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Unnatural success in FMCG Food Marketing

What's common to the success of the following brands?

- Amul Butter

- Coke

- Real Juice

- Kissan Jam

The answer is, an non naturally occurring taste. While most FMCG food products have a benchmark to a naturally occurring taste, some products with no naturally occurring taste reference also find success.

Think of this, there is a natural reference of taste for

-Mango drink



-Chutney and many other categories

FMCG food categories are basically trying to provide Hygiene, convenience and Taste on naturally occurring or home-made food categories. (Only Health benefit is a very small segment)

Now you may ask, “How is it, that there is no natural reference to Real Juice? Juice of course has a naturally occurring fruit reference. Well, the largest selling variant in the category is Mixed fruit. Now tell me the reference for mixed fruit flavor. None! The same applies to Kissan Jam.

First movers in food categories without a natural reference have a massive advantage, because there is no way for competition to develop a better product. In the absence of a reference the first mover itself becomes the reference. When the reference for mixed fruit jam is Kissan jam itself, then how does a competing product, any different from that, meet consumer expectations!

Now about Amul butter, surely makkhan is traditional to India. You're right, Makkhan is traditional to India, salted butter is not. The advantage is such that even Amuls unsalted butter cannot upstage the salted butter.

Side story: Amul first launched salted butter and not makkhaan because in its early days cold-chain supply chain with GCMMF (Amul) and storage with retailers was a big challenge. Hence, butter, which you typically see stored in the refrigerator at a retail outlet would get rancid very quickly. In order to increase shelf-life of the product, salt, a natural preservative was added to the product. A few decades later, India forgot that lord Krishna was lovingly called Maakhan chor not salted butter chor.

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