Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mango Frooti – Growing Up Part 1

Early years

Advertising of Frooti has gone the reality route in the recent times, the ad campaign this summer is based on mango themed games, and people of different age groups are shown participating and having fun. Frooti’s reality advertising actually began last year, the ads featured giant sized mangoes were shown falling and tumbling much to the shock and surprise of passers-by who were unaware that a TV commercial was being shot. A post by Shilpi Bose on this campaign was earlier carried in this blog. Over the years Frooti’s advertising has changed a lot, so has its package – from Tetra Brik pack to PET bottle and competition; let me share some of its history, whatever I can recall.

Frooti is a 25 year old brand, at the time of its launch what differentiated it
from other soft drinks was its package; if I remember right it was the first product to be seen in India in Tetra Brik package, or Tetra pack as it is normally referred to as, which was a new form of packaging introduced by Tetra Pak. In those days PET bottles did not exist and if one wanted to have a soft drink one would have to drink it from a bottle. Another option was to prepare your own drink from a bottle of squash or syrup or use a powder concentrate. A Tetra Brik pack had certain distinct advantages which were recognized by consumers: it was light weight, unbreakable, hygienic, convenient to carry and there was no preparation required as in case of squashes and syrups. These advantages helped Frooti’s popularity to sky-rocket; it was consumed by everyone especially children though the advertising did not necessarily suggest that Frooti was a children’s drink. Frooti was heavily advertised as a mango drink, the association was very strong – “Mango Frooti Fresh N’ Juicy”, in a sense Frooti was projected as an alternative to fresh mangoes. 

 This category soon saw entry of other players as well; Volfruit from Voltas, Tree Top from Lipton and Jumpin from Godrej were launched with heavy advertising, mainly on television. Volfruit and Tree Top had other fruit variants but these brands were withdrawn soon. There were other brands in the market but were too small to make any significant impact. The association of Frooti with mangoes is so strong that one is not able to think of Frooti without thinking of mangoes, so much so that when Parle launched an ornage varient of Frooti it flopped and had to be withdrawn; this happened despite the fact that orange flavour was most popular with children in the squashes and aerated soft drink category. Later Parle launched Appy and Pingo.  The latter had two variants – pineapple & orange and pineapple & mango; Pingo did not do well either and had to be withdrawn, but Appy remained.

Advertising for Frooti and its competitors like Tree Top, Volfruit and Jumpin from Godrej (launched in 1991) were similar to soft drink ads during the initial years; the marketers were not too clear about the positioning which is understandable because the Tetra Brik category was new. However something interesting was happening in the market place – an industry professional had once told me way back in the mid 1990s that the Tetra pack category of fruit beverages had become popular with small children because of its advantages as mentioned earlier in this article, another reason could be that Tetra pack drinks were not aerated and therefore were considered safe for children. Mothers played an important role in making this category a drink for kids. The industry professional also told me that youngsters preferred to drink from a bottle rather than from a Tetra Brik pack since they considered it more adult like.

With Tree Top and Volfruit exiting the market Jumpin was the only dominant competitor to Frooti in this category. When Jumpin was launched their TV commercial also looked like a typical bottled soft drink commercial targeting the urban young adults, but the company soon realized that the positioning needs to be corrected. A TV campaign was launched which focused on children. Godrej also carried out a study in the mid 1990s to gain consumer insights, this was in the form of series of mini parties where children were invited and were served snacks and Jumpin. These parties enabled interaction between the kids and representatives of the company. The company was able to gather data on children which helped in fine tuning their subsequent advertising campaigns. In the meantime Tetra Pak introduced a slim package which was not as wide but taller, it had wider opening which enabled the consumer to drink without using a straw if he/she so desired, because of this feature it was believed that the slim pack would appeal to older children and grownups. Tetra Pak introduced many more varieties of packages subsequently.

 While the focus of Jumpin’s ad campaign was little children, Frooti’s was more broad based and innovations in packaging enabled it. 



  1. Oh yes, I remember Frooti from my childhood days! Never particularly liked the drink.

  2. Frooti's latest 'reality' ads are not impressive at all. They don't seem real and one can easily sense manipulation. Also, one has seen such 'hidden camera practical jokes' for such a long time that, one got the impression Frooti was flogging a dead horse.

  3. the articles are very informative...and i too remember those fruity packs!!

  4. I am happy that you found it informative, hope you have also read the second part of this article.

  5. This is really cool! thanks for posting these ads...really NOSTALGIC!! GO Appy!! Go TreeTop!!