Tuck is excited to partner with PepsiCo India for the Tuck Pepsi Case Competition. University teams of four to five are eligible to apply. Please submit team member names and résumés to the Tuck Emerging Markets Conference.
Challenges: Kurkure's imitators and negative press
PepsiCo India’s Kurkure product line currently faces two key challenges:
- Copycat Products: Every Company has its own “Kurkure” B
Because of Kurkure’s success in the Indian snack market, local copycats are mushrooming. “Kurkure” has subsequently become a commodity name in the snack category, with competitors offering their own “Kurkure”. To combat this situation and differentiate its product, PepsiCo has launched numerous different flavors and packages – but it still faces Kurkure imitators produced by local companies.
- Malicious Social Media: ‘Plastic’ Kurkure
Inernet penetration and social media usage is growing rapidly in India – introducing both marketing opportunities and challenges. In 2105, a YouTube video claiming that Kurkure contains plastic went viral – damaging PepsiCo India’s Kurkure brand. PepsiCo responded by publicizing Kurkure’s ingredients, collaborating with micro-influencers and bloggers, and organizing visits to Kurkure’s factories. However, the brand is still recovering from the negative press.
Case: Rebuilding the Kurkure brand
Case competition participants should prepare a 5- to 7-minute presentation that answers two key questions:
- What additional steps can PepsiCo India take to differentiate the Kurkure brand from local imitators?
- Beyond the company’s current strategy, how can PepsiCo India combat false and negative social media about Kurkure? How can PepsiCo maximize the impact of this branding campaign through viral marketing?
Background on PepsiCo India
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown into one of the largest food and beverage businesses in the country. PepsiCo’s growth in India has been guided by “Performance with Purpose,” its goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In pursuit of this mission, PepsiCo’s presence in India is centered around several key pillars:
- Strong brands representing a growing portfolio of wholesome snacks and beverages. PepsiCo’s products in India include iconic international brands (such as Pepsi and Lay’s) and eight organically-grown local brands that have become household names.
- Dedication to environmental and social impact. PepsiCo is a leader in water conservation in India, saving more than 12.75 billion liters of water. The company also creates positive social impact through partnerships with and support for over 24,000 farmers.
- Exemplary best practices. PepsiCo India directly employs 6,400 people and provides indirect employment to almost 200,000 people. It also provides leadership development through programs including its “College of Leadership.”