Complete Marketing Strategy and Saffola’s Success – A Case Study

Updated on: Sep 11, 2023
Marketing Strategy of Saffola - A Case Study

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

Practical assignments, case studies & simulations from Harvard Business Review helped the students from this course present this analysis.

Building on this practical approach, we are now introducing a new dimension for our online digital marketing course learners - the Campus Immersion Experience.

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Saffola is a huge household name in India. It is a brand that has been trusted by generations of Indians for its high-quality products and commitment to heart health.

The brand’s products are designed to help people live healthier lives, and its marketing campaigns are focused on raising awareness on important health issues.

Saffola is a brand that is passionate about its mission. This case study deep dives into knowing about Marketing strategy of Saffola, its target audience, the 4P of the marketing mix and campaigns undertaken by them. So let us first know about Saffola as a brand in the coming section.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

About Saffola

Marketing Strategy of Saffola - A Case Study - About Saffola


Saffola was founded in the 1960s by Harsh Mariwala but it did not gain widespread popularity until the 1990s when the brand decided to reposition it as a healthy alternative to other cooking oils.

Saffola is owned by Marico – One of India’s leading FMCG companies in the global beauty and wellness space. Marico has continuously strived to bring innovation to its customers through sustainable developments in its operations. 

Marico believes in challenging the established order and strives for growth and continuity in change. 


Marketing Strategy of Saffola - A Case Study - About Saffola


At present, one in three Indians uses a Marico product. It exists in more than 25 countries across the continents of Asia & Africa. Saffola, being the flagship brand of Marico, is considered to be a leading healthcare brand today. 

The brand has undergone a transition from being curative to preventive heart-care edible oil, which has been reflected in its communications too. 

Now that we know a little more about the brand, let us go through the latest updates of Saffola – 

What’s new with Saffola?

Want to know why Saffola has made it into headlines recently?

Here are all the updates summed up for you –

  • Saffola Oats launched its limited edition pack for the festive season of Onam.
  • Zee Bangla and Saffola Soya Chunks Partnered Up to Host an Exciting Culinary Competition.

Buyer persona of Saffola

The buyer persona of Saffola shares the description of its customers. The table below illustrates customer’s lifestyles, pain points, and reasons for purchasing Saffola’s products.

Buyer’s Persona






25 years




  • Wants to stay healthy.
  • Wants to lose weight and improve their overall health.
  • Wants to cook healthy meals for their family.
  • Wants to make informed choices about the food they eat.

Interest & Hobbies

  • Cooking, fitness, and spending time with family.
  • Reading health and wellness magazines.
  • Attending health and fitness events.

Pain Points

  • Concerned about their health and weight.
  • Finds it extremely difficult to make healthy choices.
  • Not enough time to cook healthy meals.
  • Don’t know enough much about healthy cooking.

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Tinder

Marketing Strategy Of Saffola

Saffola’s early marketing campaigns used stark imagery and messaging to warn consumers about the dangers of oil.  Here’s a glimpse of their old ad – 

However, in recent years, the brand has shifted its focus to more positive and encouraging messages. The brand now emphasizes the importance of making small changes to your lifestyle, such as eating healthier and exercising regularly. 

Marico has positioned Saffola as a high-quality edible oil with heart-friendly properties as ‘Good for your heart’. The brand’s marketing taglines revolve around the same lines –

“Life Insurance for Heart”, “Swasth Parivaar Ke Dil Ki Dhadkan” etc.

For over half a century, Saffola has been one of the best edible oil brands in India. Modifying its product packaging and reviving its marketing approaches assisted the brand in staying relevant in the market and gathering a huge audience.

Some of the marketing strategies of Safolla which has helped it to stay on the button are:

  • Fear Marketing with High Recall Value

Saffola enjoys a strong recall value from both, its potential as well as loyal customers who uphold their faith in this brand due to the fear marketing concepts it instils in the marketing campaigns for a long time now.

  • Strong traditional marketing channels 

Saffola has a strong hold over its traditional channels, 

Why? – Because this brand has created some unforgettable ad campaigns over the years. 

For example: their TV commercial for Saffola Masala Oats, which featured the tagline “Fast Food Wale Mood Ka, Guilt Free Jawab”, was a major success. 

The commercial is simple yet effective, and it resonates with Indian consumers who are looking for a healthy and guilt-free alternative.

Saffola also has a great OOH strategy, their billboards are often located in high-traffic areas, and they feature eye-catching visuals and messages that are relevant to their target audience. 

Here’s an example for you – 

Marketing Strategy of Saffola - OOH Ads

(Source: Afaq’s)

Saffola’s use of traditional channels has been effective in building brand awareness and trust among consumers. The brand’s advertising campaigns, consistently creative, have made it a household name.

Digital Marketing Strategies 

Digital Marketing has become the new normal for businesses to advertise their products. Saffola is one of the brands that has demonstrated how companies can leverage the power of digital marketing.

Let’s break down Saffola’s digital marketing strategy:

Social Media Strategy: Saffola has 16k followers on Instagram. Although their official Instagram account is inactive. The account consists of giveaways, contests & some creatives of the brand.

SEO Strategy: Saffola also has a website with a Domain Authority of 21 which means they are still building up their entire SEO strategy. 

Here’s a complete analysis of Saffola’s monthly traffic along with their domain authority – 

Marketing Strategy of Saffola - Saffola's SEO Statistics

Source: Ubersuggest  (Statistics – September 2023)

Ads strategy: Saffola is currently running ads on Social Media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. As of September 2023, they are running ads to promote their 40 Under 40 Campaign. Ads can be beneficial to get more traffic and leads.

To sum it up – Saffola is slowly starting to shift its focus on increasing its digital presence.

Marketing & Advertising Campaigns

Saffola’s strategy when it comes to adverts, revolves around promoting fitness. They want their consumers to maintain a healthy lifestyle and live better longer lives. Let us look at some of the popular campaigns of Saffola –

Saffola – 40 under 40 campaign – August 2023

Saffola teamed up with TOI to launch its 40 under 40 campaign. This campaign is aimed to raise awareness of taking health more seriously especially among youngsters. 

TOI has a dedicated website for this initiative which walks us through the main aim of the campaign and includes quizzes where people can access their calories and lifestyle score.

Here’s a glimpse of their campaign which features Indian actress Mandira Bedi who is an advocate for health & fitness.

Saffola Masala Oats – Karara Jawaab

Saffola partnered up with TV celebrities like Shweta Tiwari, Twinkle Vasisth & more for its #KararaJawaab campaign. 

The ad features a behind-the-scenes walkthrough of the sets of their respective shows where the actresses answer questions about their show life while enjoying a bowl of Saffola masala oats.

This campaign is a creative way to connect with women and is likely to resonate with the masses who are interested in celebrity lives.

Here’s a glimpse of the commercial –

Marketing Mix of Saffola

The marketing mix model popularly knows as 4Ps, is a way to understand a business and its marketing efforts. It helps you evaluate key areas of the business on the parameters of 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. So let us go through Saffola’s 4Ps of marketing mix strategy in the coming section.

Product Strategy of Saffola

Saffola has a variety of products to offer such as Oils, Oats, Ayurvedic products, Protein Products etc, categorised under the section of Mid-morning snacks, meals and snacks. This is the basic product strategy framework that Saffola focuses on.

Marketing Strategy of Saffola - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Product Strategy


Saffola’s farming methods do not pollute the crops, soil, underground water or the air. In addition, the brand undertakes in-house production and doesn’t opt for outsourcing thus resulting in quality products.

Even at a time when the affluent Indian’s obsession with health is leading them to buy super-premium olive oils at two or three times the price, Saffola is meeting the challenge with new blends like Aura combination of olive and flaxseed oil. 

Price Strategy of Saffola

Saffola has different products to suit different customers. Marico’s reasoning is that since Saffola oil commands a premium of 10-15% over other edible oil brands, the company is able to cater to the demand of all the customers from different purchasing power groups by offering a variety of products. 

The company wants to leverage the Saffola brand equity through brand extension. Saffola’s increase in market share is despite the fact that it is available at a higher price point than the rest. With upbeat demand for fresh buying owing to marriage and festive seasons in India.

Place & Distribution Strategy of Saffola

Marico has a very large existing distribution network. They use that same network for the distribution and tried to place Saffola initially at high-value outlets and gradually, after moving to different price categories, they increased the reach of the product to general stores. Most of the rural areas still remain untapped. 

However, numerous e-commerce websites offer Saffola products at considerate discounts which kind of taps the rural area but with less effectiveness.

Saffola is using a variety of distribution channels to reach out to people. Where, wholesale distributors, big malls, grocery stores act as key distributors in their distribution cycle to effectively meet the demands of the customer 

Promotion Strategy of Saffola

Saffola cooking oil reinforced the need for a product that was ideally, ‘healthy for the heart’.

  • They, in fact, started streaming testimonials with doctors, persuading people to make informed decisions.
  • Advertisements focused on targeting consumers having heart, blood pressure and health problems.
  • To build trust amongst high-income groups, they showed Saffola as a branded oil

This clever appropriation of the space with communication that triggered the fear of almost losing a loved one to a heart attack did the trick. Saffola today equalizes with preventive heart care in the country. 

So this is how Safolla plays out its marketing mix strategy, Let us now go through the main marketing strategy that it implements for better brand connect and high brand reinforcement in the mind of the customers.

With this we have come to an of this case study, Let us go through the final summary of the research in the coming section.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

Top Competitors

Let’s take a look at Saffola’s competitors –

Fortune: Fortune is owned by ITC. It is one of the biggest competitors of Saffola. Both brands have the highest market share in India. 

Patanjali: Patanjali is a popular ayurvedic brand in India. The brand has diversified its products and seen an increase in demand in recent years due to its affordable prices.

Sundrop: Sundrop oil is known for its quality in India. It is owned by Agro Tech Foods Limited (ATFL).

Dhara: Dhara has a strong brand image in India. Known as one of the oldest oil brands in India, this brand is a strong competitor of Saffola. 

Failed Campaigns of Saffola –

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) banned Saffola’s “Life Insurance” campaign in the 1990s. The campaign included graphic visuals which some users might have found disturbing and was flagged to be misleading by ASCI. 

Saffola has changed its campaign tone to a more positive one.


The Saffola brand from Marico is the market leader in edible oils in India. For over 30 years, it has stood for purity and trust among consumers. The brand started with oil products and soon became a versatile, trusted platform built around the leading edible oil products of today.

The brand has placed its products very well in a wide range of categories and has all the proper marketing instruments in place to promote its products. Thus keeping all the base covered up, be it digital or professional.

Liked our work? Interested in learning further? Do check our website for more. Also, if you’re interested in Digital Marketing, you can check out our Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah.

Let us know your thoughts on this case study in the comment section below. Thank you for reading, and if you liked our then do share this in your circle. 

Until then, See you next time!

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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