Godrej Tyson Foods CEO Abhay Parnerkar on the importance of market visits, sampling and consumer research | Jobs Recent


Abhay Parnerkar’s five months at the helm of Godrej Tyson Foods has defined the growth map for the ready-to-cook brand Godrej Yummiez. While there was a lot of R&D work before he took over, Godrej Yummiez expanded the vegetarian frozen food segment under Parnerkar’s leadership. The brand has launched a potato-based snack with no added preservatives. The size of the vegetarian frozen food segment is estimated to be about two-thirds of the company’s total category. The CEO of Godrej Tyson Foods sees this as a huge opportunity not only for Godrej Yummiez but also for the Rs 3,500 crore frozen food market. Godrej Yummiez aims to become a Rs 200 crore+ brand and register over 30% growth in FY2023.

Earlier this year, when the brand launched a paneer-based snack, Parnerkar decided to hit the market, especially in North Indian cities, where the brand is seeing a rise in demand for vegetarian snacks. Parnerkar tells Storyboard18 that the biggest compliment he got from retailers was that the product tasted right. That’s a relief for any food brand, he says. After 18 years of working at the Coca-Cola Company, Parnerkar is aware of the importance of market visits. “It is critical for brands in our category to have a deep, intimate understanding of consumer habits and preferences. If you want to see buyer and consumer behavior, you have to go to the field,” he adds.

Sampling is a big part of Godre Yummiez’s marketing plan. Parnerkar walks into a few tasting booths and talks to consumers and records his teams. “It is important that food brands provide consumers with a good retail experience,” he believes. Sampling, along with digital advertising, takes up about 70 percent of a brand’s marketing budget. Godrej Yummiez is also planning to advertise on TV and OTT platforms to boost its new launch. The snacks industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent by FY 2023 and is likely to touch a value of over Rs 15 billion by 2024. Given the rapid growth of the category, Parnerkar and his teams are investing time in research to mine insights .

According to The India Snacking Report, released by the company recently, 62 percent of Indians felt that potato-based snacks were a ubiquitous part of their snack plate. This is due to the fact that potatoes are versatile and go well with Indian recipes, observes Parnerkar. Potato snacks are also a large part of restaurant menus, which consumers also want to prepare at home. The report also found that 41 percent of consumers surveyed consume vegetarian frozen snacks daily.

Interestingly, the study states that women snack more than men. 53 percent of women associate snacks with a mini meal. 83 percent of mothers surveyed said that frozen snacks are a quick solution to hunger for children. 71 percent of mothers also believe that there is no fixed time for snack. The brand’s core target audience remains mothers and women in the 25-45 age group, which is reflected in the brand’s advertising. In addition to convenience, the study found that consumers believe snacks improve mood. “This research gave us enough insights to shape our portfolio more sharply in the future,” he adds.

While the brand has a national footprint and presence across all key online and offline channels, the South and West are currently the biggest contributors. With Godrej Yummiez focusing on affordability, the company expects further growth in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, concludes Parnerkar.



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