How Indian brands add the ‘immunity booster’ layer to their marketing?


The products associated with health, such as olive oil, soya oil, and mustard oil, fortified bread, and even fortified biscuits and powdered chocolate drinks are in huge demand as consumers buy into the idea of maintaining a healthy diet and building immunity to help protect against COVID-19. During normal times, these products would see a growth of between 5 and 10%, now industry executives are reporting annualized growth of 20 to 40%. Even before coronavirus immune health was a growing trend.

Traditional favourites like Chyawanprash, turmeric, and honey are seeing a surge in demand, even popping up in cafe menus. Bottled water brand Bisleri has focused on how vital it is to boost immunity and be well hydrated with its product’s “added minerals”. “Herb and Seed” variant of bread has launched by Baked goods label Bonn in order to “boost immunity”. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has underlined the immunity-boosting qualities of vitamins C and D, plus Zinc, in an ad for Horlicks and Indian conglomerate ITC has launched the “Immunity Song” to market its dairy brand Aashirvaad Svasti.

And a Google India report highlights the fact that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were increasingly searching for the “best of” whatever they were looking for. The report also shows there is a surge of 500%, for searches related to health and healthy products, particularly for those that supposedly boost immunity. Searches for vitamin C were up over 150%, as searched for herbs with medicinal properties like Giloy (+380%), and Ayurvedic home remedies, like Kadha (+90%).

Sharda Agarwal, co-founder of Sepalika said, “In a situation like this, if you are a brand selling immunity, and the link between the brand and immunity, as a concept, is tenuous, it’s not going to stick, and will go by like a ship in the night “. How we survived this crisis together will be remembered as the brands deliver products and experiences with purpose, trust, integrity, and the right intent. Through immunity marketing that replicates innate immunity and acquired immunity, marketers can build systems to meet unforeseen challenges, blocking out invaders and mounting a defense that helps them not just survive but thrive in the new normal.


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