India is home to a $34 billion salted snacks market. Over time, the market had become an overcrowded and highly competitive, cluttered with local players and global giants namely, ITC, Haldiram’s and PepsiCo. Britannia wanted in with a new salted snack brand, Timepass.
Disruptions in the healthy snacking category had taken India by storm from whole-wheat fibre biscuits to baked foxnuts, the Indian consumer now wanted healthier if not tastier snack options. Our challenge was to take the flavourful, salty Timepass brand and convincingly establish it in the market amongst competitors, secure a strong sales position and claim a valuable slice of market share. Not with advertising, but with breakthrough packaging.
Observations and insight: the a-ha moment!
In India, there are 2 types of hunger that are defined: Mouth Hunger & Stomach Hunger. Snacking is an emotionally fuelled state of mind and is targeted at satisfying mouth hunger. Unlike lunch or dinner, meals that occur at roughly the same time each day and cater to stomach hunger snacking is serious business for an Indian. At the start of this branding program, Landor was sent the first eatable samples of Timepass. To kickoff, we held a secret taste test at the office. Each respondent was asked to go from one end of the table to another, tasting the samples one at a time from bags with concealed names and write down their first reaction to the taste once they’d finished it. A majority of the respondents loved the taste and had similar reactions to the strong, familiar flavours that Timepass had. We observed that with each sample, the facial expressions changed dramatically and these became our best first-hand observation of how the packs might look – based on this emotionally driven response to the sampling test.
Our biggest challenge was a complicated portfolio architecture given the wide flavour spread of the Timepass range as well as the numerous formats Britannia wanted to launch it in. After multiple rounds of design strategy and thinking, Landor and Britannia locked in on a common fixed and flexible asset system to bring the entire range to life, one pack at a time. Each pack features 3 critical elements: (i) facial expressions, (ii) an ownable colour palette, (iii) clear typography and callouts. Using facial expressions as the base concept of each pack, we explored a range of illustration styles and localized on a modern, contemporary, flat style that worked across the Timepass range. Each facial expression consists of recognizable and relatable facial features, namely the eyes and the mouth that change to best depict the flavour. Each expression speaks to a different emotion, closely linked to the ones we first observed during the tasting session.
Customer immersion and market research revealed that competitors typically owned colours such as red, blue, yellow and green. Establishing shelf standout and distinctiveness would be challenging, in India’s chaotic retail environments, if Timepass were to use similar colours. We scanned the colour spectrum and found an unlikely opportunity for Timepass – purple. No salted snack company in India could credibly own the colour purple or had previously tried to do so. We combined this element with a secondary palette of familiar colours that customers typically use to differentiate between flavours at points of sale. This unique treatment gave birth to a first-of-its-kind 2 colour system that could stretch across any Timepass flavour and format.
Finally, we used big, blocked typography to ensure that the packs are clearly legible from a distance and flavour callouts can be read and interpreted easily. We took into account store shelves as well as the more common, vertical streamers that smaller stores use. We also named each variant with a combination of fun words and flavour nomenclature to truly pay homage to our culturally famous, Chatoora attitude. Chatoora comically refers to an Indian’s endless appetite for snacking on spicy, tangy food that is flavour rich, all day long.
Timepass has been a runaway success for Britannia and has prompted investments in a second manufacturing facility to tackle growing demand and manage distribution effectively for growing markets in India.