Will National foods' new approach work?
National Foods Limited (NFL) launched a new campaign in August with the tagline Nayi Soch Ke Naye Zaiqe, keeping in mind evolving urban lifestyles in Pakistan, where men and women are adapting to and accepting gender equality at home – and where men participating in household chores (especially in the kitchen) has become more widespread. The campaign included a TVC and introduced NFL’s fried chops recipe mix to coincide with the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
An ambassador of the cultural heritage that surrounds Pakistani food and a pioneer in pre-packaged spices and mixes, NFL today claim the largest market share in the branded spice segment. They offer approximately 250 products in over 10 categories, including recipe mixes, pickles, frozen meals, ketchup, jams, rice, basic spices, salt, chutneys, sauces, golden fried onions and ginger and garlic pastes. They also offer dessert mixes, such as kheer and falooda along with jellies and custards, and a range of savoury seasonings and snack mixes, including chat masala, dahi baray, pakora mix and masala mixes like chilli chips, barrek sev, Karachi mix and moong dal.
Talking about the campaign, Ali Rashid Khan, Marketing Manager, NFL, says the idea behind the campaign was to redefine traditions, keeping in mind rapidly changing consumer lifestyles. “When we say ‘naye zaiqe’, we are not only talking about food. It could be a new habit or a new perspective on life.”
As Khan says, Pakistan is a food-loving country where women have always prided themselves on their ability to turn out a feast for their family and guests. “They have never done it out of compulsion. However, there has been a change in how young, urban women view themselves. They identify not only with the kitchen but with the outside world as well and therefore seek convenient solutions; unlike their mothers who spent hours in the kitchen putting together 14 different spices, each in a specific quantity. And of course, convenience is at the core of what we do.”
The idea behind the campaign was to redefine traditions, keeping in mind rapidly changing consumer lifestyles. “When we say ‘naye zaiqe’,we are not only talking about food. It could be a new habit or a new perspective on life.”
According to Nida Haider, Strategy Head & Managing Partner, IAL Saatchi & Saatchi (NFL’s creative agency), whenever it comes to advertising a food company, the communication is built around the idea that cooking is the domain of women. However, the research undertaken by the agency revealed a more progressive mindset among younger audiences (65% of Pakistan is under the age of 25) and this was an opportunity for NFL to create relevance within this audience. Furthermore, adds Haider, as nuclear families have increased in number, there has been a change in the architectural layout of smaller houses and apartments and unlike old-style houses, where the kitchen is usually at the back, it is now positioned at the centre; a sign that younger people today consider cooking a fun activity, rather than an essential chore.
All this led IAL to develop thought out situations where men are shown helping in the kitchen, be they grandfathers, sons or husbands. Their idea is to promote inclusivity in the kitchen; a mum teaching her son to cook, a young couple trying out a new recipe from a cookbook, a grandfather helping his granddaughter in the kitchen, a young couple preparing a packed lunch and a dinner table situation where men ask women to sit down first.
Another aspect to emerge from the research is the fact that in addition to convenience, a lot of women are using recipe mixes to innovate. They are using tikka masala with pizzas or pastas to jazz things up a bit and say their kids love it.
As Khan puts it: “These days, what is inside the pack doesn’t matter; it doesn’t just have to be biryani, it might as well be a biryani pizza or tikka pasta; in this way, we are giving different meanings to ‘Nayi Soch Ke Naye Zaiqe.”
The TVC was directed by Asad-ul-Haq and the campaign was rolled out in print, OOH and social media. The campaign will carry on until the end of the year because, says Khan, “if this message is worth talking about, it is worth talking about at length.”
He concludes: “If we can communicate socially responsible messages, ones which reflect the best in society because we have the scale to do so, then a lot of people will feel this is the new norm and behave accordingly.”