You are on page 1of 2

Will Parle-G be relevant to the next generation?

When you own the largest-selling biscuit brand in the world, what do you do next? That's a question that may not quite keep the Chauhans of Parle Products awake at nights, but it sure may have popped up a few times in the boardroom, if not at the dinner table. After all, when a biscuit brand that's close to completing 75 years finds itself in a near-monopoly population at a time when the demographics are skewed hopelessly towards the youth — three fourths of the population is under 35 — you have to wonder: Will today's youth still be chomping on Parle-Gs a couple of decades down the road? `Perhaps with tomorrow in mind, Parle Products recently launched an advertising campaign — the first in a decade — to hunt down 'Kal ke Genius.' Created by Ogilvy India and shot by Chrome Pictures, the campaign made waves online overnight — or perhaps even before that. Law & Kenneth which managed the social media campaign for the brand, used hashtag, #BeCurious, to talk about the campaign and it was among the Top 5 trending topics on Twitter worldwide for a couple of hours after launch. If Parle has to make a noise in the market, it is also because of the presence of two formidable rivals in the glucose segment — Britannia BSE 1.63 % and ITC. As of June 2012, Nielsen data indicates the former had a share of 8.7% and ITC BSE 0.09 % 8.3%. Parle still rules the roost with a 79.4% share, but with both the competitors armed with deep pockets, the battle is going to rage on for some time to come. Along with competition, the glucose segment itself stands the risk of getting crowded out by a basket of newer options, from oat and ragi cookies to digestive and milky biscuits. Agrees Ajay Chauhan, executive director, Parle Products: "Consumers today have acquired a taste for 'variety', which is seen by the success of multiple biscuit variants across price points. As consumer preferences evolve, the market for biscuits as a whole will increase but the relative share of different categories might change," he says. Adds Nabunkar Gupta, founder, Nobby Brand Architects: "Glucose has a healthy imagery in consumers' minds and today the health platform has gained more voice than ever. The new ad campaign will immediately draw a larger number of customers into the space as well as refresh the connect with the existing customers." So does Chauhan see Parle-G holding on its dominant position in the next decade? "Every category needs some innovations on a periodic basis, so does glucose. However, just because people have acquired the taste of fast food like burgers and pizza they have not stopped consuming dalroti. Similarly, glucose biscuits are a part of the Indian staple diet. While other categories emerge, glucose biscuits will always be present," says Chauhan. Gupta for his part says that so well entrenched is Parle-G in consumers' minds that the company may find it difficult to make a mark in other segments. According to industry estimates, the biscuit market was worth Rs 15,000 crore till September 2012, with glucose accounting for 30% of this segment. While variants and brands have been launched in the cream and cookies category, the glucose category hasn't seen any recent launches. Parle-G launched ParleG Gold in May 2012, a premium glucose biscuit which, according to the company, is heavier than Parle-G and has a richer formulation. Britannia Tiger and ITC's Sunfeast Glucose are the two branded competitors against Parle-G, apart from a number of unbranded local players that operate regionally.

"Neilsen only tracks 25. Parle-G biscuits are sold in more than 5 million retail stores. 1 billion packs of Parle-G are produced monthly. marketing head.000 urban. Along with reach. whereas Parle-G has a reach even in villages with a population of 500. but as there was an immediate impact on volumes. According to a recent report in ET. another big reason for Parle-G being a winner is its adoption across the socio-economic strata. the price was increased marginally to Rs4. From mid-90s to mid-2000 the price of Parle-G remained unchanged. 400 million Parle-G is produced daily. Parle Products challenges the numbers. "One pack of Parle-G gives 400 gm calories to a person and is equivalent to one meal.1 . railways or factory canteens. they would cover the Earth's circumference 192 times. the company went back to Rs4. Parle-G facts If a month's production of Parle-G biscuits are stacked side-by-side. 4. "A lot of non-biscuit consuming customers start eating Parle-G when they first enter the category. Rs 10. Rs 4." Shah says that Neilsen doesn't include hotels. The brand is even available in villages with a population of 500. Rs 5.25 lakh kms can be covered. the glucose category grew lesser than cream biscuits and cookies during the April to September 2012 period. The Rs1 to Rs4 packs are available only in Tier 2 & 3 cities and the rural markets. The numbers reported are not accurate and far from the truth. Tier 1 and Class 1 towns retail outlets.551 Parle-G biscuits are consumed per second.50. Parle-G sells more than all the biscuit brands sold in China which is the fourth largest biscuit market in the world. In 2008. The pricing strategy has also taken the price-sensitiveness of these consumers into account. canteen store departments.Parle-G's distinction as the largest selling biscuit brand is also because of its strong distribution network that covers over 6 million retail stores in the country. In the last three years. Parle Products." says Pravin Kulkarnii. Rs 2. which are also among the many places that Parle-G is available. From 1994 to 2008 Parle-G was priced at Rs4 a pack. However Mayank Shah. Rs 20 and Rs 50. Today Parle-G is available at Rs 1. the distance between Earth to Moon of 7. If all Parle-G biscuits consumed annually are put endto-end. Rs 3." says Kulkarnii. the company has reduced the weight of the packs but not changed the price. group product manager.