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T U E S DAY 2 0 O C T O B E R 2 0 0 9

or five decades now, Bourbon and Bri-

F tannia have gone hand in hand. The


Wadia family-controlled company lords
over 70 per cent of the popular biscuit
category. The rest of the market is with

The battle
about half a dozen other brands.

SANJAY K SHARMA
Vijay and Sharad Chauhan’s Parle Prod-
ucts wants to change the terms of the game.
One reason is that the market is too good to re-
sist for long. Its annual sale is approximately
Rs 280 crore and is growing at 25 per cent per
annum. The total biscuit market, estimated at
around Rs 10,000 crore, is growing at a lesser

for Bourbon
pace of 5 to 7 per cent. Clearly, Bourbon’s share
in the biscuit market will grow bigger and big-
ger in the days to come.
The second reason is the overarching pres-
ence of Britannia. The Bourbon market, in oth-
er words, is not competitive. Some smart mar-
keting can fetch Parle a decent market share.
“We analysed the market that is largely dom-
inated by a single player and realised that there’s
enough scope for us to create an impact,” says Parle’s looking to bite into Britannia’s
Parle Senior Product Manager Shalin Desai.
Bourbon biscuit market
Umbrella branding Byravee Iyer
Parle has decided to make the product a part
of its Hide & Seek brand. This way, the com-
pany does not have to spend money to
build a brand from scratch. Moreover,
Hide & Seek is a chocolate product. So,
it can easily be leveraged for the Bour-
bon offering. The consumers would
know what to experience from the new
product. “Consumers associate Hide &
Seek with chocolate-based biscuits. Hence,
the new product has been created under the
Hide & Seek umbrella to give consumers bis-
cuits with more quantity of rich chocolate
cream in their Bourbon biscuits,” says Desai.
No surprises then, Parle has decided to use
Hide & Seek’s brand ambassador, film star
Hirthik Roshan, for Bourbon as well. In the ad-
vertisement, the actor can be seen flaunting
his dancing prowess, urging viewers to “try it”.
In addition to the television commercial,
the product will also be packaged in purple,
like its parent Hide & Seek. However, the com-
munication is a marked change from Hide &
Seek’s earlier campaigns which were more
story-based. In the ad, Roshan asks a girl for a
“WE HOPE TO HAVE “THE MARKET IS priced lower,” adds Desai.
The ad campaign with Roshan, the pre-
dance. The girl shies away saying that she can’t. A 50 PER CENT LARGELY DOMINATED mium positioning and the competitive pric-
Roshan then tempts her with a Hide & Seek ing, Parle is confident, will work in its favour.
biscuit to which both of them start dancing MARKET SHARE IN BY A SINGLE PLAYER. Kulkarni is confident that within a year, Par-
away. Similarly, the next ad based on the same
premise showed off Roshan’s fighting skills.
THE CATEGORY THERE’S ENOUGH le’s market share will be 50 per cent.
But Britannia is not the one to give up mar-
Vipin Dhyani, founder and creative di- WITHIN A YEAR” SCOPE FOR US TO ket share without a fight. In August, right af-
rector of Thoughtshop India, the communi-
cation agency that worked on the ad campaign, PRAVIN KULKARNI CREATE AN IMPACT” ter Parle launched its Bourbon, Britannia came
out with an ad campaign to showcase its new
says the idea was to merely announce the en- GENERAL MANAGER, PARLE packaging as well as a more youthful approach.
try of a new player on the block. “For this cam- SHALIN DESAI The advertisement opens with a girl standing
paign, the idea was to simply highlight the SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER, PARLE at the door of her boyfriend’s house. Sheep-
product and the celebrity,” says Dhyani. Adds ishly, the boyfriend tells her that his friends
Desai, “The entire concept of ‘try it’ is to keep are over to watch a match. Upset, the girl sits
the brand open for evaluation.” at the dining table, where she picks up pack-
The Bourbon launch shows that Parle is et of Bourbon.
in a combative mood. Last month, it took on As she eats it, she begins to moan sugges-
Britannia’s 50-50 in the non-salted biscuit cat- tively, catching the attention of her boyfriend’s
egory. The reason was attributed to the fact friends. As the moans get louder, the men’s
that 50-50, which was launched in 1993, had jaws begin to drop. Irked by this, the boyfriend
significantly overtaken Parle’s Krackjack asks his friends to leave. The TVC closes with
which has been in the market since 1972. a shot of the couple sitting on the sofa with the
Thus, the company reintroduced comedians girlfriend asking: “Tumhare dost kyun chale
Krack and Jack to highlight the sweet and salty gaye? (Why did your friends leave?).” A
properties of the biscuit. voiceover intones: Bahar se kuch, andar se
kuch aur (Something on the outside, some-
Fight strategy thing else on the inside).
The battle has now moved on to the Bourbon And just like Parle, the brand which ear-
category. Parle, to be sure, did have a Bour- lier targeted the whole family, Britannia will
bon biscuit called Parle Bourbon. It was priced now focus on the youth with its Bourbon. “The
lower than Britannia’s Bourbon; but the prod- moment we had launched our brand, Bri-
uct failed to do well. “Britannia has a strong tannia decided to come out with this cam-
presence in the category and the perception target young adults, teenagers and children. bon costs Rs 10 and Rs 22 for 70 grams and 167 paign,” jibes Desai.
of our existing product was very low. The fast The target market is split 60:40 in favour of grams, respectively, in the west, while in the The contest however is not restricted to
growth rate (in the Bourbon market) was an young adults. rest of India it is priced at Rs 12 and Rs 22. Par- just Britannia and Parle. Others in the market
added incentive,” says Parle General Man- Interestingly, even though the product is le’s, in contrast, is priced at Rs 10 and Rs 20 for place include ITC Sunfeast, Good Day Choco-
ager Pravin Kulkarni. Thus, the company positioned in the premium bracket, its price similar pack sizes. “We are not pricing it low, late and Pure Magic. Clearly, the Bourbon bat-
came up with a premium Bourbon that would is still lower than its rival. Britannia’s Bour- but we certainly are capatalising on being tle has only just begun.