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“Choquik: A Quickly Chocolaty Death”

Given the same product quality, i.e. the same taste, texture, color, and smell, consumers will generally prefer cheaper brands, right? If the market perceives powdered chocolate drinks as commodities, then this is true for Milo, Ovaltine and Choquik. Pricing strategies and price wars will kick in, and the cheapest brand may get the bigger market share.

This is not the case. The market considers Milo and Ovaltine as two distinct brands. Some consumers claim that Ovaltine tastes best, while some claim that the brand pales in comparison to Milo. The market talks about Milo vs. Ovaltine, like Black vs. White, two parties that vie for the biggest market share.

Where then is Choquik in the picture?

Is it inferior to Milo and Ovaltine as to its product quality? One user from says:

Why is a product that may be at par, or better yet, chocolatier than Milo, not performing as well as it should? Intuitively, a better product should translate to a better performance, but the market today says “not necessarily”.

Consider the following data:
In a forum discussion on Milo vs. Ovaltine, users were divided as to what taste best. ( •In a forum discussion on Milo vs. Choquik, users almost unanimously voted for Milo. ( Why did users vote for Milo? Interestingly, there were those who say that Choquik, contrary to the forum post above, tastes like sugar instead of cocoa. Judging from the general disposition of the voters, their perceived quality of Milo as against Choquik may be distorted by their biases. Most forum posters, however, prefer Milo because they have NEVER tried Choquik before.

Consumers are not TRYING out their product

The brand may be sweeter and tastier than Milo, or even against Ovaltine, but consumers will never know unless they try it out. This is entirely different from capturing repeat buyers. Even if Choquik succeeds in making consumers try their product, biases may distort how buyers taste Choquik. Milo and Ovaltine has been vying for the market share longer than the existence of Choquik in the Philippine market. Consumers will inevitably compare emerging brands of powdered chocolate malt drinks to either Milo or Ovaltine. In fact, there is no better benchmark for Choquik than Milo and Ovaltine. Notice how these two brands in powdered chocolate malt drink position themselves:

Milo: The Winning Energy DrinkOvaltine: For Active Minds
Milo positioned itself as an energy drink for active bodies. It appeals to active consumers and further promotes its message through sponsorships of sports clinics, and even through young iconic athletes like Japoy.Ovaltine positioned itself as a brain-boosting malt drink packed with nutritional ingredients. To make consumers aware of its message, salespersons in grocery stores even dress up in an orange graduation gown and graduation caps.

What exactly is the message that Choquik is trying to convey? To be fair, Choquik deserves merit for trying to make consumers try out—but not support—their product. Note their jingle two years ago: “Choquik, Choquik, Choquik Tikim na!”

They had a pretty straightforward message—try out our product! But why should consumers buy their product in the first place? Choquik urges consumers to try their product, but what reasons do they have to forego purchasing and consuming Milo? Consumers do not try their product for a reason and that is,

Consumers do not have a REASON to buy the brand

Because of this, the brand is wasting away its potential to capture a larger market instead of playing a minority. On the other hand, it may have an effective message that may prove to be ineffective against a saturated market. Milo and Ovaltine has penetrated the market to the point that people debate over which brand is better. These are brands that are automatically associated with powdered chocolate malt drinks...
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