PR Case Studies India Sundrop Oil

PR Case Studies India Sundrop Oil

PR Case Studies India Sundrop Oil

Traditional oils like vanaspati, peanut, and mustard dominated the Indian cooking oil market in the late 1980s. This made the introduction of a new type of oil a difficult endeavor because these oils were so deeply embedded in the nation’s culinary traditions.

Sundrop, a brand of Agro Tech Foods Ltd. (ATFL), was launched in 1989 as sunflower oil. The company decided to go for sunflower oil because it was perceived to be healthy. Oil was named Sundrop, Sun came from the core product and drop was to signify purity, goodness, etc.

Sundrop was launched at a time when the edible oil market was growing rapidly, with demand far exceeding supply, making India a net importer of oils and oilseeds. To expand Sundrop, Agro Tech Foods Ltd. entered into an agreement with ITC Ltd. in 1992 to provide technical and marketing consultancy services to the ATFL because of the requisite agri-based expertise of ITC.

This case study explores the strategic public relations (PR) campaign that facilitated Sundrop’s successful entry into the Indian market, focusing on the innovative approaches adopted to educate and persuade a diverse consumer base.


ATFL made the decision to enter the cooking oil market with a product like Sundrop because it wanted to give Indian consumers a healthier option. It was a difficult task, considering the prevailing preferences of consumers and the lack of knowledge about the advantages of sunflower oil. The company had to address long-standing customer attitudes and behaviors regarding cooking oils in addition to launching a new product.

PR Strategy

Creating Awareness

Aware of the difficult task ahead in influencing consumer attitudes, a calculated public relations campaign was launched to raise awareness of the advantages of sunflower oil for health.

A key component of the campaign was showcasing sunflower oil as a healthier substitute for conventional cooking oils in stories published in prominent magazines. This was a planned action to increase interest in and credibility around Sundrop oil prior to its release on the market.

PR Case Studies India Sundrop Oil

These stories, which included quotes from scientists, dieticians, and oil technologists, greatly increased Sundrop’s credibility.

By utilizing reliable sources, Sundrop was able to reassure customers about the product’s health benefits and establish a strong foundation for its entry into the market.

Multimedia Campaign

A comprehensive multimedia campaign was initiated to introduce Sundrop oil to a wider market after launching initial PR efforts to establish credibility and awareness.

Sundrop became the “healthy oil for healthy people.

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Using television, print, radio, and eventually digital platforms, this campaign was carefully crafted to draw in a wide range of viewers. The marketing emphasized Sundrop’s health advantages in an effort to appeal to Indian consumers’ growing health consciousness.

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The successful implementation of strategic PR and marketing initiatives had a notable impact on Sundrop’s market entry and growth.

Sundrop expanded the sunflower segment from 2.71% to 23% within 6 months of its launch and to 42% by 1997. It became the largest selling sunflower oil in the branded retail segment and holds a significant market share in the edible oil market to date.

The Sundrop portfolio kept expanding with new variants to meet consumer needs.

  • Sundrop Superlite: Sundrop Superlite is a 100% Sunflower
  • Sundrop Nutrilite: Launched in 2001 as a blend of Soyabeen and Sunflower oils, it was re-introduced in 2004 as 100% Soyabeen oil
  • Sundrop Heart: Launched in 2003 in the fast-growing heart care category
  • Sundrop Goldlite: Sundrop Goldlite was launched in 2009 in the fast-growing blends category
  • Sundrop Slimlite: Cooking spray oil that helps to stay slim and healthy

Because of the campaign’s emphasis on education, consumer attitudes began to change, and many came to understand sunflower oil’s health benefits. Additionally, Sundrop received honors and recognitions, which strengthened its position in the industry.


The success of the Sundrop oil PR campaign can be attributed to several key factors:

  • Strategic Storytelling: By making the scientific data interesting and approachable, the campaign skillfully employed storytelling to inform the public about the health advantages of sunflower oil.
  • Credible Endorsements: The campaign’s messaging gained a great deal of credibility by utilizing reliable sources such as dieticians and scientists.
  • Coordinated Media Strategy: By utilizing a variety of media, the campaign was able to maximize its impact by reaching a large audience.

One of the main challenges the campaign faced was overcoming the deep-rooted consumer loyalty to traditional oils. This was addressed by focusing on health benefits, which resonated well with the evolving consumer priorities towards healthier living.

Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The Sundrop oil PR campaign offers valuable lessons for PR professionals and marketers:

  • Market research is essential for developing successful public relations strategies because it helps to understand consumer behavior and market dynamics.
  • Consumer Education: Changing attitudes and encouraging the use of products can be accomplished through effective consumer education.
  • Leveraging Media Relations: A well-coordinated media strategy, utilising both traditional and digital platforms, is essential for maximising reach and impact.


The Sundrop oil PR campaign stands out as a benchmark in the use of strategic public relations to introduce and establish a new product in a traditional market.

ATFL was able to effectively position Sundrop as a healthier substitute for conventional cooking oils by concentrating on consumer education, utilizing reliable sources, and implementing a thorough media strategy.

The campaign not only changed consumer perceptions but also paved the way for the broader acceptance of sunflower oil in India.

The lessons from Sundrop’s market entry continue to inspire PR and marketing strategies across industries, highlighting the power of well-executed public relations in shaping consumer behaviours and market trends.

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