Mondelez India, makers of Cadbury, Oreo, Tang, among others, is looking at a larger play in the biscuits portfolio.

Apart from making a mark in the morning snacking segment through extension of the ‘Bournvita’ brand, the company is further upping its ante in biscuits with launches across the two core brands — Bournvita and Oreo.

With the launch of Bournvita Crunchy, it will now have a play in a growing category that is otherwise dominated by players such as Britannia and ITC. Earlier this year, it launched premium Choco-bakery products (cakes and cookies) under Cadbury.

Also read: Mondelez India’s revenues rise 8 per cent in FY2019-20

Incidentally, for Mondelēz International, India is its third largest market for Oreo biscuits after the US and China. While Oreo has 8.5 per cent market share here in the cream biscuit category, Mondelez India has a 2 per cent market share in biscuits, a category pegged at over ₹37,200 crore, as of 2019.

According to Sudhanshu Nagpal, Associate Director – Marketing (Biscuits), Mondelez India realised that there was headroom for growth. Moreover, in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’, snacking has been on the rise with people choosing “healthy options” and “trusted brands”.

Keeping the changing consumer preferences in mind, the company extended the Bournvita brand into “wholesome biscuits”, targeting adults. While pan-India distribution has already begun, this launch will be supported with an integrated marketing campaign across TV and digital mediums.

Expanding brand ‘Bournvita’

“Post-pandemic people are looking at smaller snacking options but with taste. While there has been some slowdown on the pantry loading side (as people have started venturing out post Unlocking), biscuit consumption is still much higher than pre-Covid levels. People are looking at healthy foods. It is here that Bournvita Crunchy can come in targeting both children and adults,” he told BusinessLine.

Bournvita, one of Mondelez’s most successful brands in India for over 70 years now, is primarily known for its eponymous malt-based health drink. Four-years-back it diversified into cookies under ‘Bournvita Biscuits’. Earlier this year breakfast cereals under the ‘Bournvita Fills’ was launched across three markets – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana– on a pilot-basis.

The success of the brand in India has also prompted Mondelez India to introduce Bournvita in other emerging markets in Africa that include Nigeria, among others.

Growing focus on biscuits

Despite being the leading biscuit maker globally, Mondelez’s India journey has primarily been dominated by Cadbury chocolates. It was a late entrant in the biscuits category with the launch of Oreo – its global biscuits brand – in 2011.

However, according to Nagpal, continuous focus on the biscuit and choco-bakery category saw the company create new in-roads. Distribution was increased by 242,000 stores (selling biscuits) in 2019, of which 107,000 were in rural areas and the remaining 135,000 in urban areas.

“Earlier, we used to rely on the stores selling chocolate to push biscuits. But now, many of the new stores are incremental and biscuits have gained ground as a standalone offering. We have been able to reach rural outlets too with low unit price offerings of ₹5,” he said.