Parle Products – Market Leader In Vegetarian Snack Industries and Biscuits In India

Tasty Biscuits are loved by all

American biscuit (left) and one variety of British biscuits (right) - the American biscuit is soft and flaky; these particular British biscuits have a layer of chocolate filling between two hard wafers.
American biscuit (left) and one variety of British biscuits (right) - the American biscuit is soft and flaky; these particular British biscuits have a layer of chocolate filling between two hard wafers. | Source

Indian biscuit market and Parle's performance

Parle launches Milk Power

The biscuits market in India is witnessing huge competition. Britannia Industries claims that it is the market leader but its lead is slender and may be overtaken by others at any time. In fact, some market researchers are reporting that Britannia is not the market leader. ITC’s financials and market penetration in biscuits segment is not exactly known as the company keeps them as a secret. But in glucose segment, Parle Products is the market leader. Parle Products is a leading manufacturer of confectionery and biscuits. It has recently launched Parle Milk Power in the market. The company claims that the biscuit has important vitamins and essential minerals. It is focused on young mothers who want to bring up their babies healthily. The company has priced the biscuits at Rs.10 for 120 gram and Rs.5 for 50 gram. At this low price, the biscuits will generate huge demand among the people. Even in rural areas, people love to eat biscuits during their tea time. Parle has launched this new biscuit in the State of Tamil Nadu for a good reason. School students are served biscuits and coffee when they return home in the evening. After eating biscuits and drinking coffee, students go out for play and come back for supper. Parle will spread its wings in other States soon. There are 28 States in India. Parle has 82 manufacturing units in India. Out of this, 12 are owned by the company and the remaining seventy are given under contract to private firms. Parle has associated the Kollywood actress Nadia with the brand.

Tamil Nadu loves milk biscuits

Milk biscuits market in India is worth 80000 tonnes per year out of two million tonnes of entire biscuit market. Parle is aiming for a 30% market share for its new launch. Parle has coined a slogan ‘Wholesome Nourishment Solution’ for young children for its Milk Power biscuits. Tamil Nadu State alone consumes more than 50% of the milk biscuits of entire India. Tamil people are biscuit lovers. Every day they eat five or six biscuits and some even an entire packet. What is the reason for Tamil Nadu State consuming more milk biscuits than the rest of India? Once upon a time, Tamil Nadu experienced acute shortage of milk. Even baby milk powder was in shortage. Mothers of new-born babies had to spend ten times the price of the baby milk powder to obtain them in black market. At this time, some doctors recommended that consuming milk biscuits could be a substitute to consuming milk, if the latter is unavailable. This has prompted people across the State to buy and consume milk biscuits in greater number. Today, the milk shortage is history in Tamil Nadu. In fact, Tamil Nadu is a milk surplus State today. But the old habit of consuming milk biscuits in larger quantities continues till today as old habits die hard.

Biscuits market worth Rs.15000 crore in India

Parle is India’s largest biscuit brand. Biscuits market in India is worth Rs.15000 crore and fast expanding every year. Parle is the market leader with 34% share of the market followed closely by Britannia Industries with 32% share. ITC sells its Sunfeast biscuits and has a market share of around 10%. ITC started well with its Sunfeast biscuits garnering a market share of 5%-6% in the very first year of its launch. Afterwards, it did not grow as expected.

Moe biscuits at no extra cost

At no extra cost, Parle Products is offering more biscuits to the customers in an effort to increase its market share further. Its flagship biscuit is Parle-G in the glucose biscuits segment. Its brand Parle Marie is also doing well in the market. Parle has increased the weight of both the brands by 6% without raising their prices. Earlier, Parle-G packet sold at Rs.5 per packet was weighing 94.5 grams. Now its weight has been increased to 99 grams. The weights of Parle Marie packets priced at Rs.10 and Rs.22 were increased from 132 grams to 144 grams and from 372 grams to 392 grams respectively. This move of increasing the weight of its biscuit packets without raising the price will dent at the company’s margins. But the company is hopeful of compensating this dent in margins with more sales turnover and more profits. Biscuits market is a volumes game played by different players. Margins do not count here.

Naming of the brands is important

Even naming of the biscuits and other food items is important. Names should be made with attracting consumer appeal. Parle has renamed its Parle Cream Cracker biscuits as Parle Action Fit Cream Crackers. Some years back, a company came out with a vermilion product in Tamil Nadu State and named it as ‘Anil Semiya’. ‘Anil’ in Tamil language means squirrel. Thinking that the product is a non-vegetarian one made with the flesh of squirrels which are abundant in Tamil Nadu, many vegetarians never touched the product. The company has lost big sales and even now losing continuously. One should never name vegetarian products after animals as it will connote a different meaning and drive away the vegetarians. Parle has taken care to name its biscuits (it has 12 brands of biscuits at present) carefully. Some of its names are Parle-G, Parle Marie, Monaco, Hide and Seek and KrackJack. Britannia Industries named its biscuits meant to be a competitor to KrackJack as Fifty-Fifty meaning 50% sweet and 50% salt.

Regional stars more popular than national stars

In order to capture wider market for its biscuit Parle Monaco, the company has signed up two regional celebrities as its brand ambassadors. They are Ravi Kisan, the Bhojpuri star and Rituparna Sengupta, the Bengali actress. The company had the Bollywood hero Aamir Khan as the original ambassador for Parle Monaco. But market research reports suggested that regional stars enjoy better popularity than national stars. Hence Parle has changed its strategy as well as its brand ambassador.

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Comments 2 comments

nitinn parikh 4 years ago

as you are using emulsifers which are not vegetarian how can u say your product is vegetarian.

ramkimeena profile image

ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear nitinn parikh,

I thank you for your valuable comments. I was not aware of the use of emulsifiers in the products. What are emulsifiers? Are they derived from animals?

Best wishes to you,

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