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Frooti Mango Drink– a ‘Fresh and Juicy’ Tale

Frooti, which is close to the hearts of Indians of almost all age groups, was launched by Parle Agro India Pvt Ltd in 1985. It first was launched as a green, rectangular, convenient grab-and-go carton. This made Frooti the first Tetra packaged drink India ever saw. It is the largest selling mango drink in India.

Frooti, which is close to the hearts of Indians of almost all age groups, was launched by Parle Agro India Pvt Ltd in 1985. It first was launched as a green, rectangular, convenient grab-and-go carton. This made Frooti the first Tetra packaged drink India ever saw. This was a great achievement in itself. This even boosted up their promotion campaigns. But the product marketing strategy and the packaging itself had to go several transformations over the years. It is the largest selling mango drink in India.

About Frooti

Frooti operates in the non-carbonated soft drinks section of the beverage market. It falls under the fruit drink sub-segment. Their motto is to provide a fresh and juicy mango product to the customers.

Major ingredients of Frooti are:

Mango pulp, water, sugar, citric acid, ascorbic acid, salt, and permitted flavors.

Frooti has a market share of 85% of the sub-segment under which it operates. But its share in the non-carbonated soft drinks is sinking at a fast pace. The major reason for this is that the competition has risen now with several brands like Real and Tropicana operating under the same segment. With their nector-based products, these two brands, in particular, have secured a high market share for themselves.

The company made some changes in its marketing strategy, time and again, to survive through all the highs and lows.

The Innovative Launch of Frooti

The launch was one of a kind and was the talk of the town at that time. Frooti packs would hang from trees and so that people could just ‘pluck’ one and walk away, just like plucking mangoes. In the beginning, some people mistook the tetra pack packages as soap bars. The masses got to learn about the use of straw and pricking the hole in order to enjoy the drink. But once people caught the idea, they went crazy over Frooti. In Mumbai, even schools started stocking them in the canteens, which very well explains this craze.

USP of Frooti

It received huge appreciation by parents as it was lightweight and convenient to carry around. It could easily fit in school bags and tiffin boxes unlike the heavy glass bottles like Duke’s Mangola. Furthermore, it was refreshing, nutritious, and affordable as well. All these factors contributed to the success of this product.

Around that time, several other brands joined in the Tetrapack revolution in India with products similar to Frooti. One remarkable example is Jumpin’ by Godrej. But nothing matched the standards set by Frooti. Parle Agro continues to be the largest user of Tetra Paks in India till date.

The most striking difference between Frooti and other similar products around that time was the extended shelf life of Frooti. It was ‘flash heat-treated’ meaning it was treated with the HTST pasteurization technology. This eliminated any spoilage causing germs and bacteria.

Keeping up With the Rising Competition

Frooti ruled the market for over a decade. But new names like Maaza, Slice, and Real started popping in the market. Frooti’s market share which was 61% around that time started slipping downhill along with the sales. One of the major issue faced by the brand at that time was that the generation which grew up with Frooti now associated the drink with ‘childhood memories’ and not with the youthful fun. The increasing popularity of carbonated drinks also threatened Frooti’s market.

So, in 2001, the company catered to the needs of this generation by eliminating the straw. They introduced a pull tab feature instead. Around that time, the company also began with a nationwide campaign. This was one of the most innovative and well-conceived teaser campaigns in India around that time and even today. This was the famous ‘Digen Verma’ campaign which was launched to recreate the bond of the youth with Frooti.

New Strides

The campaign’s aim was to position ‘Frooti’ as a fun, trendy, and modern drink targeted at the youth segment. This was a marked change from its initial positioning as a drink for kids. This teaser campaign revolved around a faceless brand ambassador Deigen Verma. Positioned as someone whom the youth could relate to, the brand ambassador piqued the interest of the public. As a part of this re-launch strategy, they renewed the packaging of the product and changed the baseline to ”Just like that.”

BL Venkateshwar, Parle Agro vice-president said, “There has been a change in consumer psychology. Today sub-segments have been created with the 12-15-year-olds calling themselves teenagers and 9-12-year-olds as pre-teens. These segments are turning into decision-makers of today with an increase in pocket money. The segment of 16-19 years olds is the new impulse category we are targeting.” This segment was therefore of great strategic importance for Parle Agro. In fact, some of the competitors already had a good hold over the youth segment so it was somewhat difficult to breakthrough.

Moreover, targeting the youth automatically meant competing against the two Cola giants of that time- Pepsi and Coca-Cola. These were immensely popular at that time and were like the definition of ‘cool’ for the youngsters. So the strategy was to break the old image along with convincing the youth that Colas was not beneficial for them. Prakash Chauhan, MD, Parle, said, “For some reason, a soft drink in a tetra pack is perceived as one meant for children. The relaunch is about stressing on the teenage segment and making our product fun, trendy and modern, just like today’s teenager, who is an out-and-out nonconformist.”

Although the sales jumped by 30%, the brand could not live up to the hype it created through this campaign. It failed to sustain or increase the level of curiosity in the next campaigns.

Makeover and New Packaging

In 2002, Frooti became the first fruit drink available in PET bottles. In 2004, it introduced the new ‘samosa pack’ at just Rs. 2.50. The vendors and hawkers selling peanuts for the same price range were the inspiration for the ‘samosa pack’. So, with this packaging, the brand was able to enter the rural market as well.

In the very next year, the brand went for a major makeover. It changed the packaging from green to yellow to increase visibility. It was a calculated risk as the green color was close to people’s hearts but the brand was trying to break free of the position of a drink meant for kids. Also, in 2013, it appointed a celebrity brand ambassador for the first time, Shah Rukh Khan.

Along with the marketing strategies, the brand was experimenting with the packaging materials. They even started using returnable glass bottles, introducing 250 ml bottle packs, and so on. It was in 2015 when the brand went through the biggest makeover of all time since 1985. Along with the new design, logo, font, colour, look, and packaging; even the taste was also much better.

Current Position of Frooti

The Rs 10,000-crore fruit-based beverage market is dominated by mango. In the same line, last year the company had launched Frooti Fizz in the fruit-plus fizz category. It is looking forward to other fruits to drive this category. Frooti is currently the second-largest “fruit” drink in India.

Parle Agro has more than 1 million outlets in India and over 70 manufacturing facilities, both within India and abroad. It exports Frooti to various countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, the UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Japan.

The Bottom line

From its most memorable jingle ‘Mango Frooti – Fresh and Juicy’ to ‘Why Grow up?’ to ‘Just like that’, the brand is now back to its original and much-loved tagline. It has always gone in for different campaigns. The ‘Mango Surprise’ was the campaign where giant mangoes dropped from trees; the ‘Crazy Mango Fun’, a mango-based TV entertainment show. And now, it urges people to cheer up on a dull day at #The FrootiLife with gifs, recipes, and games. Apart from this, TV commercials, hoardings and banners, mall activities, mobile display (public transport), buntings at points of sale, and an active digital presence drive sales and brand visibility. Not to mention that it is due to these initiatives that the brand is still loved by all.

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