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Kissan: The King of Jams & Condiments in India

Kissan is a subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). They went on to become the first fruit and vegetable brand in India. They have always focused on using the freshest fruits and vegetables, for their products. Their core products are Jams and Ketchup, and they have successfully built their brand around these. They are the leader in jams and ketchup, in India. They offer squashes as well but this product segment is not promoted that rigorously. Their advertisements always showcase the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables. They show that their products are made from the freshest ingredients, and provide various nutrients. They also play a vital role in raw material development and helping small farmers.

Kissan is a subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL). During the British rule, there was a small processing unit, where farmers sold freshly picked fruits. Trains passing through Punjab used to make a stop at this place, and the locals started calling it “KISSAN”.

In 1993, Kissan was acquired by Brooke Bond India and is now an integral part of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). Introduced primarily for British settlers in India, Kissan has been present in India since 1935. The UB group, under the Late Vittal Malya then, acquired Kissan from the Mitchell brothers in the year 1950. However, in 1993, Hindustan Unilever Limited took it over from the UB group.

They went on to become the first fruit and vegetable brand in India. They have always focused on using the freshest fruits and vegetables, for their products.

Building a brand

Their core products are Jams and Ketchup, and they have successfully built their brand around these. They are the leader in jams and ketchup, in India.

Their advertisements always showcase the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables. They show that their products are made from the freshest ingredients, and provide various nutrients.

They also sell Kissan Squashes, but they are not promoted as much.

Product Lines

Kissan Products

They offer three main products:

  • Jams
  • Ketchup
  • Squashes

Jams:

The brand makes 7 jam variants:

  • Mixed Fruit Jam
  • Mango Jam
  • Pineapple Jam
  • Orange Marmalade

Blast Series:

  • Strawberry Blast
  • Berry Blast
  • Orange Blast

Ketchup:

Kissan manufactures 5 variants in the ketchup category:

  • Fresh Tomato Ketchup
  • No Onion No Garlic Sauce
  • Sweet & Spicy Sauce
  • Chilli Tomato Sauce
  • Chatakdaar Ketchup

Sauces:

Kissan Ketchups
  • Manchurian
  • Pizza & Pasta
  • Schezwan
  • Mexican Salsa

Squashes

Kissan makes 7 variants in this category:

  • Mixed Fruit Squash
  • Mango Squash
  • Pineapple Squash
  • Orange Squash
  • Grape Squash
  • Lemon Squash
  • Lime Cordial

Advertising Campaigns

For Ketchup

Their advertisements have always been targeted at children and their parents, who want their children to consume healthy meals. For ketchup, they had an advertisement: “Ungli ghumake bol“, which basically showed a mother adding ketchup to ‘sabzi’, and making a roll with whole wheat chapati. The message was that if kids are fussy eaters, you can add a little ketchup.

They also show show their ketchups are made of 100 percent real tomatoes.

Another advertisement had the tagline: “Aao banaye samose aur pakode behtar“, claiming that their ketchup variants are the best match for these snacks.

Kissanpur campaign

Kissanpur

Kissanpur was born so as to build on the credentials of being normal and true. The core philosophy was to provide users with the ability to fall in love with nature and witness it firsthand. This simple thinking turned children into farmers; urged them to soil their hands dirty and to grow their own tomatoes.

With tomato seeds packed neatly inside Kissan bottle caps, Kissan brought children and moms not only to enjoy growing the plant together but also to engage in many activities. Digitally powered, all events and submissions for pictures are guided to the website – www.kissanpur.com The Kissanpur approach is threefold – to encourage, engage and reward. In the past this campaign was a phenomenal success and allowed growth for Kissan, making it the best selling brand in its segment.

For jams

Keeping up with their image of using the freshest ingredients, their jams are shown to have the goodness of many fruits.

One of the advertisements showed a mother serving her kid a jam sandwich, saying that fruits are a great breakfast option. Their mixed fruit jam contains ‘Goodness of 8 fruits‘.

Kissan Jams

Kissan Blast Series is a collection of three jam variants: strawberry, berry and orange blast. These are slightly more premium, and are also packed differently.

For squashes

This is the least promoted product, but there was one advertisement, that showed a mother serving her child Kissan Squash, after he came back from playing.

Sustainability Programme

Kissan is not only about jams, ketchup, and squashes, but they also play a vital role in raw material development and helping small farmers. HUL was the leading company and the first to introduce a WEF led Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Maharashtra to supply sustainable tomatoes for the reputed brand from smallholder farmers.

With HUL taking the lead, the project was successfully rolled out with smallholder growers, tomato paste processor, the Maharashtra government, and the agri-input supply companies in Nasik district & Kissan. Tomato paste from this project is used now in Kissan’s Ketchups.

This Public-Private Partnership was a food procurement first of its kind and was initiated from scratch. The goal was to offer a significant advantage over the competition, who were dependent on imports for their needs for tomato paste.

Market Analysis

Competition

Kissan Jam: Some of the major competitors of Kissan Jam are Amul Cheese Spread, Britannia Cheese spread, Hershey’s Chocolate Spread, and Nutella.

Despite the competition, Kissan Jam is still a trusted brand, with all-natural ingredients, due to their amazing advertising campaigns.

Kissan Ketchup: Some of the major competitors of Kissan Ketchup are Maggi, Ching’s Secret, Fun Foods, and also some local players.

Currently, the tomato ketchups and sauces market is projected to cross more than INR 2000 crores, according to the report. The biggest companies in this business are the Swiss group, Nestle, with its brand Maggi, which holds a lion’s share of more than a third of the business, Hindustan Unilever Limited with its brand Kissan, which holds more than a quarter of the market, and GD Foods, with their Tops Brand.

Together these three firms have the market share of over three-fourths of the overall ketchup and sauces sector.

An Overall Analysis

Since their inception, their focus has been on innovation. The transformations were based on ingredients around the heart. The center of all communications is faith, natural goodness, fitness, flexible and sweet taste. The brand has always been linked with the red color. Kissan, as of today, is more than jam, ketchup, and squashes. It’s equivalent to children happily enjoying what they eat and growing up.

Kissan is full of natural goodness, which keeps mothers and children happy and smiling. The reassurance to mothers is that they won’t have to think about growing up with their kids eating Kissan ‘s goods. In addition, Kissan has always assisted and continues to help mothers in making safe, wholesome, and delicious food products for children.

This takes us back to the roots of Kissan that are strongly built on the fact that growing up is an eventful and adventurous journey.

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