It wasn’t very long ago when Maggi ran advertisements of a school kid coming back hungry after school in the evening and her mother making a bowl full of Maggi Noodles in 2 mins. Those days, Maggi had positioned itself as an evening snack. However, that position has since been vacated by Maggi and it has moved on presently to a campaign where it brands itself as a filler food for all times. Last year, it ran the “Me and meri Maggi” campaign where it showed stories of how people use Maggi to satiate their hunger at different times of the day.The evening snack space has ever since seen a lot ofcompetition with players like Kurkure, Act II popcorn, potato chips (Lays and Bingo) and biscuits (Monaco Parle-G and Brittania Marie Gold). However, two new entrants in this space have spiced things up for they are products one would not easily associate with the evening snack category. First one among them is Snickers Chocolate Bar which has finally been launched in India by Mars Inc. The other entrant is Knorr Soups which took to blanket advertising this winter season.
Knorr Soups, though in India for long, hadn’t been able to break into the Indian diet as soups were generally had only at hotels or as an appetizer when guests were called over. However, with the launch of its latest campaign this winter having Kajol as the brand ambassador, it positioned itself as a 7 pm snack to satiate the pre dinner hunger pangs. The TV commercial shows Mummy Kajol serving Knorr Soup to her kid at 7 pm in order to satisfy his hunger. It is seeking to replace the ‘unhealthy’ pre dinner snacking that Indians with their late dinner habits are used to. This gives Knorr Soups an entry into the Indian household as it provides consumers like me with a reason to buy Knorr Soups who till now hadn’t really even conjured the idea of having soup at home.

A chocolate bar, on the other hand, in the role of an evening snack poses itself as another equally interesting alternative. Snickers bars have been imported in India in trickles since long but they had not been formally launched here until now. Mars Inc launched the Snickers Bar in India recently along with a campaign titled “Hunger Bajaye Char, toh Snickers Khol Yaar”. The campaign focuses on Snickers being a snack satisfying the 4 pm hunger. The commercial shows a goalkeeper who becomes desperate with hunger as soon as the clock strikes 4 but feeds himself with a Snickers to get re-energized. However, a chocolate bar is generally had by Indians as a dessert after meal or when they want to have something sweet. To push Snickers as a snack would not be impossible for it comes from a cash rich parent but it would definitely be a very difficult task.

With companies trying to slot snacks for different times of the day, as Knorr tries to occupy the 7 pm slot and Snickers with 4pm, it is definitely going to be interesting to watch whether Indians alter their customary dietary habits to bring in soups and chocolate bars in their daily menu.

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