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iD Fresh Food: The Story They Weave Through Their Communications & Packaging
Brand Breakdown is Shopflo’s monthly 4-part newsletter, in which we deep dive into an Indian D2C brand, and understand its constituent elements to figure out what makes it tick ⏰
When you think dosa batter, few think beyond ID. A staple in Indian refrigerators, this is a brand that took a food item that was traditionally made at home, and standardized it for the masses.
A brand communicates through its branding, campaigns, and its service. This week, we understand how and what iD values in its communication.
Previously on Brand Breakdown, we discussed the adversities faced by iD, and how they turned them into lessons to implement. Few aspects that make iD such a loved company by those that use it, is their commitment to customer service, their unique packaging designs and the messaging in their campaigns. This week, we take a look at all of these.
A product is known by the design of its packaging
When it comes to packaging innovations, iD has been a disruptor in the fresh foods business. In this article, we’re picking four of our favorite ones:
The Idly-Dosa Pack: Using packets of batter used to be a bit of a pain. You’d have to cut them open and transfer it into another container to store and use (spilling some in the process). The tub version wasn’t feasible financially and had its storage limitations.
To avoid a messy encounter and keep it within the budget, iD’s packaging idea was inspired by a boat and a transformer toy. The shape of the packet is such that it serves as a pouch during transportation and storage, and a vessel during cooking when you open the zip lock.
The Grated Coconut: One of their latest innovations, after idly, dosa and vada, chutney seemed to be the only thing missing in their portfolio. And what is a good chutney without freshly grated coconut? Staying true to their philosophy of producing 100% natural products, after numerous experiments, iD decided to use nature’s own packaging for this product.
The Filter Coffee: The filter coffee product was ready and the packaging was being debated when Musthafa took a trip to Tamil Nadu with his family. Seeing the coffee being served in a cup and dabara, turned out to be the inspiration they needed, and they ended up incorporating a 3-D image on the packet.
Another criterion based on which the package was designed was ease of travel. This sachet allows their consumers to carry their favourite filter coffee along with them while travelling.
The Vada Pack: One of their most innovative packaging designs to date is their vada batter pack. Vada, a crispy, deep fried, doughnut-shaped food made of lentils, is a South Indian favourite. But even for those with expertise, creating a perfect vada with a hole in the centre is a difficult task.
During the experiment phase, they tried numerous things including using a pepsi bottle with a hole created on the cap. Three years later, they finally nailed their final design, inspired by an umbrella, which allowed consumers to create perfectly hole-ey vadas by just squeezing the batter through the spout!
The marriage of design and functionality is what makes iD’s packaging stand apart. Specifically in the fresh food category that consists of high-involvement products, reducing human effort through packing is a game changer.
Through their campaigns, iD re-emphasizes their commitment to transparency
iD’s perception amongst consumers is generally one of a human brand. From Musthafa P.C’s #JugaadStory series on his LinkedIn page (a series of small stories behind certain innovations and decisions), to their customer service and campaigns, the brand has always remained transparent about their journey.
Their most loved campaigns include #TheirLoveMixedWithOurs , Meet your Neighbour, and the iDeal Women series. Throughout these campaigns, the underlying theme has been the significance of home cooked food, and how it binds us. During the Meet Your Neighbour campaign, Musthafa sent letters to residential societies in three cities, emphasizing the joy of knowing your neighbor.
On World Idly Day in 2022, iD kicked off their 5-day ‘TransparenSee’ campaign, which offered a real-time view into its batter factory located in Bengaluru. The entire process of batter-making was streamed, from the raw material feeding area, urad dal feeding zone, fenugreek feeding zone, water fixing zone, and grinding zone, to the batter ready zone, packing zone, chiller entry point and chiller exit point.
Branding is a collective effort. Asking ‘why’ at each stage of the way, is the first step to innovation, and packaging is one arena where iD has innovated extensively. By reinforcing their values of transparency and trust through their media communications, iD has maintained the image of being a friendly, approachable brand.
As they look towards the future, data and Ai have been playing an increasingly important part in their business model, especially when it comes to wastage and ensuring freshness. More about this next week. Stay tuned, it's the last one of this month!
In the last edition of this month’s brand breakdown, we finish it off with iD’s investments, plans for the future, and how they utilize data in ensuring freshness.
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