Health and taste – do they go together as far as edible oil is concerned?

Health and taste – do they go together as far as edible oil is concerned? At a time when every

single edible oil brand is focusing only on the health platform, Dalda – the iconic 75 year old

brand – is going off the beaten track. Bunge India, which bought the languishing Dalda from

Hindustan Unilever in 2003, is reinventing the brand to position it as something that stands for

health without compromising on taste. That is the brand’s new USP, says Videh Jaipuriar, vice

President, food business, Bunge India the arm of the NYSE listed company.

It’s quite a leap for the Rs. 550 crore brand which was synonymous with “Vanaspati

Ghee” when “health” hadn’t become a part of everyday lingo. For now, it’s only a relaunch –

updated products with vitamins A,D and E and higher level of anti – oxidants and rebranding

with a new logo and packaging. Dalda will now introduce new variants like Rice brand and

Coconut oil in the edible oil category. Jaipuriar says, “Though Indian consumers are getting more

health conscious, there is also a latent perception that they are compromising on taste while

trying to consume healthier food.”

Dalda has done two things: first, it has changed its look and imagery for the first time in

75 years; and second, it will now market its mass market oils like soyabean, mustard, sunflower

and groundnut under the “Husband’s choice” range. The name “Husband’s choice” has been

arrived at based on extensive consumer research. Indian housewives have this tussle going on

between health and taste. The housewife is always concerned that her family eats healthy food,

while the husband is only interested in eating tasty food.

“Husband’s choice” therefore conveys to the housewife that while Dalda oils are healthy,

it will also help her provide food, the taste of which will be liked by the husband. It is also

banking on pricing. In each of the category, the prices would be competitive. D a l d a ‘ s

makeover has taken a long while in coming. But Jaipuriar says the new identity has been almost

a year and a half in the making with extensive consumer research at each stage of the process.

“This is not a facial change in package graphics but also a product upgrade. It’s an attempt to

connect better with the younger generation,” he says.

Not everybody is convinced and feel the signal may be confusing. Anand Ramanathan,

Manager, Business Performance Services, KPMG, isn’t optimistic. “The brand is yet to come out

of its vanaspati connotation. With such a legacy, its very difficult to compete on the ‘health’

element, specially so when the category is ruled by innovative players like Saffola which has a

great legacy of variants vouching for heart benefits, less sodium etc.” Harish Bijoor, Brand

Expert and CEO, Harish Bajoor Consults Inc., agrees: “The brand suffers from a non-healthy imagery in an era where health is the primary driver to usage of oils across markets.” Bijoor says

the brand needs to talk more volubly to its non-users than users. A tweak on good health with

product centricity in its advertising is the only thing that will help.

But Bunge says the changeover is a part of a much larger strategy to upgrade the entire

product offering. Dalda operates in vanaspati as well as edible oil segment. In vanaspati, Dalda is

the market leader with a 12 percent market share, where it intends to further consolidate. In

edible oils, its lead variant, soyabean oil is the third largest brand nationally with a market share

of 6 percent. It now plants to corner a 15 percent market share in two years.


a. Discuss Perceived Positioning of Dalda in the mind of consumers. What factors of

learning may be adopted by Dalda?

b. Do you think Dalda is a high involvement product? Justify your answer in light of

factors leading to high involvement and also different measures of involvement.

The post Health and taste – do they go together as far as edible oil is concerned? appeared first on Versed Writers.

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