A combination of health, taste & ambience has worked wonders for cocoberry. Now, the company has to plan expansion carefully so that the concept does not turn into a fad

Most tech savvy Indians will probably relate FroYo with Android 2.2, the highly popular OS from Google. But, even as Android has graduated from FroYo or frozen-yoghurt to the likes of Gingerbread, Honeycomb & Icecream Sandwich, FroYo is getting increasingly popular as a healthy eating option; especially among upwardly mobile and health conscious people the world over. And Cocoberry is trying to achieve the same in India.

The premium yoghurt chain, which derives its name from “Coco” meaning chocolate and “berry” from the anti-oxidant rich bery family, and counts actor Katrina Kaif among its connoisseurs, was established in 2009; and in a short span of two years, it has been able to establish its brand name among the young and urbane, thanks to its guerilla marketing tactics. G. S. Bhalla, Founder & CEO, Cocoberry, informs us that the name was given by his daughter who was 7-years old at that time. “The objective when we launched it was, to create a brand around the health & wellness proposition; hence we focused on two key nutrition categories – anti-oxidants (through berry toppings), and pro-biotic (referring to yoghurt).” Bhalla, who had no prior experience in the food and beverage industry, says that the compelling factor for entering this domain was that food is a recession-proof business.

And why not? The health and wellness food market today, as per a study done by Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG), is pegged at Rs.110 billion, growing at nearly 35% annually. Of course, it has many segments to it and health food options like FroYo are still a small part of the overall market. But with the consumption story and eating patterns changing in the country and more and more people gravitating towards health food options, the segment will only grow.

Though globally, FroYo stores like Red Mango, Pink Berry and Yoghurt Land started getting popular around 2005-06, Cocoberry was the first to bring the concept to India. Today, the brand boasts off roughly 2.8 lakh Facebook fans, which makes it among the top 100 brands in terms of fan base in India. It is also the third highest likes among FroYo brands on Facebook globally, and it hopes to become the most liked in 6 months. That is a rather steep ambition for a 2-year old brand, even if we consider the numbers in the Indian market.

Bhalla attributes the success story so far to his guerilla marketing tactics – using social media extensively, choosing great store locations and designing stores elegantly. The focus is on creating the perfect ambience experience for customers. The company claims that its USP is great customisation, as the stores offer 6-8 flavours and 30 toppings. Besides, it has entered newer health food segments as well like smoothies, sandwiches, parfait (healthy breakfast option) and beverages like tea & coffee.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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