How is Kikkoman Planning to Mark its Presence in Indian Market

Kikkoman Soy Sauce brand will be expanding through HoReCa in India.
How is Kikkoman Planning to Mark its Presence in Indian Market
Osamu Mogi

India is one of the biggest emerging markets for global businesses and a key driver of growth in Asia. Now, a new brand called Kikkoman has decided to explore its potential in this market. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a leading world-class soy sauce brand with users in over 100 countries.

Reports from FICCI indicated that the foodservice industry would grow to Rs 5 lakh crore by 2022. The Covid-19 pandemic may have affected the momentum, but technology, innovations, and retained interest from consumers could help the industry grow. India’s table sauce market also provides a healthy outlook with a predicted market increase at a CAGR of 18 percent over the next six years.

“In our long history of the global expansion of Kikkoman Soy Sauce to foreign markets, we are now certain that Kikkoman Soy Sauce integrates well with all local cuisines wherever we introduce our product, assimilating well into the local food culture. India has a long and rich history, celebrated as one of the most complex and interesting food cultures in the world, and we are excited about how Kikkoman Soy Sauce will play a pivotal role in making all dishes served in India more delicious, inspiring a generation of chefs with new ways of enjoying food,” Osamu Mogi, Director, Senior Executive Corporate Officer, International Operations Division, Kikkoman said.

“Further, household cooking follows trends of foodservice restaurants, this is how cuisines develop and mature over time. In this respect, there is huge potential for both the foodservice and household market, as more customers will be able to experience Kikkoman in India as we progress our business,” he added.

India: An Important Growth Market

The Indian retail industry is one of the fastest-growing in the country and in the world. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. In anticipation of the next 100 years of Kikkoman, it is the most important market for the brand.

How is Kikkoman Planning to Mark its Presence in Indian Market

“The next few years for Kikkoman India, numbers are not as important, but rather the true development of human resources - our India subsidiary core team members - to create a solid management business foundation; what we do to develop the substance of the business is the most important,” Mogi stated.

“In the near future, India will be the nation that has the largest population in the world. As such its sheer scale makes it one of the most exciting markets in the world for Kikkoman. “If we think in terms of the next 50 years or 100 years, we believe sales from India will become one of the most important markets in the world, as we progress into the future,” he further asserted.

Marking Presence

Kikkoman Soy Sauce brand will be expanding through HoReCa in India. It will also accelerate its presence at both modern retail and general trade outlets in the country so as to heighten its presence in these channels. 

“There is no doubt that online presence is critical for our retail strategy. However, consumers are not yet aware of Kikkoman Soy Sauce which is naturally brewed and all-purpose, made with the traditional authentic Honjozo method. As such, physical presence is most important at retail store-level,” Mogi stated.

Brand Positioning

Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a versatile all-purpose seasoning that can be used for all cuisines, including cooking Asian, Western, and Indian dishes. Composed of only four ingredients – Soybeans, Wheat, Water, and Salt, Kikkoman’s naturally brewed soy sauce is brewed using the Honjozo method. “Our positioning is for consumers to understand that using Kikkoman Soy Sauce is key and necessary for preparing authentic Indian Chinese dishes. We shall introduce products in the retail market that encourages consumers to perceive this fact,” he said.

How is Kikkoman Planning to Mark its Presence in Indian Market

Currently, the brand has 4 SKUs of naturally brewed all-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce. It is soon planning to launch 2 SKUs of Kikkoman Oyster Flavoured Sauce.

“As we have seen in households worldwide, we believe many more people have started to challenge themselves to cook at home. Access to our recipes online is a testament to this trend. We shall therefore be developing not only more products here in India but work on “soft solutions” for our customers, which will be increasingly more important, such as recipe development which add value for all our customers,” Mogi noted.

READ MORE: QSRs Rule the Food Service Industry

Road Ahead

One of Kikkoman’s goals for India is to make soy sauce an important seasoning within Indian households, a vision successfully implemented in the US, and eventually become No.1 in the Asian sauces category by first becoming the No.1 choice of soy sauce brands in the country.

As Indian Chinese gathers pace in popularity in the foodservice sector, this shall further permeate into Indian households, and in this process, Kikkoman shall be the most preferred brand for consumers both at foodservice level and thus has direct appeal with end-customers in households - this is its India strategy.

For marketing, the brand is trying traditional methods, it is sampling its authentic soy sauce, and this year Kikkoman initiated two major plans. It introduced for the first time 100 multi-cuisine recipes in collaboration with India’s top chefs. Also, another unique concept of the “Meet Use Experience” activity for the HoReCa market, a first of its kind, is the largest sampling of Kikkoman Honjozo Authentic All-Purpose Soy Sauce in India. 15,000 bottles of Kikkoman Soy Sauce will be distributed to the largest Indian cities.

“We will focus on getting the basics right and shall continue to review our work accordingly. We believe what is important is to work to see our business steadily take shape based on following these basics,” Mogi concluded.

(To know more about what is happening in the retail, D2C, and e-commerce industry, please attend IReC.)  

Osamu Mogi
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