Inside PepsiCo snack brand Kurkure’s cheesy journey in India
Kurkure’s new India launch hopes to create distinction and drive reappraisal in the snacking category. The Drum finds out more about the game plan.
Kurkure, a ‘made in India’ product and PepsiCo’s major play in the snacking portfolio over the years, has launched a unique innovative flavor – Kurkure Chatpata Cheese.
A foray into a fusion flavor universe of cheese and Indian masala, the launch has interestingly been inspired by PepsiCo’s globally successful Cheetos crunchy cheddar jalapeño flavor. The product hit the shelves a few weeks back and the brand campaign has been launched now.
The Drum speaks to Neha Prasad, associate director of brand marketing for Kurkure, PepsiCo India, to get a behind-the-scenes take on the brand’s localization journey and the quirky new campaign.
Kurkure’s personalization and localization journey
Kurkure has gained a foothold in Indian households over a two-decade-long journey, with its various salty snacking formats and flavor profiles across collet, puffed and savory snacks.
The latest launch seeks to capitalize on India’s growing affinity for dairy-flavored snacks.
Explaining the backdrop of this foray, Neha Prasad says: “Apart from India’s constant known love for ‘masala’, our research also highlighted the Indian youth’s growing affinity towards cheese/dairy flavored snacks. This led us to build on a never-done-before cheese flavor with Kurkure’s spicy twist to add disruption in the highly commoditized extruded category.”
Kurkure has previously created a successful innovation with dairy flavors (puffcorn yummy cheese), but this launch would be a permanent addition to the brand’s portfolio.
Kurkure hopes it will create disruption and strengthen its leadership in the market. At a strategic level, the idea is to bring a sense of curiosity among the youth and strongly appeal to those who seek to experiment and enjoy exotic fusion flavors, adds Prasad.
The evolving marketing playbook
The PepsiCo-owned brand has had a varied playbook over its 20-year-old journey. For instance, it is a brand that has been known to cast many Indian film stars and celebrities over the years. The current campaign follows a different narrative, even while continuing the Kurkure’s quirky language.
Earlier this year, it had launched a campaign with popular film star Akshay Kumar capturing the brand’s positioning as a spicy anytime snack that can help add zing to consumers’ daily lives.
The current campaign shows the classic situation of two families, one Indian and the other foreign, discussing their children’s marriage. The Indian boy’s mother, who is skeptical of their union, expresses her displeasure toward her son. Just then the girl’s parents are offered some Kurkure Chatpata Cheese and what happens next forms the crux of the story. It ends with the ‘spicy’ twist.
The brand has lined up a 360-degree campaign across multiple platforms and a robust social media footprint backed by the deployment of influencers.
Says Prasad: “Even though we have executed many iconic collaborations, Kurkure has always been the ‘hero’ of our brand communication and is the center of our campaign.”
She adds: ”It has always been and continues to be the quintessential entertainer that adds a spark of ‘quirky fun’ into the everyday lives of its consumers through innovative storytelling.”