Fast food chains serve up value for money in an attempt to hook customers.

Pricey food can eat away pocket money. To keep young customers from melting away, fast-food chains are going affordable and talking of value propositions.

If KFC has launched a ‘Wow Menu’ with products priced as low as Rs 25, Jubilant FoodWorks is serving up Domino’s pizzas at Rs 44. Café Coffee Day is drawing youth with desserts pegged at Rs 20 and combo meals at Rs 49.

Says Harneet Singh Rajpal, Vice-President, Marketing, Domino’s Pizza India, “In the past three quarters, there has been a slow offtake of pizzas as consumer sentiment has not been positive. During such a phase, there is massive pressure on discretionary spends, but we hope this condition improves.’’

The pizza maker is harping on its more ‘affordable’ range of pizzas that can be bought with one’s first salary, and is targeting ‘young consumers’ in its latest Television Commercial (TVC).

Burger major KFC is wooing college students and young professionals with eight new products affordably priced between Rs 25 and 35. Combo meals start at under Rs 100. In its latest TVC, the firm highlights the affordability factor with the tagline ‘25 Me Khao, Khake Bolo wow!’ (eat up for 25, and say wow).

Speaking about why companies are getting more ‘value’ conscious, business strategy consultant Harish Bijoor says, “Quick service restaurants are challenged by the kind of traffic coming into their stores. They are also trying to remain relevant to the college-going audience who tend to connect well with Rs 20 and Rs 30 price points.’’

India’s largest coffee chain CCD is targeting youngsters with limited pocket money.

D. Ramakrishnan, President-Marketing, CCD, says, “We wanted to increase the consumption pie of our consumers and wanted more people to walk into our cafes.’’ While the price of a single coffee can be prohibitive at Rs 64, a combo meal (a samosa and hot coffee) comes at an affordable Rs 49. Other food majors like McDonald’s have been limiting price increases, at 3-4 per cent, by building supply chain efficiencies and sourcing directly from farmers. Late last year, McDonald’s introduced a value lunch by dropping prices from Rs 75 to Rs 55 during peak lunch hours (noon to 3 p.m.). Its cheapest burger comes for Rs 25.

purvita@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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