Where reputations are concerned, bacteria’s case can safely be termed ‘quite weak’.
Generations have grown up being told that bacteria are the cause for many of our health problems. Tiny microscopic creatures have been blown out of proportion – a million times over – to be painted devil in all communication. Products that prevent the entry of bacteria into our food, air, life have thrived. Nobody ever told us bacteria can also be good and healthy.
Then, suddenly, marketers are asking us to gulp some million of them bacteria, over breakfast, and dinner – drink them, eat them, lick them they say. Bacteria can be good for us they tell us; some kinds of bacteria.
Nice, now try telling that to the average guy or better still, the average mom. Try convincing her to give her little ones a dose of health, via bacteria, and you got yourself a task.
Factually correct, scientifically proven, Probiotics have been used in food for many years, but it is urban India’s recent engagement with wellness and health that has presented a new opportunity to marketers in our country.
Since milk and milk products are a staple across the country, we have seen a flurry of launches in the last year or so. It started with yogurt and ice-creams with top manufacturers launching their versions simultaneously – Mother Dairy, Amul, Nestlé.
Other additions have been probiotic drinks – Yakult came up with a milk based drink. Mother Dairy has also launched Nutrifit recently, also a milk based drink.
In the opportunity, lie the challenges:
The market is still very nascent, will it mature towards categorization as the average consumer and the serious health conscious? Or, will the average consumer take on more mature offerings (say Yakult) where health comes first, taste isn’t primary? Both maybe – time will tell.
Marketers will also do well by differentiating the category through unique packaging and also guiding users on correct usage, including warming any whom the product may in fact cause damage, due to an existing health condition?
Interestingly enough for a category that demands education, not many marketers are using their websites to that effect:
I have been using probiotic yogurt for the last many months – it does work well for my tummy. Have you tried any of these products? How do you think the category will evolve? Social media can play a role, what do you think?
Do share your experiences and thoughts.
Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.