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The Indian Kind of Crunch!

- 5 min read By Suchitra Sukumar

29 May, 2018

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Snack brands and their naming conventions

 Euromonitor’s report Savoury Snacks in India (December, 2016) estimates that savoury snacks are likely to register a constant value CAGR of 12% over 2016-2021, with sales reaching Rs 445 billion. The Indian chips market, sized at Rs 7,000-7,500 crore according to Euromonitor, has been growing at a robust pace of 15% over the past five years and going forward, is expected to grow at a similar pace. The report goes on to state that growth will come from rising disposable incomes, changing lifestyles, product innovations and strengthening of distribution to have better selling opportunities in lower-tier cities and rural areas.*

For long, chips and wafers have been the most preferred snacking option on varied occasions (and, well, even non-occasions). The interesting part is that slowly and steadily, local brands have made their place on the store shelf — and eventually, the kitchen shelf. And the distribution is something to speak of — from kiosks and carts at railway stations to the -paan neighbourhoodwala, local chips brands are everywhere.

In fact, some chips brands hold a very special place in our hearts, especially for those who grew up in the 90s, when we didn’t have as many international brands as we do now. Which is what piqued our interest to analyze the naming conventions among the various Indian chips brands. A quick memory jog and Google search brings up these brands:’

 

  

customer review

 

It is interesting to see some of the patterns in brand-naming and their correlation with the kind of organization that manufactures them.

 

The Indian chips brands with regional roots
customer review

These are family-owned brands and their names hail from the owner’s name or the family name. One can almost imagine their evolution from a local snack manufacturing shop that has grown to become national and international brands!

These brand-names have grown in meaning over the years to stand for:

  • Their local roots and flavours - as a counterpoint to the international palate
  • The stamp of quality that comes from years of expertise
  • Nostalgia for expat-Indians

 

The ‘Made for India’ brands
customer review

These are snacks brands that are created by the FMCG teams of Indian and international corporate houses like ITC, Brittania, HUL, PepsiCo, etc. These brands are actually ‘created’ to suit to the Indian palate. Hence their brand names do not come from a family / origin name. These brands find their names more from the ‘experience’ of enjoying the snack - many a time from the kind of ‘sound’ it makes, or the local name for ‘snacks’ like Kurkure.

Sometimes they also have quirky names like ‘Bingo’ and ‘Peppy Piknik’ which are deliberately made to cue fun-times and a casual mood.

These brand-names have typically established themselves through mass advertising and brand ambassadors:

  • Their range of flavours tend to be international with an Indian twist
  • They re-emphasize the ‘Indian-ness’ of the brand through the communication and brand name
  • They tend to be more ‘fun’ and ‘whimsical’ kind of names

Another interesting point to note is that both local Indian brands as well as ‘made for India’ brands sport similar kinds of packaging design - from the colour palette to the logo-types. Thus, differentiation is a tougher task today than it used to be.

In conclusion, both naming conventions have their own positives. Any new brand that is looking to establish itself in India must take a keen look at the company’s own historical popularity, quality and reputation while keeping an eye on the quirky naming conventions to attract the younger millennial consumer.

*Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/how-desi-chips-brands-nibbling-away-at-marketshares-of-swanky-mncs/670042/

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