PULSING THE MARKET

Let me take you back to the year 2000 when I was working for one of the leading advertising agency in Delhi. I was servicing mainly the IT and Telecom accounts and then our agency pitched for DS foods PASS PASS account and won the same. Since the account was handled by our group and not me, I accidently got the opportunity to work on the launch of the PASS PASS brand as my Group Head was on leave.

DS foods, Started by Dharampal Satyapal in 1929 as a tobacco business, the group, which we now associate with the Catch spices, Rajnigandha Pan Masala and Baba started diversifying into non-tobacco products. The diversification drive is not without reason. DS Foods wanted to break free from the negative image associated with tobacco consumption and dependence on tobacco products. Therefore came the Pass Pass launch, and as I remember the client was very passionate about launching the same with natural ingredients. As we tested the brand both by taste and consumer insights into the oral gratification market of India. We worked day and night to develop an advertising TVC to launch the product on the lines of Pepsi ad euphoria.

Since then Pass Pass the umbrella confectionary brand of DS foods have never really looked back and kept on increasing its brand portfolio. In 2012, Pass Pass launched Chingles Chewing gums. The food confectionery business became the new growth driver for the company and an extension of Pass Pass product line aimed to leverage the depth of DS Food’s retail network.

According to reports from Euro Monitor and Tata Strategic Management Group, the Indian confectionery market is pegged at INR 9,000 cr., of which the chewing gum segment is estimated at Rs 1,600 crore plus, growing at 25 per cent. The market is dominated by Perfetti, which has Centre Fresh, bubble gum brand Big Babol and Centre Shock in its portfolio. It has also made an entry into the health care segment by launching Happydent white gum for sparkling teeth.

pulse1

In 2015, driven from market and consumer insight DS Food realized that kachcha aam (raw mango) is a flavor that is eaten by people across India in some form or the other, and is a flavor that is most popular across all age groups. Also that KACHA AAM is eaten with a mixture of salt and spices to add more flavor to it. So what the DS team pulled the insights together and started working on creating a product out of it – PULSE Candy.

Pulse came as a disruptor in the market and has huge acceptance leading to shortage of supply, as consumer don’t buy one candy as the case with others but in a lot of 5-10 candies per buy. Since then Pulse candy has been making a lot of buzz. Savoring Pulse candy is a pleasure unexplainable in words. The hard-boiled candies of the confectionery segment have always been popular, especially with kids and those who visit the paan & cigarette ‘KHOKHAS’ who depend on these candies as mouth fresheners. Pulse has become the latest craze in the market, so much so that people are willing to buy the whole container the moment they spot it.

Word of mouth sends demand soaring for Pulse candy. In just six months, Pulse has posted INR 50 cr. in sales and DS Group expects to cross Rs100 cr. by March 2016. With my friends from Scarecrow communications Arunava (Joy), Manish & Raghu winning the agency on record duties for the brand, you are assured of lots of breakthrough communication from the brand in 2016. With a combination of consumer insight followed by product innovation Pass Pass Pulse candy is on the lines of becoming an ICONIC brand.

Published in businessworld.in on February 2, 2016