Britannia enters premium cookie market

By Devesh Gupta and Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 23, 2015
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The brand launches Chunkies through and hopes to captivate the indulgence-loving urban consumer.

Cookies have become a staple in most Indian households now. But trying to make a space for itself in the crowded market is Britannia's 'Chunkies' range of cookies. Chunkies, the newest from the category leader 'Good Day', is being positioned as premium, indulgent cookies for the Indian who is looking for newer experiences.

Ali Harris Shere

Pradyumna Chauhan

According to the brand, Chunkies is not a regular cookie, but a work of art. Kneaded for 17 whole minutes, the dough is then loaded with 30 per cent chocolate chips, butter and fine cocoa powder. This, as the brand sees it, gives the cookie an indulgent taste - making it stand apart from the cookies in the market. According to Britannia's Ali Harris Shere, director, marketing, the competition for Chunkies lies in specialty handcrafted cookies, similar to international cookies.

In the launch film starring Deepika Padukone, the young actress rushes into a bakery to escape a barrage of photographers. The baker then introduces her to Chunkies and explains why they are special, as his guest bites into the cookie. An impressed Padukone promises to make the world aware of Chunkies before she leaves.

"Good Day Chunkies aren't just cookies but are way more delicious and rich in taste. How does one make India's biggest star, Deepika, say that? That was pretty much at the heart of this campaign. So while we created a premium brand world for Good Day Chunkies, we kept the messaging simple - 'It's not a cookie, it's a Chunkie'," explains Pradyumna Chauhan, national creative director, McCann.

Britannia launched Chunkies on not just because the TG for Britannia has been one that has taken to ecommerce in a big way, but also to generate trials for the product. At Rs 50 for a 100 gm pack, Chunkies is targeted at the urban Indian. Couples in the age group of 25-32 years, from double income households, with an inclination to try out new experiences are the perfect TG for the brand. The brand hopes that the top eight metros and towns with over 10-lakh population will be the big markets for the new product. Britannia is also taking care to place Good Day Chunkies in the right outlets (such as modern trade), which cater to its TG.

"Given the evolving taste buds of discerning Indian consumers, the super premium cookies category holds tremendous potential. Today, it is under 10 per cent of the cookies category, which is valued at around Rs 6,000 crore. With Chunkies, Good Day has taken on the onus of growing this super premium category," says Shere.

Britannia hopes that Chunkies, though priced at a premium, will form part of regular consumption in the household and can be had anytime and anywhere. At the same time, it is confident that the launch of this product will not eat into its already existing portfolio of healthy biscuits, owning to the distinct taste preferences for both TGs.

The cookie category in India started in the mid-80s when Britannia launched Good Day in the market. Good Day, a Rs 1,600 crore brand from Britannia, has been the leader ever since its inception. According to the company, around 50 lakh packs of Good Day are sold every day. Britannia also has Tiger Krunch and Nice time in the cookies category, which added about another Rs 350 crore to Britannia's cookie portfolio in 2013-14.

Virat Mehta

Vivek Rao

But does it make sense to sub-segment an already segmented category like cookies? According to independent marketing and communications consultant Virat Mehta, there is always room for new categories and sub categories, especially in a country like India where the old players rule the roost. Therefore, any disruptive activity is welcome for new entrants.

"When a new brand enters a segment, it certainly becomes more interesting. For example, even though Milano plays in the same segment and had a similar launch communication, it is hardly seen nowadays. It might just revive its communication in order to make it larger and more premium, now that there is competition," explains Mehta.

Vivek Rao, ECD, Havas Worldwide feels that the over dramatisation of the ingredients is a category code for baked goods, which also helps to present the product as part of a gifting mix. While showing it in a particular way delights visually, the audience is left to imagine the taste by prompts from the protagonist's expressions.

"Be it a Bournville or a Sunfeast, everyone has done it to appeal to people. But then, is there no other way to do it? I am sure there is. So many innovative things are happening in the cooking and baking world - even a cookery show now experiments with the presentation. This ad, in comparison, is just standard fare. They could have twisted it and made it into an art, which they haven't done," feels Rao.

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