Why Nuances Matter

March 7, 2012 at 6:40 am 4 comments

The consumer may not always be logical, but understanding his/her thought process is critical to success. Consider an example.



Real Junior juices were launched in 2004 and were targeted at children under six. The juices came in a smaller size (125 ml; the school packs were 200 ml), 2 flavors – Mango and Apple, enriched with calcium, and promised low acidity. The vibrant packs with animated fruit characters were intended to appeal to children by highlighting the taste and nutrition of Real Junior. Despite the different marketing efforts and clear benefits for the children, the brand did not contribute much to the business and was pulled back from the market in 2006.


The reasons :

We think, back in 2004, the market was just not ripe for health foods. It is only recently that this health and wellness foods and beverages market has opened up so much because now people have gotten more aware of health problems and perhaps now would be the right time to launch such a product.

Also, during our research on the connection of health and wellness benefits from various products and formats, when asked about the connections they make of nutrients with their source, the consumers said, “Juice with calcium makes no sense, if a milk-based product made a calcium claim, it would be easier to believe”, “If this product had bananas or milk mentioned in it, it would be easier to associate with the calcium claim, juices are associated with vitamins.” In fact, it was after hearing this that we scoured the market landscape for examples of various products that claimed a health benefit from calcium fortification and found the Dabur Junior Juice example.

Lo and behold! Turned out that the nuance we picked up during the research was something that the brand team figured out in hindsight. Basis Sanjay Sharma, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Dabur Foods, “The problem with Real Junior at the time of launch was more than one. First, it was promoted as a fruit juice rich in calcium, which did not sell. A fruit juice, is after all, a fruit juice, and branding it calcium-rich did not gel well.” (Source: interview given to Business Standard, in 2007)

There were other reasons for the failure too. Basis Sanjay Sharma, “Moreover, it was made available in tetra packs of 125 ml for Rs.10, because that was the quantity Dabur conceived children would be able to finish in one go. So, although the pack size was smaller, packaging costs did not come down and therefore a lower pricing did not bring in revenues. Moreover, other fruit-juices were also available for the same price and pack size, so people did not find much of a reason to switch to Real Junior.”


Looking ahead:

But the question to ask is whether Indian households are ready to buy separate products for different members of the household or would much rather prefer a common product that meets everyone’s needs.

In a recent study conducted about health foods and beverages, this is what we heard – “Unless there is something really specific in a product that is critical for the children only, we’d much rather buy a product that all the members in the family can consume”, “a common product helps us control our household expenses as well.”

If you look closely at the recent of Dabur Real ads – the key target are the children in the first and the entire family (child, mumma and dadoo) in the second – but the hook/ the first adopter of the product is the child.


So does Dabur really need to segment the market basis age groups or should it stick to its more successful strategy of segmenting basis benefits (Real Juice vs. Real Active)? What do you think? 



Roshni Jhaveri

Entry filed under: Advertisements, Category Evolution, Communication, Consumer behavior, Consumer Trends, Health & Wellness, Market Research, New Product Launch. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. VIP ka TIP kara lo  |  March 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

    You do know that fruit juices of today are essentially worthless and not “real” “real” ? They are sat in vats for months, lose all their flavor and are then mixed with Flavor Packs. Ever wonder why different brands of juices each have a distinctive taste? Why the same brand tastes the same? Fruit Juices = healthy? I think not.


    • 2. escapevelocityblog  |  March 12, 2012 at 6:47 am

      Thanks for sharing your observations. Agree with you on each brand having a distinctive taste and them being stored to provide perennial supply of fruit juices despite their seasonality. But, I think with stricter rules coming in place about the health claims that food products can make – this will soon be clarified and rectified.



  • 3. Rahul Jhaveri  |  March 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

    People buy kid-size tetra-packs for convenience – However, consumers in India might not be as inclined to purchase based on convenience. They are probably more price sensitive and unwilling to pay a premium for individually portioned products. It is the same mind-set because of which Indian consumers prefer storing a whole year’s worth of grains at one go as opposed to buying them as and when required. I agree that Indian consumers may not be ready for such products. Would be interesting to compare sales figures of the individual juice packs and 1-litre family packs.


    • 4. escapevelocityblog  |  March 16, 2012 at 6:01 am

      Hi Rahul

      Thanks for you comments.

      Basis the consumer research that we’ve done, we’ve seen that consumers are now increasingly seeking convenience especially in foods and beverages – be it through individual portioned products for on-the-go consumption, ready to eat foods, pre-cut frozen vegetables, etc. The problem with F&B products specifially targeted at a particular age group or gender is that Indians are still not very open to buying separate products for the different members of the household and hence would prefer to opt for a product which is suitable for the whole family.




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