Sweet-talking readers leads to double-digit sales growth

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Publishing giant ABP has been sweet-talking readers in a campaign which delivers the cha and the chitchat without the sugar.

ABP One senior executive Anisha Datta says Sugar Free Natura had needed a marketing solution for West Bengal when the brand marketing unit of eastern Indian publishing giant Anandabazar Patrika swung into action.

"Undoubtedly the king of the low-calorie sweetener market in India, it wasn't enjoying a satisfactory presence in the West Bengal market until ABP One stepped in to provide a marketing solution that boosted the brand's perception as a health-conscious alternative to sugar and led to a double-digit sales increase," she says in an INMA blog post.

"Kolkata, the 'City of Joy', cannot live without its adda (chitchat) and cha (tea), but in recent times, both of them are losing their quality and appeal - adda for a lack of intellectual topics and cha because of the separation from sugar."

Cha is suffering because of the increasing number of people suffering from diabetes and a perception that sugar substitutes are unhealthy. In a campaign which encouraged tea drinkers to try cha sweetened with Sugar Free Natura,

ABP One separated sweetness from diabetes with the slogan 'cha choluk, chini noy' (drop the sugar, stay with tea).

"We reached out to local tea shops and got them on board, distributing samples to the shops and asking them to use it to make sugar-free cha and add it to their menus," says Anisha Datta. The campaign focussed on these daily areas of cha sales and demonstrated to customers that you can have sweet and tasty tea without having to worry about diabetes. A print campaign included columns written by nutritionist presenting sugar substitutes as a safe and guilt-free way to enjoy sweet tea.

"The campaign gave sales a boost and as more tea drinkers became familiar with the Sugar Free Natura brand, some made the switch. Many customers were surprised and intrigued to find they enjoyed the sweet sugar free cha," she says. "At the end of eight weeks, tea drinkers across the city realised that sugarless tea could also be tasty. So many people made the switch that it helped to drive up stagnant sales numbers by 14 per cent, the highest growth in the last seven quarters."

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