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Masuum baby food – a positioning conundrum

Mahadevan S. (Indus Business Academy, Bangalore, India)
Jayanthi Thanigan (Department of Marketing, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal, India)
Srinivasa Reddy N. (Department of Marketing, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal, India)

Publication date: 7 February 2023

Issue publication date: 27 March 2023


Research methodology

Primary and secondary data.

Case overview/synopsis

This case is set in the year 1987 when many parts in India were milk deficient. Seasonal and cyclical shortages were more of a norm. There were however early signals that the cooperative dairying model across the country was gaining momentum and the milk production in the country was poised for a sharp upswing.

Masuum baby food is a winning brand in Shalanda Milk Foods portfolio with a top-line revenue of Rs 300m per annum, contributing to 60% of the firm’s revenue and registering a healthy 14% annual growth.

The brand was used as an additive for tea and coffee, a purpose for which it was not intended, apart from it being used as a baby food, which of course was the intended purpose.

The World Health Organisation had proposed a code which among other things proscribed brand advertisement and promotion of baby food with a view to promote mother’s milk for infants.

Though the brand sales seemed to continue to grow, thanks to demand operating above supply, there was a realization that the brand could head into an identity crisis and the fact that it cannot speak for itself could be damning.

The protagonist in the case came up with a strategy to launch a new brand with the same composition as Masuum and in a controlled manner transfer volume from Masuum to new brand. Even while appreciating the protagonist’s recommendation, the Managing Director exhorts him to come up with a stronger rationale for launching a new product and review whether it constitutes a comprehensive solution.

Complexity academic level

This case can be used at the Master’s in business administration level in the Marketing Management course. This case should be scheduled after covering topics on segmentation, targeting, positioning and brand.

This case can also be used to introduce case methodology as it follows the framework of sharply defining a problem, explaining the relationships amongst variables, identifying and evaluating solution choices, and recommending the most effective.



Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


S., M., Thanigan, J. and Reddy N., S. (2023), "Masuum baby food – a positioning conundrum", , Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 290-313.



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