Ready-to-cook brands up AdEx to make inroads in India

As acceptance for convenience food is rising, top brands have focussed their marketing on TV and Digital to expand their reach

by Kanchan Srivastava
Published - February 23, 2023
3 minutes To Read
Ready-to-cook brands up AdEx to make inroads in India

In June 2021, when McCain Foods India launched its digital campaign “Snack-O-Clock”, its narrative was built on the multiple snacking occasions at Indian households due to the Covid-induced lockdowns. 

The marketing strategy of McCain, which is known for its Frozen French Fries, Potato Products and Desserts, evolved quickly expanding to TV, OTT, influencer collaborations and on-ground activations. The brand was the top most advertiser on TV channels in FY22 in terms of advertising spend, according to statistics obtained from TAM. 

Amul, Sri Bajrang Alliance, Godrej Tyson, Elite, Olives from Spain, Baramati Agro were among top advertisers on TV while ID Fresh, Pesca, Nupa, Vezley and Sugna Food ruled the digital domain. 

(Top 10 ready-to-cook advertisers in India in FY22)

Strong growth leading to increase in marketing spends

According to the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Services (IMARC) report, the Indian frozen foods market size reached Rs 14,400 crore in 2022 and is likely to reach Rs 35,300 crores by 2028 at 16% CAGR. The market consists of frozen vegetables, fruits, vegetable snacks and meat products. 

Changing consumer tastes and increasing adoption of ready-to-cook products are helping fuel the frozen food market in India and the growth trend has continued even after the decline of the pandemic.

While marketing blitzkrieg helped in the penetration of frozen foods across the country, Indian consumers are also increasingly experimental, especially GenZ, who don’t mind spending extra for convenience and innovative food items.

The growth of the frozen food industry is driven by multiple factors like convenience, changes in food habits, growth of modern trade, and increased penetration of refrigerators at retail shops, Saurabh Shrivastava, Senior Client Partner & National Business Growth, dentsu X India. 

“The consumers' perception of ‘frozen is not fresh’ is changing. 

Besides, development of the cold chain infrastructure in India and constant support are further propelling the market. Observing the potential of the category, many new players are entering the category with a wide range of products with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and this will further accelerate growth,” says Srivastava.

Rapid growth of the frozen food market has also led to an increase in advertising spends of the ready-to-cook brands. With the new and expected entrants into the category, ad spends will see more than 20% growth in the next few years, Srivastava opines. 

Visual ads of food more appealing 

Several research reports have established that anticipation of the taste and texture through food visuals is extremely important in building desired perception and persuasion in the food category. 


That's why television advertising holds a majority of the share in the ready-to-cook brands ad spend, however, digital video is also catching up fast, Srivastava underscored. 

“The growth in content consumption across video platforms including OTT and increased engagement with social media amongst millennial moms are making advertisers and media planners rethink their media mix. As occasions are key to driving brand relevance & intent, there is increasing focus on always-on-digital approach and moment marketing,” he noted. 

Marketers are also harnessing food bloggers, creating and curating content, along with TVCs to create the brand cut-through and deliver the desired brand message.