The Indian market is not ready for vegan products: Alamjit Singh Sekhon

Bel India and Mad Over Donuts have partnered to launch cheese savoury doughnuts

Sep 08, 2022 10:15:00 AM | Article | Noel D'souza

The Laughing Cow from the house of Bel and Mad Over Donuts announced a partnership. With this association, the brands have launched four new cheese savoury doughnuts at Mad Over Donut outlets pan India.

 

The brands tested the new range internally and with consumers across age groups and different geographical areas prior to the launch. After the research duration, they finalised four flavours. 

 

The aim for The Laughing Cow and Mad Over Donuts is to provide a range of flavours apart from sweets, as their four-week market research cited that Indians have a good tolerance level and are favourable towards spice. 

 

Campaign India had a tête-à-tête with Alamjit Singh Sekhon, commercial director, Bel India and Tarak Bhattacharya, executive director, Mad Over Donuts, on their marketing plans for the newly launched flavours, how experiential marketing is integral for brand building and how they intend to cash in on the festive season. 

 

What is the marketing plan for this collaborated launch?

 

Bhattacharya: After the pandemic, our strategy is to make our 'stores' the benchmark and face of the brand 'Mad Over Donuts'. Our products gain brand resonance because 80% of our consumers walk into our stores and taste our products. So, reaching out to our consumers is a focal point in terms of strategy by letting them taste, try and get the right feedback to help us improve. Word of mouth is how we intend to thrive in the market. We never opt for hoardings or TVCs because our consumers are enough to create buzz around our brand. Digital, however, is key, and we are cashing in on the medium to reach audiences. 

 

 
 
 

The partnership has come out on the brink of the festive season. How will this season amplify these newly launched flavours?

 

Sekhon: We believe it will play out well for us. The festive season is all about going out, creating experiences with loved ones and giving a reason to bond with each other. With these savoury flavours, it creates a wholesome menu offering. A consumer who wouldn’t want to purchase a sweet doughnut will now have the option to do so. 

 

Currently, there is a market for vegan products, and many are switching to products that are not pasteurised. How do you'll intend to reach out to this market audience?

 

Sekhon: Our brand stems from the philosophy of ‘food for all’ where we aim to provide accessible and nutritious products. We don’t feel the Indian market is ready for vegan products because in this country dairy and dairy products are the cornerstones of nutrition for consumers. However, in the future, when the time is right, vegan products and flavours will be a focal point for the Indian market.  

 

Experiential marketing has been a go-to strategy for your brand. Recently, you'll did a collaboration with Havas for a cheese-making workshop for kids. How important is experiential for The Laughing Cow’s marketing mix? 

 

Sekhon: Experiential marketing leads to conversations, creating a brand image through experiences. Gone are the days when the brand communicates to the consumer that this particular product is good. We need to make consumers believe that a product is right for them by allowing them to taste it and decide for themselves. Thus, we aim to invest more in the space of experiential marketing. Experiential is core to the way we look at brand building. Our mascot, ‘The Laughing Cow’ is also another way in which we try to build our brand image amongst our consumers.