India’s spiciest chilli, Bhut Jholokia.

Cricketer KL Rahul and actor Varun Dhawan were roped in to endorse this product. 

In a more recent move, the RPSG-owned snack brand launched Twisties in February 2024. A 31-second ad urges young folks mindlessly swiping left and right on screens to instead use their fingers to indulge in the new extra spicy snack shaped like a DNA strand. 

Marketing services platform Curativity made this ad after winning the brand’s pitch a short while ago. Co-founders Virat Tandon and Ameer Jaleel had worked on the brand when they headed the chief executive and creative duties respectively at the MullenLowe Lintas Group. 

Both Bhoot Chips and Twisties focus on excess spice and it is by design because the brand’s conversations with the target consumers revealed they want something extra in their lives, especially in their snacks. 

And part of the brand’s new positioning is the extra in all its products. “We translated this extra into ‘Too’,” remarks Tewari. 

“We're able to launch a new product of decent complexity in say four to six months from idea to market.”
Yogesh Tewari, vice president, marketing, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, FMCG division.

When asked if the ‘Too’ in the new brand positioning meant an extra spice level many Indians love or if there was something in international flavours, the VP - marketing was quick to say that while it will apply for all flavours, the brand will not needlessly ape western flavours.  

He points to the present-day pervasive culture of nationalism and how consumers are increasingly valuing more Indian offerings and he nods to Bhoot Chips’ main ingredient – an Indian chilly.

The IPL window

Too Yumm!’s two new products look to find a sales high during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). The brand has advertised on it in the past and is a sponsor of the Lucknow Super Giants as a snacking partner which the RPSG Group owns. 

Tewari, however, sees the consumer’s wallet share towards his brands decline during this time because they are spoilt for choice be it chips, beverages, ice creams, and whatnot. 

Yogesh Tewari
Yogesh Tewari

Market research company IMARC Group, in a 2023 report, said the India snacks market size reached Rs 42,694.90 crore in 2023 and it expects the market to reach Rs 95,521.8 crore by 2032. 

Too Yumm!’s immediate rivals include PepsiCo’s Lay’s, Kurkure and Doritos, Balaji Wafers, Bingo, Parle Wafers, and several local brands. 

Smaller brands, Tewari says, suffer from a decline in retail space during the IPL season. “We are trying to make up for it by accelerating our investments on quick commerce apps, also looking at campaigns with them along the IPL.”

The lion’s share of marketing spends, he reveals, will go to “mainstream advertising. Quick-commerce investment is growing but is still a small part… We are inclined to go digital but which platform, whether CTV or mobile, it's still under discussion.”

Too Yumm! prioritises storytelling and brand building over performance marketing. “Performance marketing is important but ours is an impulse category with a low price point. The Rs 5 and Rs 10 packs are available in 3-5 lakh outlets, and so performance marketing is very small because our digital commerce business is very small.”

The brand intends to work with creators and make use of impact properties to showcase its wares. 

Last year, it released a Cricket World Cup anthem in collaboration with creator and musician Yashraj Mukhate, launched the Bhoot Chips on season two of Bigg Boss OTT, and was a title sponsor of the global reality show Temptation Island on JioCinema.

The Marvel collab 

TooYumm! may focus on the Gen Z cohort, it is, however, at the same time, going for consumers much younger – school kids. It has collaborated with Marvel to launch a new range of snacks with the Marvel superheroes on its packs. 

“For this TG, taste is important but it is not foremost. They want playfulness and products to have something extra like a toy inside, we've done an association with Marvel,” says Tewari. 

One’d assume summer is the best season for this new range but he disagrees. “The moment when kids buy the most is when they are returning from school, go to a shop and buy our products using their pocket money.” During the summers, the pocket money remains the same but purchases increase to include ice-creams and beverages. 

The Marvel campaign, he says, is only a launch campaign, and a big burst will hit consumers once the schools reopen and monsoons begin to make their presence felt. 

Too Yumm! has a busy product pipeline with many launches expected in the next two to three years. “We're able to launch a new product of decent complexity in say four to six months from idea to market,” he states. 

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