After plugging the gap in the cookie segment with a mass brand, Happy Happy, Parle Products has trained its guns on the glucose biscuit market. The company has extended its flagship brand
Parle-G with the launch of the Parle-G Gold biscuits, priced at Rs 10 for a 100-gm pack. The biscuit maker claims it is the only variant in the premium glucose category.
“The demand for premium biscuits has gone up in the country and there was no option available for the consumer in the premium glucose category. That’s where Parle-G Gold fits in, which will give its consumers a richer formulation and a bigger biscuit (6.7 gm per biscuit against the standard 4.7 gm),” says Mayank Shah, group product manager, Parle Products. “With this launch we are looking at increasing glucose category by 15 per cent over the next financial year,” he adds.
This is not the first time that the company tried extending Parle-G to the premium segment. About a decade ago it had launched Parle-G Magix with variants such as chocolate and cashew to take on Britannia. Probably the market was not ready for ‘flavoured’ glucose brand and the brand failed to take off. Over a period of time Parle-G spun off Magix as a separate brand in the affordable cookie segment. Shah says, “The glucose segment has not seen any action or any significant launch in last few years (thanks to inflation in sugar and wheat prices), thus making it a good time to launch Parle-G Gold.” Also, the biscuit category has moved from the core glucose base to more value-added products, says an observer.
The new product is currently available in and around Mumbai and the company is planning to extend its presence for Parle-G Gold across the country in phased manner, according to reports.
According to a Technopak report, the total size of biscuits market is Rs 12,500 crore annually. The market share of Parle in biscuits is around 45 per cent. The per capita consumption of biscuits in India remains low — according to estimates it is about 2 kg per person a year compared with 15 kg/person/year in the US.
Glucose biscuits is perhaps the oldest and the most popular segment in the biscuit market, contributing close to 35 per cent in volume. It is aimed largely at rural markets, while the consumption in the urban markets is driven mostly by crackers, cookies and cream biscuits. “This is driven by high acceptance (which is also due to their functional nature), affordable price points and wide distribution,” says an industry veteran. Currently, Parle-G is by far the leader in the organised glucose biscuits category with 80 per cent market share.
Parle Products has nearly 40 brands and variants across categories — glucose biscuits, premium cookie, snacks, namkeen, confectionary and so on. In the health category it has Parle Actifit Digestive Marie. The company is not planning a communication campaign anytime soon and says it will concen-trate on distribution to reach out to the relevant target group.