Parle looks to boost premium biscuit portfolio

Tags: News
Parle Products, the maker of Parle-G glucose and Monaco biscuits, will soon launch a range of premium cookies to cement its hold in the Rs 12,000 crore biscuit market, where it competes with Britannia Industries, ITC and Kraft. All new variants will be priced at around Rs 15 for an 82.5 gm pack, said analysts and industry experts.

The Rs 6,000 crore biscuits maker is launching flavoured cookies to take on Britannia’s Good Day. When contacted, Pravin Kulkarnii, general manager for marketing at Parle Products, said the company wants more volumes in the premium cookie segment and plans to launch a new set of cookies within a month. However, he refused to give any detail on the new launches.

“This is basically to extend the franchise. It is a strategy to fill in the gaps. The company is also using the goodwill of the mother brand to get shelf space,” said Sunil Alagh, founder and chairman of SKA Advisors. Parle is under pressure as its mainstay glucose segment has shrunk as a proportion of the market size, while its presence in the premium cookies segment has been limited to its offerings such as Hide & Seek, Milano among others.

In the premium segment, the firm last introduced four new variants under Hide & Seek — are mint, coffee, orange and choconuts. Parle is also targeting Britannia’s Jim Jam with a new ‘Jammin’ range of cream biscuits. Higher priced products have better profit margins allowing it to better defray changes in the cost of inputs such as milk powder, sugar, flour and chocolate, which have seen high volatility in the recent past.

Industry estimates say the cookie category is growing in excess of 15-20 per cent, while the staple glucose biscuit category, which accounted for over 60 per cent of the biscuit market until a few years ago, has shrunk to as much as 29 per cent. The major gainers in market share have been cookies, crackers and cream biscuits.

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults says Parle, which is known as a mass-market player, could face problems trying to make a major headway in the premium category. However, the multibrand strategy adopted by Parle as evidenced by the success of its Hide & Seek and Milano range shows that the company is learning the ropes of the game.

meghnamaiti@mydigitalfc.com

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