Dealing with a ‘cluttered’ F&B market

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANSlife) Restaurant chain Pizza Hut recently launched its first ad campaign ‘Wow 99’ in India with popular YouTuber Bhuvan Bam. Under the campaign, the brand which have had the perception of the price point being premium, announced it’s newest range starting at Rs 99 and Rs 199.

Yashodhara Lal, Marketing Director, Pizza Hut India in a conversation with IANSlife reveals the brand strategy, the idea behind the campaign and her views on the growing competition in the field.

Excerpts from the interview:

1. Tell us about the idea behind this campaign.

Lal: Pizza Hut has always been known for two things – tastiest pizzas and our heritage and the idea of the hut as a hangout place. While we have a big focus on delivery as well since it’s a growth channel of the future, our legacy lies in our exceptional dine-in experience. So, what we wanted to do was invite people back to the hut. So, when this idea came up in the context of promoting our bold proposition of the tastiest pan pizzas at Rs 99, we thought it’s amazing and what the brand needed to do at this point of time.

2. Why was it needed?

Lal: The need is actually two-fold – one is that we wanted to communicate our value proposition as ultimately this is our value campaign – a new price point and we needed this price point to stick into people’s mind. At the same time, we wanted to do it in a very youthful and catchy manner. If you look at the ads, it communicates the message of experiencing the tastiest pizzas at Pizza Hut along with communicating the price point.

3. 99 for a pizza, is this something which was demand of the hour?

Lal: When we did our research what we found was that people love Pizza Hut but perceive our prices to be a bit on the premium side. In our research, we found that consumer resonate with Rs 99 specifically in the pizza category, if you offer pizzas in pairs. It allows consumer to come in groups and easily enjoy their favourite pizzas. It’s a sweet spot for people.

4. With so much competition, how is the brand coping with it?

Lal: We have had the perception of the price point being premium but it’s a very active category both from market leader perspective as well as new players coming in. Our way of coping has to be on two things – one is to stay true to who are. Another is to keep reinventing ourselves because the world is changing very fast. It’s a cluttered market but we continue to enjoy a lot of love and trust from our consumers. Our need for experimentation and our innovation pipeline is very strong.

For this campaign, we recognized we want something that will resonate with our millennial audience and we want to make sure generation Z is also looking at our brand the same way as everyone remembers us fondly.

5. What kind of research did you do?

Lal: In the last few years, we have done quantitative research to understand the category grow in large numbers, we do user and usage attitude studies, examine our own menu data, data from aggregator partners as well which helps us understand macro trends as well. What we have found very useful is when you just go and talk to people where we have conversations to people about their feelings when it comes to pizza and I would say this campaign is a result of that.

6. How do you see the business dynamics changing?

Lal: It is known that overall restaurant business is growing. QSR and affordable CDR is growing at a very fast pace, within that pizza continues to be one of the top choices for people. The pizza market is continuing to keep growing and we constantly see new players coming in, there are gourmet options also. As far as pizza is concerned, even cafes have pizza, so it is becoming a very known and loved food. Market only seems to grow for this category.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at



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