Has Biscuit Manufacturer BritanniaIndustries Found a Fresh Recipefor Growth?
Published: January 09, 2009 in India Knowledge@Wharton
For more than a decade, biscuit manufacturer Britannia Industries has called onconsumers to "Eat Healthy, Think Better." Now, emerging from a period of internalcrisis and preparing to address a larger slice of India's growing food space, the 90-year-old Bangalore-based company is taking on a new slogan:
Zindagi mein Life
.Translated literally from Hindi, the new slogan means "adding life to life" -- or, asmanaging director Vinita Bali puts it, "adding enjoyable vitality to life."According to Bali, who has been at Britannia's helm since 2005, "Over the past fewyears, as we looked at what we stand for and what we could stand for, we felt that if our promise to consumers [is to] make products that are not just enjoyable but alsogood for them, then we need to make that promise come alive through ourproducts."This is perhaps best exemplified by Britannia's decision to remove 8,500 tons of trans fat from its biscuits in the last year, making them completely trans fat-free.The company was under no regulatory compulsion to do so; in fact, it is the onlybiscuit manufacturer in India to have taken such a step. Over the last few years,Britannia has also fortified many of its products with vitamins and micronutrientssuch as iron. Currently, 50% of its products are fortified.Positioning the Britannia brand as both enjoyable and healthy is core to Bali's growthstrategy. She stresses that Britannia is not in the "health food" business, but rather"in the business of delight and enjoyment," competing not only with other biscuitsbut also with savories, chocolates and other snacks.By marketing itself as a healthier alternative, however, Britannia seeks to sharplydifferentiate itself from other brands -- and that move has paid off. Last September,Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates included Britannia's fortified snacks ina list of eight examples of 'creative capitalism' published in
magazine. Thecompany was also recently recruited to participate in former U.S. President BillClinton's campaign against childhood malnutrition through the high-profile ClintonGlobal Initiative.