Chocolate and food major Cadbury India, part of Mondelez International, is set to enter the rough-chew segment in chocolates with '5 Star Chomp' in February. Cadbury is aiming for a presence across 100,000 stores in the country within a month of the launch. This would also be the first major brand launch from Cadbury after Manu Anand, the former Pepsi India head, joined the company as its India head in July, 2013.
The new chocolate bar, 5 Star Chomp, will be sold in 30-gm bars for Rs 15 in a segment that also has Mars' Snickers. The price-point will pit it against Snickers, which is available at the same price for one bar. Cadbury, however, is saying it would not be a direct competitor of Snickers. After the launch, based on the market reaction, the company may come up with packs, both smaller and bigger than 30-gms.
Cadbury 5 Star Chomp will have ingredients like the popular caramel and nougat of 5 Star, along with crunchy peanuts. The Rs 3,000-crore chocolate market has seen the rough-chew segment, denoting chocolate bars with additional crunchy ingredients, growing at a healthy rate because it is still niche, according to Abneesh Roy, analyst at Edelweiss Research.
|CHOMP ON FOR GROWTH|
Snickers was launched in India in 2008. In 2012, in an attempt to strengthen its positioning as a quick answer to stave off hunger, the company roped in the Bollywood actor of yesteryears, Rekha. The campaign is still on air, underlining Mars' focus on the brand, alongside its recently-launched Galaxy tablet bar of chocolate.
Chomp is sold as a separate brand in the UK and is caramel-based as well. But according to the company, despite the same name, Cadbury 5 Star Chomp is unlike the product in the UK both in taste and in the eating experience. "The two products are unrelated and we are not licensing the brand from the UK arm," says an official who declined to be quoted.
Analysts say that Cadbury has hedged its bets by entering a new segment with a sub-brand of one of its power products. The brand 5 Star is one of Cadbury's largest brands in India. Positioning Chomp as its sub-brand would work in saving marketing costs and increasing recall of the new brand at this stage.
Siddhartha Mukherjee, director, chocolates & media, Cadbury India says, "It will be positioned as a sub-brand of 5 Star. The launch of Cadbury 5 Star Chomp is one of the biggest launches the category will see in years. We plan to invest significantly behind this brand to generate trial in the first phase.
Our launch ambition is to be present in more than 100,000 stores in India in a month."
According to Mukherjee, Cadbury 5 Star, launched in 1969, is one of the strongest brands in the Indian portfolio, with a healthy growth over the last decade. "This launch will help widen 5 Star's play in the category by tapping into a new 'eat state' - rough-chew.
We, therefore, see Cadbury 5 Star Chomp expanding the repertoire of Cadbury 5 Star by providing a distinct functional benefit," he says. According to Mukherjee growing the repertoire is key to growing the category's consumption right now.
Roy of Edelweiss explains this as a good move by Cadbury as chocolates have started replacing traditional sweetmeats among a large section of consumers. "The market grew by about 17-18 per cent, despite a dip in the discretionary spends. Cadbury, being the market leader, has done well. This will further strengthen its position in the market and help grow the niche segment," he adds.
India is one of the fastest-growing chocolate markets, including adult consumption, given chocolate's low penetration compared to other countries. Cadbury lords over 70 per cent in market share. But in the last two years, players like Mars and Hershey, American confectionary majors, have increased their brand launches to capitalise on India.