Page 4: Consumer dynamics
In recent years consumers of curry pastes have been predominantly in the ABC1 categories (i.e. professional people and those in higher income groupings - doctors, teachers, accountants, business managers, office administrators, etc.). The market is also largely made up of younger adults in the 25-44 year age range who are more cosmopolitan in their eating habits (rather than older people who tend to be more conservative).
As consumers have become more educated about Indian food, more and more of them have started to cook their own meals using materials and ingredients from Patak’s and other suppliers. For example, by 1998, 54 per cent of all Indian food consumers were buying their own pastes. And yet market research indicates that 65 per cent of UK adults do not currently cook Indian food at home. The main barriers to this are that:
- many people lack confidence, thinking that preparing Indian food is for ‘good cooks’ only
- many people think that there is a lot of time and effort required to produce good quality Indian food
- many people lack the knowledge of Indian cooking and of blending and using the ingredients. They are not sure about how much to cook, what to add during the cooking process, how long to cook the food for, what cooking methods to employ and so on.
Providing a solution - the new product concept
Given the growing interest in Indian food and the barriers above, Patak’s marketing strategy for its ‘curry base’ range is to meet the increasing needs of Indian food consumers for authentic ingredients by providing a product which has pre-mixed spices making it
a convenient, easy to use product which provides a quick meal.
The product concept which Patak’s has designed for its ‘curry base’ range is designed to make Indian cooking readily available to even more consumers. Patak’s has created a range of convenient, easy-to-use, one meal serving curry base pastes in a modern pack format, designed to attract new consumers. The company has also consistently sought to educate consumers about Indian cooking, particularly in the form of labelling with clear recipe suggestions. The initial launch of the new curry base range was focused on the three
most popular Indian flavours with UK consumers:
- Tikka Masala
The pastes are packed in 80g sachets which are designed to serve two people. The pastes are also attractively priced - an initial selling price of 89 pence per unit.