How Utopeia’s #IndiaKhayegaHeroVeg helped Reliance Fresh increase consumption of fresh vegetables

Case study by Utopeia & Reliance Fresh aimed to boost consumption of fresh vegetables while managing inventory submitted under the category: 'Best Offline-Online Integrated' for LI Digital Awards 2017


The Client

Reliance Fresh is India’s leading neighbourhood retail chain, synonymous with freshness & savings. With the three core promises of Fresh Hamesha, Available Hamesha and Savings Hamesha, Reliance Fresh is a one-stop-shop for fresh shopping, fresh savings and fresh happiness. Reliance Fresh has consistently appeared in the list of ‘Most Trusted’ Service brands in India by Brand Equity and is ranked No. 2. They offer a convenience of shopping everything that one may need for their home – be it fresh fruits & vegetables, rice, dals, oil, packaged food, bakery, dairy item, frozen, pet food, household cleaning items, specialised beauty & personal care products from a single virtual store.

The Agency

Utopeia is a new independent agency. Which means it does not have baggage to do things in a particular way. Nor are there rigid processes to follow. The only thing we look towards is results. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure our clients have the best solution in order to achieve their marketing objectives. Strategy is at the core of everything that we do and digital is always at the heart.

Since Utopeia is known as a marketing solutions provider, we don’t always receive digital briefs. We receive briefs with business objectives and challenges and we try to solve them through creative digital solutions. Utopeia’s digital work has enabled many brands across diverse businesses, categories and budgets in India to adopt digital solutions as it has successfully impacted the core business of many non- digital brands.

Problem Statement

Influence a shift in buying veggies from Sabzi Mandi to fresh greens at Reliance Fresh.

India’s favorite neighborhood supermarket Reliance Fresh has been successful in becoming synonymous with everyday essentials at best price. The store has become the go-to destination for household shopping, budget deals, great offers especially in categories like staples, home supplies, and packaged foods. However even the brand’s most consistent promise of offering best value could break some of Indian consumer’s traditional shopping habits.

We were faced with a threefold challenge.

  1. For the longest time, when it comes to Sabzi, the local sabziwala is still the trusted player; nobody can beat the local mandi’s price and freshness.

Our consumer mindset is conditioned to believe that best value for greens & veggies is only available at local markets that have the unshakeable association of budget shopping.

  1. SastiSabzi and malls don’t sit together in many consumer minds. Modern supermarkets enjoy a popular rapport with housewives for a lot of categories but there is still skepticism that veggies could actually be cheaper than local market.
  2. It didn’t help that many Indians still believe that the lowest price is only achievable only after some industrious haggling/bargaining.
  3. Another challenge we faced was the rapidly perishable life of veggies, making in-store inventory management of fresh veggies rather difficult. Preserving the freshness and avoiding wastage was a day-to-day task for the store staff.

The core of the ‘FRESH’ business – good old Sabzi had taken a backseat. For, Reliance Fresh, this meant losing out on almost 35% of business that comes from its core business of fresh produce.

Key Challenge: We needed to not just show people our competitive pricing, but change their entire behavior around buying and consuming Sabzi.

Identified Objectives

In order to meet these challenges, we zeroed in on a threefold objective to meet with marketing & communication:

1: Increase the basket size of vegetables bought at the store.

2: Influence more consumption of Fresh vegetables.

3: Manage the inventory flow to avoid wastage and preserve freshness.

The Strategy/Execution

Create an exclusive hyper competitive property only and only for vegetables.

We took a closer look at the very source of the problem. Our research found that Indian homemaker continue to take immense pride at buying groceries at the best price they could “get their hands on”.  Their mindset was conditioned to believe that the best deal is always measured by value first and quality second. And hence the trusted place to get this was always the local unorganized sabzi mandi.

Our Mumbai wide research conducted via workshops further told us that consumption of veggies inside the home was also stuck in some traditional patterns. 2 key barriers were:

Barrier 1: The perception that buying too much will lead to dwindling freshness and difficulty in storage.

Barrier 2: Sabzi meant roz ka khaana hence no experiments, all innovation went into the “special food” category.

An Opportunity:

Our opportunity lied in a key category truth:

Nobody had taken the mantle of beating the competitive price of local vendors.

We wanted to answer the question ‘if not my sabziwala then who?’ for once and for all.

We found an offline-online integrated opportunity to change the game.

Offline solution in store – India’s first retail property dedicated exclusively to the lowest priced vegetable in the market.

The Big Idea 1:

Introducing HERO VEG OF THE DAY.

What was the Hero Veg of the Day, you ask?

  1. A separate in-store section dedicated to a single vegetable guaranteed at the lowest price in the entire city for that day.
  2. A permanent store property dedicated to HERO VEG where everyday one ‘veggie of the day’ was available at the lowest price - 20-25% cheaper than the market price, achieved by sourcing straight from the farms.
  3. With the back-end in a robust place and rigorous testing in pilot markets we could safely claim that nobody could match this price.

The 3 key pillars of Hero Veg of the Day:

  • Lowest Price In The City, Guaranteed
  • One Hero Veg Every Day at the Store
  • Freshest Produce only at Reliance Fresh

With a property like this we had no doubt that it was only a matter of time until discerning housewives started hoarding on HERO VEG of the day.

But wait, how could we ensure that these veggies didn’t go waste once they entered her kitchen.

Opportunity 2: We realized that when it came to feeding veggies to her family, the Indian housewife was at a serious lack of imagination. We knew just the solution to this.

Online showcase on social media – the first expert online cooking show themed on using the cheapest sabzi from your shopping bag – all with an expert twist.

The Big Idea 2:

Introducing #IndiaKhayegaHeroVeg

A web series in partnership with family favorite Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi that demonstrated new ways to consume the Hero Veg of The Day, thus ensuring that our audience did not avail the scheme in vain.

We demonstrated how she can delight her family through mouth-watering innovative recipe videos on social media that re-imagined regular veggies in innovative, never-before-seen recipes,each with a crazy twist that encouraged her to explore different ways of consumption.

Reliance_Fresh IndiaKhayegaHeroVeg idea

Creative Strategy: A Heroic Execution for Hero Veg

We did this with 4 Steps:

Step 1: Brand New Store Section across India, with a hypercompetitive promise

To start with the store, in the fruits and Vegetable section a separate section was created for Hero Veg. This was a whole new POS, created fresh for all stores across India, with the value proposition clearly mentioned and the Hero veggies tumbling out with excitement!

Step 2: Expert Celebrity Partnership and recipe innovation

With the help of expert chef Harpal Singh Sokhi we crafted different recipes. Each recipe was monitored minutely as we wanted to achieve two objectives from it.

Never before heard Innovations– With the likes of Cabbage PistaPalak Kheer, Baked Roti Lasagne & Carrot Koshimbir, we crafted recipes that were bound to get homemakers to reimagine their dinnertime menus.

Different/Multiple usages without the labour – We wanted to make sure that the video highlighted as much usage as possible of one vegetable so that homemakers could have variety in her kitchen and repurpose veggies before they lost their freshness. We demonstrated how a simple twist to the recipe could give birth to a completely new dish.

Health Quotient: When it came to veggies, health was not far behind and we believed no innovation was good innovative if it didn’t escalate the health quotient. The recipes that were created experimented with healthy ingredients, which were are available at Reliance Fresh stores.


Step 3: Social Media Rollout in tune with in-store stock

The web series of 10 videos highlighting 10 different vegetables was rolled out with the in-stock Hero Veg in maximum stores and geotargeted on Facebook. The duration of these video were approximately 5 minutes to ensure easy social browsing and consumption.

Step 4: Engagement

On Facebook & Twitter:

We drove up the engagement with interactive trivia questions around each Hero Veg of the Day and the twists of the recipes in the video.

In Store:

The film series were also played near the Hero Veg section on tablets in test Reliance Fresh stores. The printed recipes were also kept near the Hero Veg section for people to tear off and take it away with them.

Cross Promotion with Partner:

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi held special QandA on his social media channels for  people who had queries regarding ingredients or preparation style.


Good old Sabzi never looked, tasted and measured so good!


  1. The videos got the whooping reach of 7 million.
  2. The videos gathered almost 59 million eyeballswith 42k reactions.
  3. Even influential food pages and accounts shared the videos
    1. Increasing the reach of the campaign


  1. 800,000 people watched these videos with a total view time of 23 million minutes.
  2. The video “#IndiaKhayegaHeroVeg - Cabbage Pista Palak Kheer” trended on #2 position nationally for more than 24 hours on 08th December 2016, and #3 position in the weekly trends ahead of some of the biggest channels and hottest trending topics.
  3. Reliance Fresh YouTube channel experienced a whopping 227% hike resulting in a gain of 1200+ new subscribers.


  1. The hashtag #IndiaKhayegaHeroVeg generated 4 Million impressions and was one of the most talked about topic on Twitter with around 13,000 tweets with the hashtag on 25th November 2016, trending nationally for more than 7 hours.

And after an entertaining climax… there was a happy ending.

During the campaign, each HERO VEG was sold out by end of the day, eliminating the most villainous problem for a fresh produce retailer - inventory management.


It is rare that social media content contributes to a SOLD OUT inventory offline. And when the product is boring old sabzi, it’s even more noteworthy. No retailer has attempted taking on the sabziwala’s bargain on sasti sabzi. Not only did Reliance Fresh create the most competitive, offline retail property tackling this value monopoly head-on, the brand also went one step further in using social media innovatively to create awareness in multiple geotargeted markets about each Hero Veg of the Day.

It is easy to talk about trends like gourmet and exotic greens on these platforms, very difficult to spark engagement around the “everyday” and the “mundane”. The expertise and innovation that went in generating excitement around each and every in-stock veggie during that day, was thus the kind of investment that a supermarket never prioritizes in its strategy, but we demonstrated how great content is more effective than advertising in bringing consumers in.

Here’s the case study video: