"It becomes important to leverage our parent brand to take on the likes of Pulse": Krishna Rao, Parle Products

By Sunit Roy, afaqs!, New Delhi | July 24, 2017
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Krishna Rao, category head, Parle Products, is talking about his recent ad - part of a three-film campaign - that reminds the viewer that brands like Kaccha Mango Bite, among others, belong to Parle.
Krishna Rao

Krishna Rao

Category head, Parle Products

During the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, Parle Products launched an ad campaign 'Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga', in which it reminded consumers that brands like Krackjack and Monaco Biscuits, among several others, come from the house of Parle.

In its most recent burst of communication titled 'Naam Toh Yaad Rahega', the company, again, reiterates the fact that brands like Mango Bite, Kaccha Mango Bite and Melody, among several others, belong to Parle. The company has been trying to make this point through its packaging as well.

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School Play

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The ads are by Taproot Dentsu. The films target youngsters and kids. The ads will be visible on GECs, movie, music and kid's channels - both national and regional. Besides TV, other media platforms include print and digital.

"About 85 percent of our spends will be on television, about 10 percent on print and five percent on digital. Earlier, digital was almost not there; it used to be hardly one or two percent but now the digital component is growing," Krishna Rao, category head, Parle Products, tells afaqs!

Edited Excerpts


In such quick succession, Parle Products has released two TV-led campaigns, to the same end. Why is it so important to remind consumers that these brands belong to Parle?

For the second phase of this campaign (see ads) we identified a few confectionery and biscuit brands (within our portfolio) and we looked for the challenges these brands face. We found that certain brands are extremely popular in terms of sales but in terms of 'mind recall' they are relatively low. That's how we realised the need to come up with a campaign like this, to bind all the sub-brands... and to form clusters. For example, Mango Bite, Kaccha Mango Bite and Melody form a cluster.

Now, the challenge for these brands is that there are a number of pass-offs or lookalikes in the market, the sales for which are as high as the sales for the original brands. That's why we are reminding people that these original brands are irreplaceable.

Although these snack and confectionery sub-brands are strong individually, the connect with Parle is not there much. Through our advertisements, we want to connect the mother brand with our individual brands.

"We found that certain brands are extremely popular in terms of sales but in terms of 'mind recall' they are relatively low. That's how we realised the need to come up with a campaign like this."

In the case of Kaccha Mango Bite, are you feeling the heat from Pulse, a brand that has a similar flavour (raw mango)? Is that partly why you feel the need to ride on the equity of the mother brand?

Actually, 'Kaccha Mango Bite' and 'Pulse Candy' operate at different price points - Pulse is priced at Re. 1 per unit while Kaccha Mango Bite is sold at 50 paise per unit. So, while confectioneries compete with one another because of their low price point, there is no direct competition between the two. However, there is always the possibility that a consumer of Kaccha Mango Bite may shift towards Pulse Candy, and vice versa.

Kaccha Mango Bite continues to register good year-on-year growth. It has not been impacted by the launch of Pulse. Having said that, to take on Pulse Candy, last year we launched 'Spicy Kaccha Mango Bite' in the market. The product is doing fine and we are planning to increase the reach and penetration for it.

It becomes important to leverage the parent brand (objective of the current campaign) to take on the likes of Pulse.

"To take on Pulse candy, last year we launched 'Spicy Kaccha Mango Bite' in the market."

The biscuit and bakery segment is growing in India. Is this campaign, in part, spurred by the noise that your rival brands are making on mass media?

Not at all. Competition has been there for several years due the presence of brands like Britannia and ITC and also newer players like Mondelez that otherwise have had a very limited play in the biscuit segment.

What about Patanjali? Has its presence in the biscuit segment changed the game?

Frankly speaking, as far as the biscuit market is concerned, Patanjali has not been successful at all.

As far as Britannia is concerned, we have been around for decades together and we have had very healthy competition in the biscuit segment. Over a decade ago, ITC also entered the segment and they have also been able to carve their share. But in terms of volumes, we are by far the market leaders in the biscuit category. We lead with 33-34 percent market share whereas Britannia has 24-25 percent market share. The third spot is held by ITC with 11-12 percent share while Patanjali holds less than one percent.

"As far as the biscuit market is concerned, Patanjali has not been successful at all."
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