How plant-based brand GoodDot became a household name in India
As the plant-based food movement gains momentum globally, India's brand GoodDot has a strong head-start, with two-thirds (65%) of Indian consumers willing to try plant-based foods. The Drum spoke to the vegan food brand about how it is positioning and marketing its brand in the hugely competitive market.
Plant-based food brands have many hurdles to overcome when appealing to consumers; however, India's GoodDot has removed a significant obstacle by making its products cheaper than chicken.
“In India, price is critical, followed by taste,” GoodDot’s VP of strategy Abhinav Sinha tells The Drum. “Our strategy is to focus on these two pillars and others will follow suit.”
The plant-based meat and vegan food brand is focused on making affordable plant-based meat options available to all consumers, regardless of their location and income level.
“Our plant-based options are the most affordable protein category in the market,” continues Sinha, who says GoodDot’s plant-based products are priced around half the cost of chicken.
The affordable pricing position removes a significant hurdle for new consumers looking to try the product – add to this India’s high proportion of vegetarians, and the brand has a head start on overseas rivals.
While taste remains a significant issue for the brand, GoodDot has employed a targeted influencer strategy, organizing taste tests with restaurant owners and chefs in a bid to dispel the belief that plant-based food is bland or lacks taste.
This strategy is part of the brand's organic and word-of-mouth marketing strategy which aims to generate greater awareness of the brand and its products across India.GoodDot's activity includes collaborations and partnerships with organisations like Peta and vegan events like Veganuary.
The brand leveraged these opportunities to build awareness as it rolled out across India. Initially launching in Udaipur in 2016, the brand grew its customer base through bricks and mortar stores throughout India’s Tier II and Tier III cities. The brand has also moved onto e-commerce platforms, restaurants and supermarket chains like Dmart and Reliance, and claims to have grown 100% every year. Current sales numbers include 50,000 packets per day with higher volumes in the East and South of India.
As part of the marketing move, GoodDot partnered with Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra last year. Chopra, who is from a small town in rural India aligned with the company's ethos, and his popularity and success bought visibility and credibility to the brand. The brand launched a campaign titled ‘Do Good’, with an aim to encourage people to do good by choosing plant-based meat.
The brand produced a series of ad films featuring Chopra with his buddy GoodDo – a rescued goat which is the brand’s mascot. The film showcases banter between the two characters, which ends with the goat stopping Chopra from making mistakes. Towards the end of each scene, the brand embeds a message about the benefits of plant-based meat in terms of health, taste, and reducing animal cruelty.
These elements are important to the brand and to consumers, says Sinha. “Our products are clean label with no artificial preservatives, colour and cruelty-free,” he adds.
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India has the highest likelihood of people choosing plant-based meats or meat alternatives, with around 64-65% of customers willing to try them, according to research from the National Institutes of Health. The brand is targeting non-vegetarians and curious vegetarians who are willing to try plant-based food for additional protein sources.
Moving forward, the brand is in talks with universities to incorporate GoodDot’s products in the canteen menu, and the marketing efforts will be focused on getting millennials and Gen Z to try plant-based food. The main channels of communication are through Instagram for B2C and LinkedIn for B2B partners.