Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ching’s Secret: Truly Chindian

Recently during Diwali my wife prepared yummy rasagullas for the first time in her life. She nowadays  try out something novel in the kitchen. She sometimes cook  North – Indian Cuisines, sometimes Chineese and of course South Indian Cuisines. One thing she ensures is her own midas touch in it. She don’t believe in standardisation of taste but wants to try all type of cuisines. My wife is just a testament of the modern women in India. The consumer (read women) of today believe in convenience cooking. Thanks to the grandmother “google’ which assists you with a myriad collection of recipes. This idea of convenience cooking is now familiar not only with urban women but also with rural counterparts. Most important is that she seldom buy Ready – to – Eat stuff from the stores. (Idea courtesy: book titled “Super Marketwala” by Damodar Mall)

The food – culture in India is quite different from others. The ethnic cuisines change every 300 km. The Chinese dishes of India never taste Chinese but Chindian (Read. The dishes will have an Indian touch in it). The noodles which we sell in India is truly an Indianised version. Thus selling a food product among Indian consumer is never a cakewalk. However, making this challenge as an opportunity a handful of companies are operating in the instant food market in India. Noodles was the first product to be launched in this category in which Nestle Maagi is the undisputed leader.

Ching’s secret launched in the year 2001 was the first in the processed food industry to launch Hakka Chinese sauces, noodles, seasonings and soups. Since there was heavy competition in the noodles category they entered this segment late. All these products have a chindian taste (positioning). The product is targeted to people in the age group of 18-25 who prefer spicy flavours (Read Demographic segmentation). The pricing is somewhat 50% more than the competitors (Premium Pricing) in the case of noodles, while playing with the price point is gave Ching’s Secret the edge(at ₹10 a pack, it is just a third of what Knorr charges).

There was innovation is distribution also. Ching’s was launched initially in modern outlets as the consumer profile matches with the product. Later it was extended to general stores. Thus moved from urban to the rural hinterlands. Demonstrations at retail outlets, in offices and at different exhibitions were used to familiarise the products. Later when the sales increased they started concentrating on making the product visible. The company also expanded overseas and now the overseas sale is also a major contributor to the revenue figures.

Knowing your consumer and developing a deal (product) can make a company relevant in the market.

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