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ABSTRACT

Most producers do not sell their goods directly to final users. They design a multi-channel system to reach them. The design of marketing channel, that acts, as a strong interface, can provide competitive advantage to a firm in the industry. By contrast the absence of a good distribution network can also be a major fiasco in todays cutthroat competitive world. Marketing channel decisions are the most critical ones facing the marketing management today. It is complex and the complexity further gets compounded by the fact that the channel system take time to build usually years. Channel partners are not owned by the company in most cases. The sales force plays a crucial role in getting the best out of marketing channel. Integrating the efforts of channel partners and sales efforts within the whole marketing effort becomes crucial towards achieving organizational goals. Food and beverage giant Parle had entered into a franchisee agreement with Keventer Agro, for Keventer Agro to manufacture, package, distribute and market its well-known brands namely Frooti -a popular mango drink, Appy and Appy Fizz-the in-style apple drinks and Bailley Packaged Drinking Water mostly in the eastern parts of India. The project Study of the distribution channel and market analysis of the products distributed and marketed by Keventer Agro under the license of Parle Agro involves the study of the strategies undertaken by Keventer Agro to distribute and market products of Parle Agro which includes Parles HIPPO Parle Agro forayed into snacks with the launch of Hippo, in line with the companys vision of becoming a major player in the foods and beverages industry. Hippo is a player of the snack food industry of India. As per an industry estimate, the branded and organized snack food segment dominated by major players such as Frito Lay, Con Agra, Kelloggs, Marico, Dabur, HLL, ITC, Parle, Haldirams. Thus, the study mainly constituted of studying and analyzing the distribution channel of Hippo and doing a market analysis of the product with respect to pricing, competition, brand awareness and consumer behavior of Hippo its present market position in relation to the well known established brands through retailer and consumer survey. Questionnaire, Schedule and interview and observation methods have been used in conduction of surveys.

After completion of analysis of data collected through various methods regarding the sales and distribution and market position and other strategies proper conclusions can be drawn about the awareness and market strength and potential of Parles Hippo. These conclusion and deductions will help Keventer Agro to make any possible changes that would be feasible for the sustenance of the brands and any measure that will increase the market penetration of the brands

Introduction

The Project The project Study of the distribution channel and market analysis of the of the products distributed and marketed by Keventer Agro under the license of Parle Agro involves the study of the strategies undertaken by Keventer Agro to distribute and market Parle Hippo Keventer Agro: The Company Keventer Agro Limited is a subsidiary of Keventer Group which has been operating years in the Food Processing Industry in India for more than 125 years. Keventer exports Alphonso Mango Pulp, Totapuri Mango Pulp, Guava Pulp, Sweetened Alphonso Mango Pulp, Mango Pickle, Sesame Seed, Cashew Nuts, Peanuts, Cumin Seed, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Coriander Seed, Bakery Ingredients, Fruit Jams, Tutti Fruiti, Red Chilies & Button Mushrooms etc. to various countries. Keventer Agro Ltd. (KAL) was established in the year 1986. The division exports food products such as Mango Pulp, Guava Pulp, Sesame Seeds, and Bakery Ingredients to various customers across the globe. In no time, it earned the coronet of being the first to introduce aseptic packaging in the beverage category (a high-end packaging procedure that preserved the natural goodness of drinks in hygienic packs). The Group entered into a franchisee agreement with the food and beverage giant -PARLE to manufacture, package, distribute and market its well-known brands namely FROOTI -a popular mango drink, APPY and APPY FIZZ- the in-style apple drinks and BAILEY PACKAGED DRINKING WATER mostly in the eastern parts of India. In late 2010, Parle Agro inked another agreement with Keventer Agro to set up a plant at Barasat. This new unit manufactures Parle Agros snack brand Hippo. Besides manufacturing, Keventer is also responsible for marketing, sales and distribution of Hippo. Parle Agro chose to partner Keventer for their range of food brands which w.ll h.l. them to expand Hippos market share in the eastern part of India.

Parle Agro: The Company Parle Agro is a household name in the beverages industry and has leading brands like Frooti, Appy, Appy Fizz and packaged drinking water, Bailley. A pioneer in the Indian industry, Parle Agro were the first to introduce fruit drinks in tetra packaging, first to introduce apple nectar and the first to introduce fruit drinks in PET bottles. In 2007, Parle Agro forayed into foods with the launch of two confectionery brands, Mintrox mints and Buttercup candies. This was soon followed by two more brands Buttercup Softease and Softease Mithai. Recent beverage products from Parle Agro include Saint Juice, LMN and Grappo Fizz. In 2009, Parle Agro forayed into snacks with the launch of Hippo, in line with the companys vision of becoming a major player in the foods and beverages industry. The snack brand Hippo, was launched in the western region starting with Maharashtra and then it was soon rolled out nationally. Parle Agro commenced operations in 1984. Starting with only beverages and diversifying to include bottled water in 1993 and confectionery in 2007. Frooti was the first product that was rolled out of Parle Agro in 1985. It went on to become Indias favourite mango drink. It still has a leading market share. Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd operates under three business vertical Beverages fruit drinks, nectars, 100% Juice, sparkling drinks, Water Packaged Drinking Water and Foods confectionery, snacks

Product & Industry Overview

Product: HIPPO

Parle Agro forayed into snacks with the launch of Hippo, in line with the companys vision of becoming a major player in the foods and beverages industry. Hippo is a toasted bread snack. Its ingredients include wheat flour, edible vegetable oils, seasoning mix, corn starch, sugar, raising agent, milk solids, salt, emulsifier, yeast extract powder, instant yeast. It contains added natural color and added natural identical flavoring substances; but no added MSG, no GMO and no Trans Fat. It comes in two variant; Hippo Munchies and Hippo Round-Round. The Hippo Munchies comes in 7 flavours (Chinese Manchurian, Hot-n-Sweet Tomato, Thai Chilli, Yoghurt Mint Chutney, Italian Pizza, Indian Chatpata and Arabian Salted) and Hippo Round-Round comes in 5 flavours (Punjab Da Pickle, Gujrati Mango Chatni, Shillong Noodle Masala, Goan Butter and Garlic, Firangi Cheese n Spice). It is available in three sizes which are priced at Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20. Snack Industry: Industry to which Hippo belongs Hippo is a player of the snack food industry of India. The Indian snack industry is one of the largest when considered in the global level. With rising standard of living, people are more resorting to snacks items during breakfast, supper or any time; snacks most often take the place of meals. Right from production, using up, export and growth prospects owing to emerging markets, increasing demand, and incorporation of latest technologies, the snack industry in India has witnessed a dramatic change. Ready-to-eat foods, samosas, kachoris, namkeen, chips, are few of the snacks that are most preferred by Indians. Given the rising demand, the snack industry is going to witness further growth in the future.

The snacks food industry in India can broadly be categorised into three segments staple (biscuits category), traditional (namkeens) and ready-to-eat packaged snacks (chips / crisps). The snack food market in India is $3 billion; with the organized segment accounting for almost half of the market share and growing at rate of 15 to 20 percent per year. A growing economy, changing lifestyles, rise in disposable incomes and preference for quality products of U.S. origin will continue to fuel growth of imported U.S. snack food items in India. As per an industry estimate, the branded and organized snack food segment dominated by major players such as Frito Lay, Con Agra, Kelloggs, Marico, Dabur, HLL, ITC, Parle, Haldirams, Nestle, Britannia, Cadbury, Bikano and Balaji is estimated to grow by 15 to 20 percent per year; whereas the growth of un-branded snack food is likely to grow modestly at 8 percent per year in the near future. Frito-Lay India led sweet and savory snacks with a retail value share of 46% in 2009. The companys Kurkure, Lehar and Lays Stax offerings have helped it to consolidate its leadership during the year. Haldiram Foods International Ltd and ITC Ltd remained the second and third ranked players respectively. Products like Hippo claim to be made from healthier ingredients than chips/crisps. With Indian consumers becoming more health conscious and more inquisitive about the ingredients in their food, sweet and savory snacks will witness an increase in products which are positioned as better for you and healthier snacks.

Objectives of the Project

To execute a qualitative study on the trend of packaged snack industry

To gauge the acceptance of baked and healthy-snacks

To understand competitor's strategy in the market

To study the sales and distribution structure, pricing (both to the retailer and to the consumer) of Hippo and problems in those respected area.

To develop marketing strategies for Hippo

To analyze the markets and determine the factors responsible for sale of products and provide recommendations about the scope for improvement.

To provide a statement of collective responses of the retailersand determine the scope for improvement in the distribution channel for the products and the problems faced by the retailers.

To study the pattern of consumer behavior and their awareness towards HIPPO

To find out the problems faced by HIPPO if any and suggest solution to address those problems Project Methodology Primary Research is done through market survey. The research is mainly based on:

Questionnaire Method

Interview Method

Observation Method Secondary Research has also been used as a supporting tool like: Some of the data related to holistic picture of the industry has been gathered from the data available on the internet

PROJECT PROFILE

The project revolves around Parle Hippo distributed and marketed by Keventer Agro under the license of Parle Agro. The first stage constituted of mainly studying and analyzing the distribution channel of Hippo and doing a market analysis of the product with respect to pricing, competition, brand awareness and consumer behavior of Hippo through retailer and consumer survey As per the objective of the project, two sets of questionnaire were prepared;

For the retailer which aimed to assess the availability of Hippo, pricing of Hippo, sales, defect handling and some financial aspect of Hippo viz. Its competitors and the other for the consumers.

For the consumer which aimed to gauge awareness of the product and the brand, product acceptance, their choice of product and buying pattern. The second stage constituted of observing the total sales procedure which consists of division of product, division of area, selective loading, selling, collection and submission

STAGE ONE: RETAILER SURVEY FOR HIPPO

This stage involved daily visits from the stock points to the designated markets. The markets covered includes:

Salt Lake,

Lake Town,

S.K. Deb Road Market,

Nagerbazar,

Mrinalini Cinema Hall Market,

New Market,

Ultadanga,

Kankurgachi,

Bagmari,

Beadon Street ,

Aurobindo Road and Vivekananda Road area,

Shyambazar,

Rajballavpara

Baghbazar. Every shop that kept branded snacks in the respective areas was approached. The initial plan was to conduct the survey through questionnaire method but while performing the survey the method had to be changed to schedule, observation and interview method as it was not convenient for the retailers to fill up the questionnaire

Objectives of Survey by observation method Findings to be recorded through observation method included:

The visibility of Hippo and of competitors' product

Mode of stocking/displaying Hippo and competitors' products i.e. whether it is on shelve or in the basket or inside almirah

The location of the store i.e. whether it is beside main road or inside a lane or on a square

Type of store

Approximate demography Objectives of Survey by schedule method Findings to be recorded through schedule method included:

About Hippo: Whether he keeps Hippo or not, if not the reason, its availability, reorder period, quality of defective product handling', margin offered, supply of banners and danglers.

About Competitor: The competition brand kept, approximate margin they offer.

About the market as a whole: The most selling brand. Objectives of Survey by interview method The interview methodology aimed to gain the intrinsic details of the market functions such as; if the retailer does not keep Hippo would he like to keep it future, the credit policy, frequency of visit of sales representative, retailer's view on Hippo's marketing strategy and scope of improvement.

STAGE TWO: TOTAL SALES PROCEDURE OBSERVATION

Distribution structure of Keventer Agro for Hippo Keventer Agro has 2-level consumer marketing channel. i.e. Manufacturing Unit>Distributor>retailer>Consumer. The product is manufactured in their plant located in Barasat. The products are sold directly to distributors on cash. A sales representative is appointed to the distributor by Keventer, who represents Keventer Agro and works shoulder to shoulder with the distributor.

Level 1 Manufacturing unit to distributor

The distributor buys the product in cash and the price of the free products which are part of below the line promotional activity are reimbursed on the claim made by the distributor. The transportation charge is borne by the distributor. Division of product and appointment of distributors: The aim of the company is:

To ensure not only the highly profitable established products, but also new products with low initial sales reaches the end of supply chain.

To ensures that all the SKUs of different products end up in the racks of retailers.

Parle Agro has wide and deep product line; it is difficult for a single distributor to manage all the products. Earlier, Hippo was supplied to all the distributors of a specific area but as coordination became difficult, they have changed their policy and now supplies only to one distributor of the specific area. In some distribution area Keventer appoints more than one distributor each having different divisions of product.

The division of products includes: Division A Division B Division C

(Full information about this division is not known since I never had the chance to work in this divison) 200 ml, 400 ml, 1.2 litre of Frooti 160 ml 500 ml 1.5 litre and 2 litre of Frooti 200 ml of Appy 500 ml, 1 litre, 2 litre of Bailley Packaged Drinking Water 100 ml, 250 ml of Frooti 200 ml of LMN 600 ml of Bailley Soda. 300 ml, 500 ml and 1 litre of Appy Fizz The strategy of division of product along with division of distributor is adopted due to the reason discussed above. Level 2 Distributor to retailer Each distribution area is divided into five different distribution zones. They sell their products to those five zones in five days i.e. Monday to Friday. The sixth day which is Saturday is an extra day in which the sales representative does the miscellaneous work such as:

If an order was not delivered on the due date then that product is delivered on Saturday.

They conduct an approximate survey to estimate or forecast the forthcoming weekly demand.

If a replacement of defective product was not done on the due date then it is also done in Saturday

Hippo along with other product that are in the same division are be loaded in the LCV everyday. The flavours and quantities are not fixed. They load it according to the demand estimation of the zone. For example, on a particular day, more SKUs of Goan Butter and Garlic flavour is loaded more than the average quantity; the reason being from the experience, the sales representative found that when certain flavour/flavours are supplied to some particular area/areas, the retailer has lower re-order period i.e. the flavour/flavours sales more in that area depending on the demography of the area and buying pattern of the consumers. Sometimes the sales representatives are given target. For example: If they can sell 100 cases of Division A products on a particular day which includes Hippo, then they would get some incentive (Rs 250 extra). In that case, Division A products are loaded more, proportionally quantity of Hippo rises. However the elasticity of quantity of loading is low for Hippo compared to Frooti and Appy which are of high selling category. The sales representative finds it easy and handy to sell Frooti and Appy than applying push strategy for Hippo. Sometimes Hippo is not at all loaded in the LCV because the particular market demography could not accept Hippo and is not popular. Selling Each sales representative has different style of selling. Some capitalize on relationship between him and retailer and some on communication skill. Relationship marketing: In this type of marketing procedure, the SR does not start talking business in the first instance; rather he greets the retailer, talk about general things like current affairs or about family which helps him to build a rapport and trust. The trust and rapport becomes the psychological tool to win over the psychology of the retailer making it difficult for the retailer to reject the sales representatives selling proposal. Sometimes the sales representatives shares such good relationship with the retailers that they don't even ask whether he needs anything or not but directly dump the products and produces the bill. Credit sales are more by this procedure since the SR does not want to freeze the warmth of the relationship. Communication Marketing In this procedure the SR starts talking about the business from the first go. The deliberation of the schemes or price seeks the attention of the retailers. Sales representative convinces the retailers by giving a clear picture of the business model. For example: Suppose the shop is near a school, he would right away say with much conviction that Hippo is bound to sell and with Rs 1.23 margin per piece, it would be a great business for him. He further elaborates on the schemes and produces a very rosy picture.

The chances of credit sales are low. The sales representative of Keventer Agro is responsible to write the bill of receipt where he mentions name of the shop, the date, quantity of total product sold and its price. An account of free products is also scribed in the bill. The cash is handled by the distributor's representative. Collection It is a process of collecting money for the credit sales made. Usually Keventer does not encourage credit sales. However if any credit sales are made, the credit period is generally 2-3 days or the period till the next order, whichever is earlier. Collection is not so difficult as Hippo is backed by Frooti which has high bargaining power. Submission Both the representatives are required to submit every bills and cash respectively to the stock point/distributor. The cash collected and the sum total of the bill has to tally. Problem identification and its solution: Problem 1: The targets that are set by Keventer for the sales representatives are not distinct enough. The target constitutes of only two conditions i.e. name of Division and amount of cases. For example, on a particular day while we were working in certain area with the sales representative, he was given a target to sell 100 cases of Division A product for an incentive of Rs 250. He worked till 8 pm and ultimately reached to the target. However most of the sales were of Frooti and Appy with very little proportion of Hippo. Solution to the problem: Providing target worked well but had skewed portfolio. The target scheme for the sales representatives should be more distinct for example, if the target would have been X cases Frooti, Y cases of LMN, Z cases of Appy and U cases of Hippo of Division A for Rs V then the sales representative would not have capitalized on Frooti and Appy but would have tried to push low moving new brands such as Hippo, Bailley Soda etc. The portfolio of sales would have been varied and would have provided an impetus to the sales of new brands such as Bailley Soda and Hippo.

Problem 2: Most of the sales activities are done by the company representatives such:

Converting potential customer into actual customer in level 1 of distribution structure

Bagging re-order from the existing customer

Handling defective product

Negotiation and persuasion

Accounting( bill of receipt) The distributor only provides with infrastructure such as godown, light commercial vehicle(LCV) and a representative. The field work is mostly done by the company representative. Solution to the problem: Initially in a new market, it is quite rationale to capitalize on the market knowledge and relationships of the distributor but while working with sales representatives we found in some areas that the retailers already trust the company representative while the company representative has commanded the knowledge on the respective market. In that scenario Keventer Agro can go for forward integration and move on to 1-level distribution structure which consists of only manufacturer> retail> consumer eliminating the distributor. This would further optimize the profit earned by the company

Evaluation of the distribution system of Parle Hippo through statistics This part of data analysis is segmented in to two parts. The first part deals with retailers and the second part deals with the consumer. The first part is further broken up in to two scenarios. The first scenario provides a holistic view of the markets surveyed and the second scenario deals with analysis of the attribute according to the area in which the survey is conducted. Part I (A) -Holistic View of the Markets Surveyed 1. Hippo Stocked The graph below showcases the frequency of the shops who stocks Hippo in their shops. 36.2% of the samples do not keep Hippo, where as 24.6% of the sample use to keep Hippo and the rest however keeps Hippo. So it can be said that there are presently more shops where Hippo cannot be found. Since the percentage of shops that use to keep Hippo is considerably high, we get a negative sales trend here.

9 definite reasons for the low sales turnover have been identified. They are:

Some of the shops were never approached by the distributor

Some shops are already flooded with competitor's product so there are no space to stock Hippo

In Some areas, the supply was halted due distributor reappointment and other issues

Some shops use to keep Hippo but due to low sales they don't keep it anymore

Hippo has a limited credit option, so many retailer finds it difficult to block their money for a new product

Some retailer does not keep Hippo due to lack of merchandize provided. Retailers demand shelve and almirah so that they can store and display and also protect from mice but very limited or no merchandize is provided to most of the retailers

Some retailers do not keep Hippo because they perceive that it is a new product with low awareness, the market is still not ready to accept the product. Had it been ready, the consumer would themselves ask for it

Some retailers complained about poor follow up from the sales team and is the reason for not keeping Hippo

Some retailers, who use to keep Hippo complained that the expired stock were not replaced and they have lost faith in Parle Agro

The chart provided below showcases the frequency of the reasons discussed above. Interpretations:

32.5% of the shops were never approached by the company. From the qualitative data it has been found that many retailers were positive about keeping Hippo if they were being approached by the company.

12.5% of the shops have no space to keep Hippo. While conducting survey it is found that many shops were flooded with competitor brand leaving no space for Hippo.

Out of 24.6% of sample who use to keep Hippo, 11.2% stopped keeping Hippo due sudden halt in supply due to distributor reappointment problem and other associated problems.

8.8% of the samples do not keep Hippo anymore due to its low sales while 2.5% of the samples do not keep Hippo because of the credit policy. The low sales associated with limited credit policy makes it difficult for the retailer to invest in the slow moving stock.

1.2% of sample reported that they do not keep Hippo because Parle Agro do not provide them with almirah or rack as result the products get damaged because of mice.

Among the samples who never kept Hippo, 10% of the sample never kept Hippo because no customer demanded for it. They said, they will only keep Hippo when customer starts asking for it. The demand graph is provided below.

Among those who use to keep Hippo, 8.8% of sample do not keep it anymore due to bad follow up from the distributor. One of the samples was approached by the distributor ho took order but never delivered the products.

The expired date products were never replaced for which 2.5% of the sample does not keep Hippo.

The reason for the 8.8% of the shops could not be gauged due to any response from the retailers.

2. Demand of Hippo: The graph below provides a holistic view about the demand of Hippo. 42.7% of the sample said that the demand of Hippo is low while 33.7% of the sample said that the demand is average followed by 23.6% of the sample who said that the demand is high. 3. Reorder period: Among the samples who keep Hippo, 57.6% of the sample orders on a weekly basis, 24.7% orders on a monthly basis, 10.6% on a fortnightly basis and 7.1% of the sample orders twice a week.

4. Most selling Stock Keeping Unit (SKU): 74.1% of the sample reported that the small packs are most selling stock keeping unit (SKU) while 25.9% of the sample reported about the medium pack. 5. Most selling flavour: On an overall analysis, we found that there is very low consistent pattern of choice of flavour. However 21.2% of the sample said that the bluish green pack (Goan Butter and Garlic) sells the most followed by Punjab Da Pickle.

6. Awareness of nutrition facts among retailers: 70.5% of the sample had no idea about Hippo being baked but not fried while that 29.5% of the sample had idea about the health positivity of the product. Among 29.5 % of the samples who are aware of the fact only 2.4% of the samples pitch about it while selling it.

7. Analysis of the margin/profit offered by Hippo and its competitors: The objective is to find whether there is significant difference among the margin offered by three brands i.e. Lay's, Bingo and Hippo. In other words, it is a test for difference in distributions (medians) of the margin/profit for the different brands of snacks. Methodology applied is Kruskal-Wallis Test. The null hypothesis H0 = PL = PB = PH and the alternate hypothesis H1 is PL, PB and PH are significantly different. PL = Proportion of retailer to whom Lays provide them with highest margin PB = Proportion of retailer to whom Bingo provide them with highest margin PH = Proportion of retailer to whom Hippo provide them with highest margin The significance level (a) is 0.05. According to the Kruskal-Wallis test, the p-value is as low as zero, so we reject the null hypothesis. So we see that at the a = 0.05 level of significance, there exists enough evidence to conclude that there is significant difference among the three snack brand in terms of the margin/profit provided to the retailer.

8. Factor Analysis: The main applications of factor analytic te (1) To reduce the number of variables and (2) To detect structure in the relationships bet Therefore, factor analysis is applied as a dat The variables taken are: .Supply Quality of Hippo as r .Quality of Product delivered as r .Quality of service(Replacement .Merchandize offered and its a .Margin perceived by the samples .Quality of Hippo as responded by Samples or analytic techniques are: the number of variables and tionships between variables, that is to classify sis is applied as a data reduction or structure detection method. Supply Quality of Hippo as responded by Samples ed as responded by Samples placement and Adjustment) as responded by Samples and its availability as responded by Samples ed by the samples sponded by Samples classify variables. tion method. y Samples The main applications of factor analytic te (1) To reduce the number of variables and (2) To detect structure in the relationships bet Therefore, factor analysis is applied as a dat The variables taken are: .Supply Quality of Hippo as r .Quality of Product delivered as r .Quality of service(Replacement .Merchandize offered and its a .Margin perceived by the samples .Quality of Hippo as responded by Samples or analytic techniques are: the number of variables and tionships between variables, that is to classify sis is applied as a data reduction or structure detection method. Supply Quality of Hippo as responded by Samples ed as responded by Samples placement and Adjustment) as responded by Samples and its availability as responded by Samples ed by the samples sponded by Samples classify variables. tion method. y Samples

From the component plot above it is quite clear that plot above it is quite clear that quality of product, quality of supply and replacement and adjustment constitute one factor while margin of hippo and merchandizing provided constitute the other factor. From the Scree Plot it can be seen that 2 components have Eigen Value more than 1 and they can explain 74.09% of the variation.

Part 1 (b) Area wise analysis of the attributes 1. Demand hippo vs Area 70%, 55%, 50% in Lake Town, Shyambazar, Ultadanga respectively consider the demand of Hippo to be low. 72.7% of sample in Salt Lake and 50% of sample in New Market feels the demand for Hippo is average. However 44.4%, 50%, 41.7% of the sample in Nagerbazar, Baisakhi and Ultadanga respectively fell the demand is high over there.

2. Flavour vs area Goan Butter and Garlic flavour is the most liked flavour in Salt Lake. While Punjab Da Pickle is the favourite in Nagerbazar. All the other area has no definite favourite.

3. Area vs Hippo Stocked Cross tabulation Area * Hippo Stocked Cross tabulation Hippo Stocked No Yes Previously Kept Area Salt Lake Count 0 12 0 % within Area .0% 100.0% .0% Lake Town Count 4 3 4 % within Area 36.4% 27.3% 36.4% Nagerbazar Count 2 10 0 % within Area 16.7% 83.3% .0% Baisakhi & CK Market Count 3 1 5 % within Area 33.3% 11.1% 55.6% New Market & Hogg Market Count 11 0 6 % within Area 64.7% .0% 35.3% Ultadanga, Murari Pukur, Kankurgachi & Bagmari Count 13 5 7 % within Area 52.0% 20.0% 28.0% Beadon Road, Aurobindo Road & Vivekananda Road Count 13 10 5 % within Area 46.4% 35.7% 17.9% Shyambazar, Baghbazar & Rajballav Para Count 4 13 7 % within Area 16.7% 54.2% 29.2% Total Count 50 54 34 % within Area 36.2% 39.1% 24.6% From the cross tabulation above, we see that the penetration of Hippo is excellent in Salt Lake and Nagerbazar area and good in Shyambazar area. However, the performance is very dull in other areas with only 18.82% (mean) sample who keeps Hippo.

Reason for not keeping Hippo vs Area Important Findings: Only the shops that does not keep Hippo or use to keep Hippo has been considered.

44% of the shops in Beadon Street area, 28% of shops in Ultadanga area and 24% of shops in New Market area were never approached.

40% of the shops in New Market area and Ultadanga area do not keep Hippo due to lack of space. As both the areas are prime location for sale, competitors brand flood their product in to the shops in these areas leaving no shelve space for Hippo. The retailer find it lucrative to store competitors brand in the limited shelve space since the sale of the competitor brand is high.

30% of the retailer in the Baisakhi area complained about the sudden stoppage in supply of Hippo. During the survey we heard of a rumour that a sales representative masterminded a scam worth Rs 18 lac so the supply was stopped for some couple of months. 20% of the shops in Shyambazar also reported of the halt in supply

40% of shops in Shyambazar area and Beadon Street area do not keep Hippo anymore due to low sales and about 20% of shops in Lake Town area due to the same.

40% of the shops in Lake Town area do not keep Hippo anymore due to low sales.

57.1% of the shops in Lake Town do not keep Hippo because of low demand from the customer. They said that nobody asks for Hippo so he does not find it feasible to keep it. Most of the retailers have a preconceived notion that if there is no demand, the product wont sell. They are ignorant of demand creation and demand marketing.

50% of the shop in New Market and 37.5% of the shops in Ultadanga area reported that they were not being followed by the sales representative.

The chi-square test proved the above test to be statistically significant

4. Area vs Frequency of order Important Finding: 46.7% of the sample collected from beadon road area orders in a monthly basis. 25% of the sample collected from shyambazar area has a reorder period of fortnight. All the test areas survey mostly has a reorder period of about a week with a very low standard deviation of 0.946 which is quite low. 20% of the samples collected from shyambazar area orders twice a week.

Satisfaction Score of sample among different area: We have devised an algorithm to provide a score to different market. We have considered five different attributes for it. The attributes are:

Supply Quality of Hippo as responded by Samples

Quality of Product delivered as responded by Samples

Quality of service(Replacement and Adjustment) as responded by Samples

Merchandize offered and its availability as responded by Samples

Margin perceived by the samples The score is obtained from the crosstab (Area x 5 attribute mentioned above). All the major data are recorded and is assigned a score on 5. For example: if most of the samples in Salt Lake are extremely satisfied with the supply quality, then Salt Lake scores 5 on 5 in terms of Quality of Supply whereas if, most of the samples in Salt Lake are extremely dissatisfied with the merchandize offered then Salt Lake scores 1 on 5. If there is a tie, then an average is taken. For example, if 33.3% of the samples in Ultadanga area are both extremely satisfied and dissatisfied then the score is, 5 for extremely satisfied plus 2 for dissatisfied divided by 2 i.e 3.5. Extremely satisfied =5, Dissatisfied =2 so that makes (5+2)/2=3.5. A table has been generated after each cross tab provided below which will display the score of the area according to the different area.

5. Area vs Quality of Supply: 33.3% of the samples collected from Ultadanga area are extremely dissatisfied with the supply quality while 33.3% of the samples collected from new market area are dissatisfied with the supply quality. However 66.7% sample in Baisakhi area satisfied followed by Salt Lake, Nagerbazar and Shyambazar with 77.2%, 100% and 50% of the sample being extremely satisfied.

Area Score Salt Lake 5 Lake Town 4 Nagerbazar 5 Baisakhi 4 New Market 2 Ultadanga area 2.5 Beadon Road area 5 Shyambazar area 5

6. Quality of product supplied vs Area: 33.3% of the samples collected from Ultadanga area are extremely dissatisfied with the supply quality while 33.3% of the samples collected from new market area are dissatisfied with the supply quality. However 66.7% sample in Baisakhi area satisfied followed by Salt Lake, Nagerbazar and Shyambazar with 66.7%, 87.5% and 50% of the sample being extremely satisfied.

Area Score Salt Lake 5 Lake Town 4.5 Nagerbazar 5 Baisakhi 4 New Market 2 Ultadanga area 2.5 Beadon Road area 5 Shyambazar area 5 7. Replacement vs Area:

33.3% of the samples collected from Ultadanga area are extremely dissatisfied with the supply quality while 33.3% of the samples collected from new market area are dissatisfied with the supply quality. However 66.7% sample in Baisakhi area satisfied followed by Salt Lake, Nagerbazar and Shyambazar with 80%, 87.5% and 60% of the sample being extremely satisfied. Area Score Salt Lake 5 Lake Town 5 Nagerbazar 5 Baisakhi 4 New Market 2 Ultadanga area 2.5 Beadon Road area 4.5 Shyambazar area 5

8. Merchandising vs Area 100% of the sample collected from Lake Town, Nagerbazar, Baisaki, New Market, Ultadanga area is extremely dissatisfied with merchandizing. 86.7% samples in the Beadon Road area are dissatisfied. However 18.2% of the sample in Salt Lake area is area is satisfied while another 18.2% extremely satisfied.

Area Score Salt Lake 1 Lake Town 1 Nagerbazar 1 Baisakhi 1 New Market 1 Ultadanga area 1 Beadon Road area 1 Shyambazar area 2 9. Margin hippo vs Area

0% of the shop perceives that the margin offered by Hippo is poor. 44.4% of the sample in Shyambazar area perceives the margin offered being fair while 100% of the sample from Lake Town, Nagebazar feels that the margin offered by Hippo is good. In Baisaki and New Market area, 83.3% of the samples feel good about the margin offered by Hippo. 81.8% of the sample in Ultadanga considers the margin to be good. 5.6% of Shyambazar sample consider it to be very good. 18.2% of Salt Lake and 16.7% of Baisakhi perceives the margin to be excellent. Area Score Salt Lake 3 Lake Town 3 Nagerbazar 3 Baisakhi 3 New Market 3 Ultadanga area 3 Beadon Road area 3 Shyambazar area 3

Conclusion: Area Salt Lake Lake Town Nagerbazar Baisakhi New Market Ultadanga Area Beadon Road Area Shyambazar area Quality of Supply 5 5 4 4.5 5 5 4 4 2 2 2.5 2.5 5 5 5 5 Out of 5 Out of 5 Quality of Product Supplied Replaceme nt and Adjustmen t 5 1 5 1 5 1 4 1 2 1 2.5 1 4.5 1 5 2 Out of 5 Out of 5 Merchandize offered and its availability Margin perceived 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Out of 5 Total 19 17.5 19 16 10 11.5 18.5 20 Out of 25 From the score we understand that the satisfaction level among retailer in Syambazar market is most followed by Salt Lake and Nagerbazar. Much work is to be done in New Market and Ultadanga area.

Part II (a): Competitor Analysis from the eyes of the consumer This study is divided into three sub-parts:

The first sub-part deals with demography of the sample.

The second sub-part deals with a general study about sample's preferences and factors

The third sub-part deals with study of sample's attitude towards Hippo DEMOGRAPHY Most of the sample belonged to the age bar of 21 to 30yrs. Since packaged snacks are more popular among this age category, more data has been collected from this age segment. 51.2% of the samples are graduate while 36.4% are postgraduate, so the chance of getting informed consumer is more.

60.5% of the sample are male while 39.5% of the sample are female. 50% of the sample has annual income less than Rs 1.5 lac. 83% of the sample belong to nuclear type family while the 17% belong to joint type of family.

Part II(b) -General preference and attitude of the sample This sub-part studies about the general preference and attitude of the sample. It aims to find out the most important factor that consumer look for before making a buying decision. The survey was conducted only through questionnaire method. The table below shows what percentage of the sample mostly like which brand of snack.

Brand % of sample Rank Lay's 59.70% 1 ITC Bingo 10.10% 3 Kurkure 13.20% 2 Local Chips and Chanachur 2.30% 5 Cheetos 1.60% 6 Uncle Chips 6.20% 4 Haldiram's 2.30% 5 P & G Pringle 1.60% 6 Britannia 0.80% 7 Parle Biscuit 0.80% 7 Hippo 1.60% 6 Total 100.00% From the above table and the graph it is very clear that Lay's is the most popular and is favourite for 59.70% of the sample while Hippo is favourite for only 1.60% of the sample.

More about the competitive brands LAYS from Fritolay Lays from Fritolay is a group company of Pepsico India is the only money making machine for this global giant in India. Indian snack food business is a huge market to the tune of 17000tonnes out of which the branded foods contribute around 6500 tonne. In revenue terms, Indian snack food business is worth around Rs 65000 crore and growing. Lays commands a monopoly sort of position in the Potato chips category which is around 77% of the snack food market. Lays is competing head on with the unbranded players in the market and if you look at the broader levels of competition, this brand is competing even with the snacks from its own kitchen. It is interesting to see how this brand has succeeded in the commodity business. It followed all the rules to perfection. 1. Quality: the brand offered superior quality compared to the other unbranded snacks there by reducing the risk to the customer. The crisp and beautifully packed chips were a new experience for the Indian consumer. 2. Value addition: the brand offers unimaginable range of potato chips with many flavours made especially for India. Together with many new international flavours, it easily caught the imagination of Indian consumer 3. Aggressive brand building: Lays spent lot of money on brands building and once established were able to charge a premium for the brand. Although initially Indian consumers were unsatisfied by the high price, slowly the brand established its credentials. The so called "Liberation child' and the software yuppies caught hold of this brand. These trend setters made this brand a must for looking cool in campuses. Lays with Cola" began to take its toll on "Samosa and Tea".

Lays lavishly spent money on brand building. The ads were catchy and were positioning the product on the platform of "Taste" .The baseline ' No one can eat just one is one of the most successful baseline in Indian advertising. The baseline is true also since the taste is compelling that no one can eat just one. The brand ambassadors Saif and Priety gave a cool attitude to this brand making it more interesting for the new generation. Lays have always tried to excite its fans by launching new flavours frequently. This ensured that the brand is never boring. The laflavourlavor is the Latino style. The company is going to focus on Music as a base for building this brand. With ITC foraying into this business will see the market expanding. But Lays have put itself in a formidable position that is difficult to match. ITC BINGO Bingo is ITC's challenge to the monopoly of Frito Lays. ITC launched Bingo in the highly fragmented Rs 4500-5000 crore ($1 Billion) snack fomarket. Indian snack food market is dominated by unorganised sector. The organised snack foods market is only Rs 2000 crore and is dominated by the iconic Lays brand with over 77% market share. Having tasted success in Biscuits, staples and Ready to eat market, Bingo will be another test for ITC's marketing muscle. It fights in this segment with none other than Pepsi. Indian snack food market is divided into: Traditional Snacks ( bhujiya, Chanachur etc) Western Snacks and the newly created Finger snacks segments. Bingo is entered both the potato and finger snacks market. According to the company press release, Bingo comes in 16 flavours. Its potato snack has 4 innovative variants taking into consideration the taste difference across Indian market. The Finger snacks line has six variants. The TVC's are now on air and the company intends to position this brand as a fun brand targeting at the youth. The brand tries to differentiate from Lays by focusing on innovation (in flavours). Snack foods : because of the low financial risk (low price) for the customer, new tastes will be a key in marketing success. Lays succeeded by offering great quality, variety and brand to reach the leadership position. Bingo it seems is following the leader.

The task is very tough for ITC to fight with Lays. The golden line is that the market is so large that every player will have a space provided, the brand keeps the promise. The high profile brand launch of Bingo will see the market expanding thus benefiting all the players . ITC is aiming at a 360 degree brand building effort to boost the new launch. The brand takes the tagline: No Confusion Great Combination. The brand is promoted through a series of funny ad which I feel is little too complicated. The ad tries to be funny but fails to make the audience laugh. The poor execution can create problems for the brand.

Five different attributes have been considered:

Taste

Value for money

Availability

Health Factor

Promotion The aim is to find out which component influences the most in choosing the favourite brand among the sample studied. We would compare each brand of snack with each attribute and rank the brand accordingly. The ranking would be based on a score. Algorithm to calculate the score: The crosstab generates the count and percentage of the sample of their satisfaction level with regard to their favourite brand. Each satisfaction level carries weight i.e.

Extremely Satisfied(ES) = 5

Satisfied(S) = 4

Neutral(N) = 3

Dissatisfied(D) = 2

Extremely Dissatisfied(ED) = 1 The percentage of the sample is multiplied with the weights and added accordingly to get the desired score. An example will make the algorithm look much clearer. Suppose, of the whole sample who considered Lay's to be their favourite, 9.1% are extremely dissatisfied(ED), 23.4% are dissatisfied(D) , 35.1% are neutral(N), 26% are satisfied(S) and 6.5% are extremely satisfied(ES) with the value for money. The score is calculated as shown below: 9.1*ED+23.4*D+35.1*N+26*S+6.5*ES= 6558.5

So we conclude that Lay's has scored 6558.5 on value for money. Since it is a weighted process, percentage of score is of less relevance. However it can be compared with the score of other brands within the same attribute. The choice of favourite brand was an open-ended question in the questionnaire but we have sorted out 11 distinct brands namely: Lay's, ITC Bingo, Kurkure, Cheetos, Uncle Chips, Haldiram's, P & G Pringle, Britannia Biscuit, Parle Biscuit, Local Chips n Chanachur and Hippo but we have accounted only those brand who are favourite of more than or equal to 5 samples. This includes: Lay's, ITC Bingo, Kurkure and Uncle Chips 1. Brand vs Taste Brand Extremely Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Extremely Satisfied Score Lay's 0 1.3 5.2 49.4 44.2 436.8 ITC Bingo 0 0 0 76.9 23.1 423.1 Kurkure 0 5.9 11.8 41.2 41.2 418 Uncle Chips 0 0 0 75 25 425 2. Brand vs Value for money Brand Extremely Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Extremely Satisfied Score Lay's 9.1 23.4 35.1 26 6.5 297.7 ITC Bingo 7.7 23.1 46.2 23.1 0 284.9 Kurkure 5.9 17.6 23.5 41.2 11.8 335.4 Uncle Chips 0 25 25 50 0 325

3. Brand vs Availability Brand Extremely Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Extremely Satisfied Score Lay's 0 1.3 2.6 41.6 54.5 449.3 ITC Bingo 0 7.7 23.1 23.1 46.2 408.1 Kurkure 0 0 11.8 52.9 35.3 423.5 Uncle Chips 25 12.5 25 12.5 25 300 4. Brand vs Health Factor Brand Extremely Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Extremely Satisfied Score Lay's 5.2 22.1 46.8 23.4 2.6 296.4 ITC Bingo 0 23.1 38.5 38.5 0 315.7 Kurkure 5.9 17.6 58.5 17.6 0 287 Uncle Chips 0 12.5 75 12.5 0 300

5. Brand vs Promotion Brand Extremely Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Extremely Satisfied Score Lay's 0 1.3 9.1 44.2 45.5 434.2 ITC Bingo 0 7.7 30.8 38.5 23.1 377.3 Kurkure 0 0 17.6 41.2 41.2 423.6 Uncle Chips 25 12.5 25 25 12.5 287.5 Conclusion: Brand Taste Value for money Availability Health Factor Promotion Holistic Score Lay's 436.8* 297.7 449.3* 296.4 434.2* 1914.4 ITC Bingo 423.1 284.9 408.1 315.7* 377.3 1809.1 Kurkure 418 335.4* 423.5 287 423.6 1887.5 Uncle Chips 425 325 300 300 287.5 1437.5 Lay's Kurkure Lay's ITC Bingo Lay's *-Highest in the category.

Rank Rank based on popularity Rank based on the study of five different attribute Brand Brand Lay's Kurkure ITC Bingo Uncle Chips Lay's Kurkure ITC Bingo Uncle Chips The rank based on the five attributes turns out to be exactly the same as of the rank, based on popularity. So we can say the popularity depends on the five factors mentioned above. The reason of popularity could be gauged approximately from the score calculated above. Lay's is best because most of the sample studied finds the taste to be excellent, it has a very good distribution network (availability) and performs good promotional activity while Kurkure is second best because it offers high value for money. ITC Bingo is third best because respondent perceives ITC Bingo to be relatively healthy snack.

6. Factor Analysis: Factor Analysis reduces the dimensionality(i.e. no of variables) of a data set by clubbing groups of variable as factors. The variables chosen were the same i.e.

Taste

Value for money

Availability

Health Factor

Promotion Two component with eigen value more than 1 could be identified as shown in the scree plot below.

Component 1 alone explains 35.99% of total variation while 27.63% of variation is explained by component 2. We can identify the variables that has higher loading toward each factors by ploting a loading plot. So from the loading plot/component plot we see it clearly that the variable Promotion and Availability has high factor loading towards factor 1 while the variable Value for money, Taste and Health factor can be clubbed into factor 2. From the Factor Analysis we get a hint that, there might exist some positive correlation between promotion and availability. A correlation matrix would further clarify.

The above correlation matrix shows that promotion and availability has considerable positive correlation. So we may say that there exist enough evidence to believe that availability increases with greater promotion. Conclusion

Lay's is favourite for most of the respondent followed by Kurkure and ITC Bingo

Lay's is successful because of great taste, good promotion and efficient distribution channel(availability).

Kurkure has the most value for money quotient while ITC Bingo has the highest health quotient.

The five attributes i.e. taste, availability, promotion, health factor and value for money can be clubbed into two factors. Factor I constitutes availability and promotion while health factor, value for money and taste can be clubbed into factor 2.

There exists relatively positive correlation between promotion and availability (corr=0.650) i.e. with more availability increases with more promotion.

Part II(c): Analysis of Hippo with all other attributes Note: Some of the frequencies provided below may add up to more than 100% since the question type was multiple choice question, one respondent may choose more than one choice provided. Those are marked as MCQ* in the right hand bottom corner of the cell. Frequencies considering the whole sample. Awareness 79% of the sample are aware of Hippo while the rest are unaware about it Source of awareness TV Commercial is one of the many sources of awareness for 73% of the respondent. It is the most effective one. Presence marketing is also one of the key component of awareness (MCQ*)

Source of procurement 59% of the respondent bought Hippo from Local Retail Shops. While 34% of the respondent bought it from other retail shop. (MCQ*) Recall 27.1% of the respondent could recall the brand Hippo while 72.9% could not recall. So we can say that brand salience is low. % tried Hippo Among the respondent who are aware of Hippo, only 44.7% of the respondent tried Hippo others did not.

No of packs Most of the respondent who tried Hippo had 1 or 2 pack of Hippo a month before the survey and a large proportion did not had a single pack last month. SKU Most of the respondent who tried Hippo a month before the survey had tried the medium pack of Hippo. (MCQ*)

Occasion Most of the respondent who tried Hippo a month before the survey had Hippo only for snacking. (MCQ*) Product Knowledge 65.6% of the respondent did not know that Hippo is baked but not fried with no cholesterol, no mono sodium-glutamate and trans fat. Likeliness for the name-Hippo 44.2% of the respondent did not like the name Hippo. Some respondent wrote that Hippos are associated with obesity, so they feel that the name Hippo may not be very correct. However majority of the respondent likes the name. %of the respondent who would recommend Hippo

45.2% are neutral about recommending the brand to their acquaintances while 21.4% are likely to recommend. Most tried flavour Most liked flavour

Frequencies considering the conditions: 1. Awareness vs Recall Of the 72.9% aware respondent, 27.1% of the respondent could recall the brand Hippo. So we can say that the brand salience is very low. Brand salience and recall is dependent on the promotional campaign. Let us calculate the attribute score like we have calculated before in Part II(b) i.e. percentage of the sample according to the attribute, multiplied by attributes weight.

Our hypothesis is that the score on promotion will be low. 2. Hippo vs Taste The score of Hippo with regard to taste is (26.2*2)+(52.4*3)+(14.3*4)+(7.1*5) = 302.3. The score of Hippo with regard to value for money is (14.3*2)+(59.5*3)+(21.4*4)+(4.8*5) =

The score of Hippo with regard to availability is (7.1*1)+(42.9*2)+(35.7*3)+(9.5*4)+(4.8*5) = 262 The score of Hippo with regard to Health factor is (2.4*1)+(2.4*2)+(50*3)+(33.3*4)+(11.9*5) = 349.9

The score of Hippo with regard to promotion is (9.5*1)+ (52.4*2)+ (21.4*3)+ (7.1*4)+ (9.5*5) = 254.4 Hippo Score Taste 302.3 Value for money 316.7 Availability 262 Health Factor 349.9 Promotion 254.4 Hippo scores highest in the health factor segment and lowest in promotion. Our hypothesis that the score for promotion will be low is true and is evident in the table above.

Comparison of Hippo vs Lay's according to the five attributes: Attribute Score of Lay's Score of Hippo Difference % of difference Taste 436.8 302.3 134.5 -30.79% Value for money 297.7 316.7 16 +6.38% Availability 449.3 262 187.3 -41.68% Health Factor 296.4 349.9 53.5 +18.04% Promotion 434.2 254.4 179.8 -41.41% From the comparison of Hippo with the market leader, we get Hippo though a new entrant in the market has already beat Lay's in two attributes i.e. value for money and health factor but Hippo has to engage a lot in promotion and has to develop better taste to catch up with the market leader. The % of difference in promotion and availability are very close, so from here, we again get a hint that there may lie a positive correlation. Lets find out.

The correlation between Availability and Promotion is 0.546. It is positive but not very strong. However since the relationship is positive, availability would increase if promotion is done more. 3. Factor Analysis: The variables chosen are the same the exception being the product is only Hippo. The variables are:

Taste

Value for money

Availability

Health Factor

Promotion

Two component with Eigen value more than 1 could be identified as shown in the table below and it's plot above. Component 1 alone explains 47.710% of the variation while component 2 explains 24.114% of variation. Both factor 1 and factor 2 explains 71.824% of variation. We can identify the variables that has higher loading toward each factors by plotting a loading plot. From the component plot it is clear that taste, availability and promotion constitute to factor 1 and value for money and health factor constitute to factor 2. Now going back to the attributes scores, factor 1 has the entire variable that needs to be improved, for Hippo to be an established strong brand in the market.

Parle Hippo: Marketing Mix PRODUCT: Hippo is a toasted bread snack. Its ingredients include wheat flour, edible vegetable oils, seasoning mix, corn starch, sugar, raising agent, milk solids, salt, emulsifier, yeast extract powder, instant yeast. It contains added natural color and added natural identical flavoring substances; but no added MSG, no GMO and no Trans Fat. Nutritional Information (Approx) Per 100g Energy (Kcal) 497 Protein (g) 7.0 Total dietary fibre (g) 2.0 Total carbohydrate (g) 60 Sugar (g) 4.0 Total fat (g) 26 Saturated fatty acids (g) 17 Monosaturated fatty acids (g) 6.0 Polysaturated fatty acids (g) 2.0 Hippo was launched as a new baked wheat snack by Parle Agro. The snack aimed to bridge the gap of health and taste in the branded snack market. With Hippo, Parle agro aimed to diversify further by adding snacks to their portfolio Hippo has been launched in two stages: Hippo Munchies was launched in the first stage in six different flavours:

Italian pizza

Chinese Manchurian

Hot-n-sweet tomato

Thai Chilli

Yoghurt mint chutney

Indian Chatpatta

In the second stage, Parle Agro has extended its snacks range, Hippo, by introducing the first ever wheat-based, round-shaped snack called Hippo Round-Round in five distinct flavours.

Shillong Noodle Masala

Punjab da Pickle

Gujarati Mango Chutney

Goan Butter Garlic

Firangi Cheese n Spice PLACE (DISTRIBUTION): The company concentrates on 4 areas for distribution

Retail Trade: In India small store format is still the king. Given the performance and potential of the India retail market; it continues to be top priority for Parle Agro, like most FMCG companies.

Modern Trade: Modern Trade is expanding rapidly. International & Domestic / Regional players are driving this trend to take advantage of the change in shoppers buying behaviour.

Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes: This segment is to cater to the needs of the consumers who visit a hotel or a restaurant.

Institutions: The segment mainly concentrates on the distribution of the product to institutions like schools colleges, corporate campuses. Hippo turned to social media in order to reinforce its sales and distribution network. In February 2010, Hippo asked his Twitter followers send a tweet whenever they couldnt find Hippo in stores and promised to replenish stocks within hours. Hippo was therefore able to identify empty racks faster and re-stock locations within hours, even identify new potential markets. The resulting response prompted Parle Agro to set up a core cell which instantly passes the information received as tweets to the respective area sales and distribution teams. Hippo received stock update Tweets from over 25 cities. At zero cost, the number of people tracking stocks across markets over Twitter for Hippo was equivalent to 45% of its sales team.

By matching supply with demand more effectively, Hippo managed to up its sales by 76% in the first few months after launch. The campaign helped Hippo to identify, gauge demand and prioritise its potential new markets . Hippo effectively used social media to do what no one has ever done before -reinforce and support its sales and distribution network. PRICE The product is available at 3 price bands namely, 5, 10 and 20 Rs. The company gives consumer promotional offers on its product. As an introductory offer, two packets of 10\-Rs Hippo costs 16\-Rs. Other offers on Hippo include, Buy two 20\-Rs packs and get a 200ml Frooti free. The product is priced very competitively. Pricing is the key, as a lot of entrants are eyeing a stake in the health snacks segment. Most brands are in the price band of Rs 5 to 10, with Aliva being the exception at Rs 12. PROMOTION

Commercials: The brand chose a different way to communicating its positioning to the consumer by trying to tell a story. The story is based on the premise that Hunger is the root cause of all evil. So the brand motto is fight hunger, fight evil. The brand has adopted the mascot Hippo who is in the forefront of eliminating hunger and thus eliminating evil. Hippo has the tagline "Hippo Fights Hunger ".

Television: The TVC is seen through the hippo's (brand mascot) view as he goes to every scene of crime, war or conflict, offering each of the involved parties some Hippo chips. Everybody happily obliges and takes a bite, and this is shown to resolve all issues. As the series continues, the voiceover goes on to say that the root cause of all evil in the world is hunger. "So please, dont be hungry," it appeals. The song Pyaar baat te chalo (Keep spreading the love) which doubles up as the background music, plays a pivotal role in helping the TVC communicate its message.

Radio Jingles: The hippo radio jingles are based on the same concept as the TVC i.e. fight hunger, fight evil. They mock English translations of fictional speeches by Hitler, Saddam Hussain and Stalin where they admit that they are famished and hence their wrath will descend on the world. So Hippo reiterates Dont go hungry.

Social Media: Parle Agro has successfully launched a unique marketing initiative on Twitter in February this year, to push Hippo sales. While the initiative aimed to sharpen Hippos distribution, it was also directed at speeding up awareness, top of mind recall and demand from consumers. Hippo chips interactive website emphasises the fun element of the brand. The website is very well made and opens up in different flavour colours every time. It has sections on consumer feedback, Hippo history, consumer polls and exciting games. The website is specifically directed to engage young consumers by making it snazzy and colourful with interesting twists in language and imagery. The website also has links to the TVC video and radio jingles.

Parle Hippo: S.W.O.T Analysis

STRENGHTHS

Hippo is product of a well known brand Parle Agro

Hippo is a low calorie, baked snack made from wheat and free of MSG & GMO and thus it proves to be a healthy snack

The product is targeted at any person who is hungry

Hippo has a rather amusing communication strategy created by Creativeland Asia: 'Fight Hunger, Fight Evil'. If hunger is the root to all evil, we must all rise up and fight the cause

Hippo chips have been launched in a huge number of variants. The flavours vary from Pizza flavour to Chinese Manchurian to Indian chatpatta. They cater to a vast variety of taste buds, where everyone can find something to satisfy his/her taste buds. The variants in which Hippo is found caters to both international and national, regional tastes

The pricing of Hippo chips is very competent

Hippo draws a good balance between price and quantity offered

WEAKNESS

Hippo chips have not been very successful in making a dent in the market or in the mind of the Indian consumer

Brand awareness, recall and popularity of Hippo is very low

Availability of Hippo is also very low

Marketing strategies of Hippo has been up to the mark and the brand has not been able to influence its target customers. The impact of promotions offered by Hippo has made no significant effect in the minds of the consumers

Positioning of Hippo has been confusing, as the exact growth strategy of Hippo cannot be understood. If judged by the Ansoff Matrix it is not clear whether Hippo follows the strategy of Diversification (new market, new product) or the strategy of Product Development (new product, existing market).

OPPORTUNITIES

Rising income levels and changing consumption patterns which more demand and large market

Favourable demographic profile and changing lifestyles who are prone to eat more of ready-to-eat packaged snacks

It has the opportunity to improve its availability by filling up the gaps in the supply chain

Hippo has the opportunity of positioning itself as a healthy snack brand which can turn out to be its differentiating factor from other brands rather than positioning it to be a hunger killer

Hippo has the opportunity of making strong images in the minds of the target customers by aggressive and effective marketing strategies both Below the Line and Above the Lne THREATS

Affordability and cultural preferences of fresh food

Huge number of substitutes both at local and national level

High packaging and promotion cost

Competition with big strong brands

Hippo: Product Life Cycle Product life cycle consists of 4 stages namely:

Introduction stage

Growth Stage

Maturity Stage

Saturation and decline stage Parle Hippo is in the first stage of product life cycle i.e. the Introduction stage. The introduction stage of Parle Hippo has beens characterized by: High cost: Initially Hippo was procured from the factory in Maharashtra that incurred additional transportation cost. Even the merchandizes were brought from Maharashtra. The factory that was proposed to be set up in Barasat for manufacturing of Hippo in order to cater the East India market has already started making Hippo and supplying them to the North Kolkata market and other areas in East India presently, but the merchandizes still comes from Maharashtra. As it is a newly set factory, it has not reached its break-even point and is yet to achieve economies of scale and thus costs incurred by the company are still remaining high.

Low sales volume:

Since sales is a function of demand, depends on the rate at which Hippo is demanded and consumed by the customers. Demand and preference for Hippo is found to be quite low in the North Kolkata market. Other snack brands like Lays, Kurkure, Bingo etc are preferred more over Hippo in the market thus leading to low sales of the product. Hippo has not yet been able to make a strong impression in the minds of the consumers so is initiating a low sale turnover

High demand creation

Since parle hippo is a new product, the company has been using both push and pull strategies to generate high demand for the product. Both Above the Line and Below the Line strategies have been applied in order to promote the product. Aggressive campaigning has been done through TV commercials which are instrumental in generation of demand

Hippo: Suggestions

An excellent customer connect through a 360 degree communication approach should be undertaken by Hippo in order to enjoy brand recall & brand salience in the snacks category

Hippo should try to increase its brand visibility by strengthening its distribution network. It can focus on unconventional retail points like cyber cafes and telephone booths, in order to increase brand visibility and product reach

As per the experience with the North Kolkata market, it has been seen that there is no consistency in the tenure of distributors. Distributors are changed frequently which in turn is hampering relationship with the retailers. A good consistent relationship should exist between the company and the retails in order to sell the product which can only happen if their lies consistency in the tenure of distributors

Vehicles used to supply the product to the various selling points should contain the name of the brand i.e. hippo on it so that all in the sales and distribution network and as well as target customers can become aware of the product being distributed. Hippo should provide its retailers with separate racks, shelves, baskets, almirahs etc in order to stock Hippo with safety. This can increase the brand visibility of the products. Since most of the shelves are filled by the competitor brands, retailers find it difficult to stock Hippo and so supply of additional shelves will also boost the demand for the product among the retailers Since the bargaining power of Hippo low, the scope of credit transactions should be widened Unique retailer scheme should be provided which would comprise incentives to the retailers not only in cash but also in kind

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