Biscuit majors rejig brands to stay competitive

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018

Companies such as Britannia, ITC and Parle are exploring brand consolidation and rationalisation - Photo: Nagara Gopal


Britannia, ITC, Parle opting for fewer brands with sharper focus

Biscuit majors across the country are planning an overhaul of their product portfolios. If market sources are to be believed, companies such as Britannia, ITC and Parle are exploring brand consolidation and rationalisation.

Typically, such moves help companies focus on fewerbrands and push offerings through trade channels.

“We realised that a lot of our advertising efforts were being spent on multiple brands. However, rivals were focussing on one or two brands. So we undertook a rebranding and consolidation exercise,” said Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia.

For example, the company merged ‘Top’ and ‘Time-Pass’ with ‘50-50’. It also merged Britannia cookies (in the mass segment) with Tiger. The biscuit-maker earlier had more than 12 brands. Today, it has eight brands, six of which are in biscuits — ‘Milk Bikis’, ‘Marie Gold’, ‘Tiger’, Good Day’ (premium cookies), ‘NutriChoice’ (health) and ‘50-50’ (cracker and snacking).

‘Pure Magic’, ‘Treat’ and ‘Bourbon’ cater to the premium cream-biscuit segment, and company sources suggest the long-term plan is to bring these three under one fold. Some more biscuit brands may also be consolidated.

Category-based offerings

ITC, sources say, will extend the ‘Sunfeast’ brand to all core biscuit segments, like Marie (an English tea biscuit), glucose, milk, and crackers.

‘Dark Fantasy’, on the other hand, will span the indulgence space and cover products across biscuits and cakes (including ‘Yumfills’). ‘Farmlite’, catering to the health space (biscuit segment), and ‘Mom’s Magic’ in the cookies segment, will be the other two brands. ‘Delishus’ and ‘HiFi’ will be merged with Mom’s Magic.

According to Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive - Foods, ITC, the firm will look at new growth frontiers by leveraging existing brand assets.

“Given the expansion of our product portfolio, we think it is the right time to revisit our brand architecture. This has helped us identify opportunities for integrating our sub-brands into four focus brands,” he told BusinessLine in an emailed response.

Different placement

Parle Products — makers of Parle-G biscuits — is not far behind. Under its biggest rebranding exercise, it relaunched the once ubiquitous ‘Parle Marie’ as ‘BakeSmith’.

In India, Marie biscuits — considered to be a popular tea-time offering — are sold almost generically. With growth in this segment stagnating, Parle decided to reposition its offerings. “The repositioning has paid off and we are gaining market share,” said Krishnarao Buddha, Category Head, Parle Products.

Market sources suggest a similar attempt is being made with the namkeen (salty snacks) portfolio. From a more generic name, the offerings are being rebranded as chatkeens.

Parle has also floated a sub-brand, ‘Platina’, to encompass its premium offerings such as ‘Milano’ (cookies), ‘Hide & Seek’ (choco-chip) and ‘Simply Good’ (health segment), while the indulgence and cream biscuit portfolio has been brought under the ‘Fab!’ sub-brand.

Published on August 13, 2017

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