The leading juice brand has now added chia and pumpkin seeds to its portfolio. With this, it aims to bring millennials and Generation Z into its fold.
A few years ago, the Indian food industry witnessed a new trend where consumers suddenly realized that the indigenous crops grown in India, like millets and pulses, were the healthier options. And since then, these long ignored millets have become popular as “superfoods.”
We are now seeing a similar movement with the consumption of seeds. Tamarind, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, among many others, have been consumed in Indian villages for ages. Sometimes because of the rarity and sometimes for its taste. But now, urban households are adding it to their shopping carts for its health benefits. They have also achieved the iconic status of “superfoods”.
The Dabur Real juice brand will now offer the superfood with the launch of its chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. These seeds are known to be rich in antioxidants, omega 3, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Monisha Prasher, AGM Marketing, Dabur India, says their research shows that health awareness has increased among consumers. While awareness was already there thanks to the internet and the ease of access to information, it became even more acute during the pandemic as people became more aware of what they were consuming.
âConsumers are now moving from a purely taste snack, such as crisps, cookies and savory options, to a more health-oriented snack. The brand is known for providing the best combination of taste and health to consumers. As it fits the core brand philosophy, launching the seeds of the portfolio was a very natural progression.
Dabur launched real fruit drinks in 1997. âOur current president, Amit Burman, started this journey. It was the first brand of packaged fruit juice in India and at the time it was a whole new concept. To this day, we continue to be the number one juice and nectar brand in the country, âadds Prasher.
Real offers a wide range of fruit drinks, with 22 flavors, such as guava, pomegranate, mixed fruit, etc. Masala Guava, Masala Sugar Cane, Masala Pomegranate and Masala Fruit Mix.
Despite its heritage as a simple beverage brand, Prasher is confident consumers will readily accept chia and pumpkin seeds from the same brand.
âWhen we asked consumers what Real stands for, they said it is a combination of taste and nutrition because it allows them to indulge their taste without compromising on nutrition. Thus, consumers see the brand in a much broader perspective. We believe that the consumer will gladly accept and adopt the new offer. “
Dabur offers a full line of health supplements including products such as Chyawanprash and Honey. In the food category, it also owns the Hommade brand for chutneys and pasta. So why did Dabur choose to launch Chia and Pumpkin seeds under the Real brand?
âReal has always championed modern nutrition, while honey and Chyawanprash are our ethnic Ayurvedic products. It is the face of Dabur in the food and beverage category. So we thought that Real would be more suitable for this new category, âexplains Prasher.
Today’s consumer is spoiled for choice when it comes to snacks. During the pandemic, with all family members locked away at home, the demand for snacks increased. But with no help available and no homework to keep people busy, consumers were looking for easy snack options. Brands responded with the same enthusiasm and launched a variety of snacks across all categories. Along with the usual snack options like crisps, cookies and biscuits, frozen foods have gained prominence in this category and brands like McCain, ITC Master Chef, Wow! Momo and Prasuma, respond to this request.
With this trend comes the search for healthy alternatives by people. The pandemic has also made people aware of what they are putting into their bodies. These two trends have come together to create demand for healthy snack options. The recent launch of Dabur is the result of this growing demand. Many other brands have recently launched healthy snacks like granola bars and Greek yogurt.
While it may seem unlikely that the Indian consumer, who has traditionally munched on samosas and kachoris, will feast on seeds at snack time, Dabur is banking on this shift in consumer mindset and placed its seeds in this ever-expanding snack tray. . He positions the product as a snack because he believes that the consumer is most likely to consume this product while feeling hungry in the middle of the meal.
âMost people are looking for less healthy options during this time. But there is a guilt associated with that choice, âsays Prasher.
The brand also tries to educate the consumer on how they can add these seeds to their everyday dishes like soups, salads, smoothies and nut mixes. âConsumers typically have two questions when it comes to healthy snack options: how to consume them and what benefits they will receive. So we are trying to do a series of online videos and digital campaigns to educate the consumer on these facets. This will boost not only consumption, but also category understanding and hence adoption, âshe said.
She adds that the demand for such healthy snacks is currently limited to urban people. âBut it’s purely an awareness and distribution function. Once available in the neighborhood store, all Indians would love to try it.
Currently, chia and pumpkin seeds are only available online because that’s where the audience is, but Dabur intends to roll them out to other channels soon. The first to adopt are people in urban areas who are looking for a healthier option for their snacking needs. They are increasingly health conscious and try to cut down on empty calories or add nutrients to their daily diet.
Regarding target audience, Prasher says, âWe define TG more by mindset than demographics, mindset for change. “
The product is sold in 250 gram ziplock packs. While sitting, people can consume around 20 to 25 grams. The ziplock will ensure the freshness of the product. Also, with people returning to their desks, it will make it easier for them to keep it at their desk and consume it when they have mid-meal cravings.
âThe brief for the packaging was simple: accentuate the seeds and make them mouth watering. At the same time, it has to look really premium, âshe added.
The healthy seed category has been largely an unorganized category. With its entry into the category, Dabur Real will compete with Del Monte which offers Chia and Sunflower seeds, and many D2C and local brands.
But Dabur sees the global snack market as its rival. It intends to eventually replace the different categories of snacks in the consumer’s life. While this is its first foray into the healthy snack category, the brand intends to take it deeper in the long term.
These seeds are not readily available in the nearby grocery store and are more likely to be found in specialty organic or health stores. Prasher believes that Dabur’s entry into this category will make them more accessible and also offer better quality.
In turn, the seeds will help bring millennials and Gen Zs into Dabur’s fold. âWe are reaching out to a wide variety of consumers. From people who believe in age-old Ayurveda to people who are looking for modern alternatives. This will therefore allow us to integrate Generation Y and Generation Z, who are much more receptive to this type of product and are looking for these options to begin with, âshe said.