Consumers are seeking product knowledge': Neelima Burra

Cargill Foods India (CFI) markets leading consumer brands of edible oils such as Nature Fresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo Olive Oil, Rath, Sunflower brand of hydrogenated fats and Nature Fresh brand of packaged wheat flour. The company has aggressive growth plans for Leonardo Olive Oil and Nature Fresh wheat flour. It realises that these brands have immense potential as far as today’s health conscious generation is concerned.

Adgully interviewed Neelima Burra – Chief Marketing Officer at Cargill Foods India (CFI). An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Management – Bhubaneswar, Neelima is responsible for managing the marketing activities of CFI while leading a highly motivated team of marketing specialists. With over 15 years of rich experience, she has been associated with Usha International, Whirlpool Corporation, Britannia Industries Ltd. & HLL Lifecare Ltd.  prior to joining CFI.

 Here are excerpts from the interview:

Adgully: As compared to the last generation, this generation has become a lot more health conscious! How does olive oil help do this?

Neelima Burra: When you talk about complete metabolic health, in today's lifestyle the biggest issue is the way we are living our life and the lifestyle diseases we are into. Olive oil helps you regulate four issues; if these issues are managed you will never have any lifestyle issue. They are: Cholesterol, Waist {Belly fat}, Weight management and Blood Sugar Regulator

Olive oil takes care of all these four issues which no other refined oil can claim in this category.

AG: Do you see a larger growth in this segment now compared to the usage by last generation? Is there a change in taste preference?

NB: Of course there is a change. Younger generation is far more educated and conscious about their health; also their lifestyle is slightly more complicated. They are far more accommodative to the new changes which are coming in the industry, lifestyle etc.

AG: Khata Rahe Mera Dil is an interesting campaign. What is the motivation behind it?

NB: Khata Rahe Mera Dil is for this generation. Everyone says don't do this/don't do that, don't eat this/exercise more. There's so much of ‘don't! So how will you live your life? Oil, let me tell you, is a necessary ingredient that cannot be avoided. Hence, the best option is to have olive oil because it enables us to eat all the food items that we want and yet gain all the health benefits without compromising on the taste or health. Hence, the ad campaign Khata Rahe Mera Dil, so that you can eat to your heart’s content without getting affected with any metabolic syndromes such as heart attack, cholesterol etc.  

AG: With today’s generation becoming more health conscious have you seen any changes in the consumption pattern?

NB: We have definitely seen changes in the consumption pattern over a decade. Internet education has helped people to gain more information and the consumers are seeking knowledge and understanding about the product they want to use. Their demand from the product and the manufacturers is very specific, which is very different from the earlier processes. The options for products in the market have grown and so the consumer’s knowledge about the products makes it simpler for them to buy specific products.

AG: What are the future plans for Leonardo Olive Oil?

NB: Yes, it is our flagship brand. We have many plans for the future. We do complete 360 degree campaigns for it which is very different from Gemini. Gemini is about brand marketing and awareness campaigns but Leonardo is about behavioral change communication campaign. It contains lot of product knowledge and sampling of the product wherein we tell them and demonstrate the product. We also explain to them how it is less sticky and less absorbent. Last month we were trending on twitter because of our campaign that said “Fried Khao Oily Nahi”. We associate with films and magazines like “Dil Dhadakne Do with Leonardo”. We do digital marketing and advertisements in food blogs. We also have a panel of nutritionists and chefs who educate people about the health benefits of the oil.

AG: Are there any plans of doing ground activation?

NB: We are looking for locations wherein the audience can sit and taste the product. There are tasting sessions as well. As there is a way to consume wine, there is also a way to consume olive oil. There are three different variants of olive oil and each has different purposes so we want to educate people about the usage of them. We also want to break the myths. One is the myth that olive oil cannot be used for cooking as it gives less smoke and second is that Indian food does not taste well in olive oil so we have a panel of chefs who cook full course Indian meals and even the deserts in olive oil.

One of the on-ground activation campaigns that we did was “Kya Nahi Ban Sakta Hai Batao? Leonardo ke saath banake dikhao”. It was like a challenge: asking people what they think cannot be cooked in olive oil, we will cook that item in front of them and ask them about the taste.  We cooked samosas in olive oil and non-olive oil and people who consumed olive oil samosas were able to consume more because of the less absorption of oil.

AG:  Do you have any tie-up with any hospitals or doctors?

NB: We have a complete medico marketing wherein we meet nutritionists. We are also trying to tie-up with hospitals.

AG: How important is food safety for you?

NB: Food safety, from Cargill point of view, has been one of our agendas from the beginning. Food and safety has to go hand in hand. Specially companies like us when we speak about farm to fork we will have to keep food safety as our primary goal.

AG: Tell us something about Nature Fresh.

NB: It is nature’s best brought to you by Nature Fresh. We get good grains and bring it to your table without losing its nutrition. We keep in mind the new generation of India, who are not bothered much about their food habits. Our campaign says that “Khali Pet Jung Nahi Jeeta Jata” which explains the importance of good food to compete in life. Nature Fresh retains all the nutrition that will help you for good digestion as well as provide you with energy. Nature Fresh is an atta and we have marketed it in India for the last two years. It is now launched all over the country.

AG: From where did you get the maximum number of responses?

NB: The campaign is done all over India and we are getting more responses from the metro cities and online portals. We are getting good market share. We have got a 360 degree marketing campaign going on and the sales numbers are getting response from all over the country.



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