International Journal of Retailing & Rural Business Perspectives
Volume 1, Number 1, July -September 2012
CONSUMER RESEARCH ON HORLICKS “THE GREAT FAMILY NOURISHER” – A CASE STUDY
Binod Kumar Singh1
Horlicks is the name of a company and of a malted milk hot drink. It was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Jamaica and under the licencing in the Philippines and Malaysia. Horlicks came to India with British Army end of World War I saw Indian soldiers of British Indian Army bringing it back with them as a diet supplement. Punjab, Bengal and Madras Presidencies became early adopters of Horlicks and lot of wellto-do Indians took to drinking Horlicks as a family drink in early 1940s and 1950s. Invented in 1873 by James Horlicks, the brand has been available in India for 70 years.
From being a drink taken only during convalescence the brand has repositioned itself since the seventies as a 'great family nourished’. It became a sort of status symbol in upper middle class Indians and rich classes. India, even today is by far, the biggest market for Horlicks, where it has traditionally been marketed as 'The Great Family Nourisher'. The Indian formulation for Horlicks is slightly different than in most other countries, as there it is manufactured from buffalo milk rather than cow milk due to cultural concerns. New products have been developed specifically for India, such as alternative flavours and special formulations for young children and breast-feeding mothers.The first flavour available in India, as in Britain, was malt; over the years, new flavours have been introduced, such as vanilla, toffee, chocolate, honey, and elaichi (cardamom). Junior Horlicks 1-2-3 is a large extension that is specially designed for pre-school children. Horlicks is also available in biscuit forms.
Horlicks is the leading health food drink in India and as the “Most Trusted Drink Brands” (Economic Times Survey 2004) in India, enjoys more than half of the health food drink market(current as of 2007)(A C Neilson Report). GSK has relaunched its Horlicks brand in three new flavors in the Indian market, according to reports in the Indian press. The re-launch also includes a new look for the brand targeting its core customer, children upto 14 years old. A television advertising campaign will promote the new vanilla, honey and chocolate flavors to Indian kids and will be accompanied by print ads & hoardings. GSK has about 75% market shares of India’s health drink market along with Boost,Viva and Maltova(According to Press Trust of India).The multi-based drink is also available in UK where Horlicks attracts an entirely different, much older,audience,using the “Sleep Better, Feel Better” slogan.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
In 2003, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) was relaunched its Horlicks brand in three new variants vanilla, honey and chocolate apart from the regular malt. The re-launch also includes a new look for the brand in terms of packaging as well as new positioning which addresses children instead of mothers. According to a news paper report, the focus this time is not as much on enhancing the nutrient values of the product as it is on flavours. In sync with its new brand positioning which targets children between eight and 14 years, the company has also launched a television ad campaign created by JWT featuring kids, which would be aired across channels.
Nearly half of its sales are still generated from the South, while 35 per cent come from East. IDFC SSKI Managing Director Nikhil Vora points out that GSK Consumer Healthcare has held on to its market share in a space that’s grown at around 20 per cent in the last couple of years. “As the market leader, the brand could yield some share but volumes have grown in double digits for five consecutive quarters”.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare was launched a new, sugar free, low calorie avtar of its flagship brand...
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© Pezzottaite Journals, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
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