Saffola (FMCG food industry): Repositioning a high quality non-growing edible oil brand for its expansion and high growth in the commodity market.  Re-launched in 1998.


Saffola’s market reputation was high as a healthcare brand due to its innovative quality. It was always a costly brand in the edible oil category. But the brand was positioned in a therapeutic way as a saviour from heart problems. Due to its high cost and problem-solution brand association, Saffola’s growth was not very high, although the product was considered to be very good. Marico is a well processed Indian company with strong professional value system and marketing culture.


How to break this problem-solution mould? How to enlarge high customer proximity to the brand by stating that the product was good for the whole family’s consumption, not only for those family members suffering from health ailments.


While keeping its higher price value, how to expand the market and its customer base with better penetration so the brand grows significantly in the market.


A great product, but not growing; where was the deficiency? After a cross country customer interaction to get insights from customers from their home up to their kitchen, and from the trade too, the first point we discovered was that the bulky jar was extremely cumbersome, both for  transportation and for pouring when in the kitchen. In our research, when customers came to know that Saffola is not only a health problem-solution product, that it’s good for cooking for the whole family, they responded very positively to changing the brand perception to “Heart of a healthy family.”

Then the brand needed a sharp differentiation on the retail shelf to displace its old problem-solution image. So we re-designed the structural packaging to integrate some vital convenience factors to change the whole brand perception. Our new jar design had 2 handles, one for carrying and the other for pouring. The bulge on one side of the bottle gave an effective scientific pouring advantage where the oil does not spill out while pouring it from the big bottle. Customers immediately connected to such upliftment in usage convenience. In the market’s commodity category, there was no other structural packaging that had this kind of convenience, along with aesthetics of the jar. The jar’s bright visual graphics with the “Heart of a healthy family” positioning made the brand stand out in the market. The differentiation was evident. Thereafter Saffola started to grow very strongly post its re-launching in 1998.