Food and Beverage Sep, 19 2011

Adding value with add-ons

It has often been observed that established businesses keep on introducing new products, activities and strategies to their businesses. Pizza companies are found to be the most actively involved businesses in such innovations. Read on to know some well es

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Adding value with add-ons

Whether it is Pizza Hut of Yum! Brands or Dominos’ of Jubilant Food Works or US Pizza or Pizza Corner, almost all of them keep on playing with their menus and marketing strategies. Pizza, originally an Italian cuisine is very well accepted by the Indians. As a result a lot of national and international brands have started offering this international cuisine in India. To add to this is the emergence of franchising as the most preferred route for the expansion of the brands. Most of the pizza companies (national or international) have opted for franchising for easy and fast expansion, that has ultimately led to the lot of competition among Pizza brands. To beat the competition and to maintain the leadership all these brands are widening their menus by adding a variety of cakes, pasta, ice-creams, rolls etc. Here we will discuss the factors for widening the menus of the already loved and appreciated pizza’s and its after effects.

Need for add-ons

Food and bevarages industry is considered to be the Number One franchised industry in India. It can be attributed to the fact that India is a diverse country with people preferring varied tastes and food. Understanding this need industry experts preferred to take franchise route for expansion to make available all these foods items across India. Moreover the three-fourth youth population in India can be the major factor for the popularity and success of QSR’s, dine-ins as well as take away’s. Pizza brands which were earlier considered as a QSR (quick service restaurant) have now increased their presence to dine-ins and take –away’s also. This has been done mainly for the pizza lovers from all age-groups and from all walks of life. In addition to widening the formats, the various pizza brands have also increased their food options in their menu cards.

Pizza brands with add-ons

Presently all the pizza chains like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Pizza Corner, US Pizza, Smokin’ Joe’, Slice of Italy, California Pizza Kitchen  etc have increased their menus by adding delicacies like garlic bread, pasta, cakes, ice-creams and other rolls besides their mouth watering wide range of pizza.  Dominos can be credited with starting the trend with their pasta a few years back. Seeing the success and increase in sales post the pasta launch, other pizza chains followed suit. This has led to not only in increase in profits but also in attracting new customers to the brand. Brand owners do not launch their new offerings in their owned outlets only but also all over the franchised outlets as well.

Advantages of add-ons

Let us have a look at the various factors that have encouraged the brands to increase their food menus:

To attract more foot fall: The foremost factor for widening the menus is to attract more and more customers to the outlet. All franchisors know it that pizza usually attracts the youth. By adding food stuff like delicious pasta, cakes, ice-creams, cookies etc, the franchisors become successful in attracting the small kids and oldies as well.

Increase sales and profits: An increase in footfall automatically leads to quicker sales and profits. Adding new exotic dishes make the franchisors and franchisees earn more. The curiosity of tasting the new choco lava cake, launched by Dominos, few years back, had increased the sales across all the outlets.

To make road to smaller towns: Adding new dishes to the exotic pizza menus make it more popular among smaller cities and towns. Customers from smaller towns who do not prefer to eat pizza and other such international dishes, can be attracted to the outlets by the add-ons like delicious cakes and ice-creams etc.

Consumers prefer innovation: Eating the same thing repeatedly makes consumers tire off easily. Therefore these add-ons offers a newness and exciting range to consumers. Harneet Singh Rajpal, Vice President Marketing, Domino’s Pizza India said: “Research has indicated that in our category, consumers are always looking for new variety of offerings. While old favorites continue to charm consumers, new additions to menu give them a reason to try different tastes.”

To be ahead in competition: With the increasing number of brands in the pizza industry, any brand has to keep innovating to stay ahead in the cat race. If one brand adds to its menu, other brands also look for other add-ons to take on the competition.

Kind of add-ons for benefits

Mostly all the pizza brands increase their menus, adding new delicacies. However along with newer additions, these brands also increase flavours and varieties in their pizza section to maintain their original USP. As mentioned, Dominos and Pizza Hut were the first ones to start the trend by introducing two flavours of pasta, which became a rage among customers. The trend was followed by other brands. Another addition is the popular Choco Lava cake. The choco-lava cake has been added by mostly all pizza companies to give a touch of sweetness to their outlets. Twin flavoured softy is another attraction for kids and people having a sweet tooth. The latest in the menu of Dominos is Butterscotch mousse cake, which is also attracting increasing number of sweet lovers. Ajay Kaul, CEO, Jubilant FoodWorks Limited said, “We hope to continue to be on a growth path with the launch of the Butterscotch Mousse Cake. We are confident that like Choco Lava cake, our new dessert would also take the taste experience to a new level. Our main focus will always be Pizzas but since we believe in offering new tastes and variety to our consumers, our innovation led products like the Butterscotch mousse cake will also help us generate sales in metros as well as Tier II and III cities.”

Role of franchisees

The add-ons in menus of the franchise brand is unanimously accepted by all franchisees. A franchisor usually adds on a new dish after conducting a survey for its success. Therefore the new product is launched across all outlets, whether company owned or franchised. Franchisees seeing the success of the new product get motivated to increase their sales by advertising about it at the local level as well. This is done to make more and more people aware of the new addition in the outlet.

It would not be inapt to conclude that consumers want quality as well quantity along with variety. Introducing new food items by pizza brands in their menus will definitely increase brand value and popularity. These not only add to their sales but also make them one-step ahead from their competitors.

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