Ayodhya Temple Inauguration: Brands Roll Out Grand Activations

Producers of packaged foods and beverages are initiating on-the-ground marketing campaigns to capitalise on the anticipated surge in visitors to the pilgrimage town in North India ahead of the temple inauguration


According to media reports, producers of packaged foods and beverages are increasing supplies in Ayodhya and initiating on-the-ground marketing campaigns to capitalise on the anticipated surge in visitors to the pilgrimage town in North India ahead of the temple inauguration on 22 January, 2024.

Bisleri is enhancing supplies along all road routes leading to Ayodhya and at key consumption centres. The company is also establishing a new plant in the city, scheduled to be operational in the coming months. “We are ensuring responsible consumption and disposal of used plastic in collaboration with municipal authorities. We have a new plant coming up in Ayodhya which will be operational in a few months," revealed Angelo George, CEO, Bisleri International.   

The ongoing seven-day religious rituals for the Ayodhya Ram Temple 'Pran Pratistha' ceremony, beginning on 16 January and continuing till 22 January, are expected to attract large crowds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is anticipated to inaugurate the temple, drawing a significant daily visitor influx by year-end. Companies are anticipating increased religious tourism, facilitated by recent infrastructure improvements, including a new airport and wider roads.

Manufacturers of packaged goods view such occasions as opportunities to introduce new products and generate trials for existing brands, capitalizing on the high footfall for on-the-ground brand activations.

Parle Products anticipates significant activity leading up to the 22 January inauguration. “We have significantly increased distribution across biscuits, confectionery and snacks across touch-points. Not just in Ayodhya, but even in nearby towns and cities. The company is also sampling brands across its portfolio," said Krishnarao Buddha, Senior Category Head, Parle Products.

Buddha likened the significance of the event to the Kumbh Mela, despite the Kumbh Mela spanning a more extended period and maintaining a more steady influx of pilgrims. Additionally, Parle has been a sponsor of "Ayodhya ki Ram Leela," a two-hour play presented over the course of the last two years, extending for 10 days.

Dabur India is increasing product distribution in the city, expecting a surge in demand for daily essentials. The company is also investing in on-the-ground marketing activities, establishing experience zones for brands like Real juices, Dabur Amla hair oil, and Dabur Vedic Tea, brought out Mohit Malhotra, CEO, Dabur India. Dabur has formed partnerships with roadside dhabas and eateries along the highways from Lucknow, Gorakhpur, and Varanasi that lead to Ayodhya. In this collaboration, Dabur is associating its key brands such as Hajmola and Real with these dhabas. Additionally, the company is actively conducting widespread product sampling at these locations, as stated by a spokesperson for the company.

Coca-Cola, along with its bottling partners in the state, is enhancing vending machine availability in the area and collaborating with retailers to stock up on low unit packs. Nearly 50 reverse vending machines have been strategically placed in the city, supported by additional infrastructure for 24x7 service to retailers. The focus is on offering an affordable range of Rs 10 and Rs 20 beverages.

Local kiranas in Ayodhya are stocking up on puja samagri including cotton wicks, ghee and oil, diya, camphor, rice and wheat, honey among other things ahead of 22 January. Kirana store proprietors are preparing by replenishing their stocks of packaged sweets and chocolates, with 15 per cent of retailers expecting a rise in sales during the auspicious occasion. A Kirana Club survey indicates that chips and namkeens are the third-most stocked products at kirana stores. Local stores in the city are also restocking items such as cold drinks, water, and personal care products like hair oil and soaps.

Reliance Consumer Products is intensifying distribution of brands like Independence bottled water, Campa fizzy drinks, and Alan’s Bugles to expand further into the Uttar Pradesh market.

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