Britannia bakes a new batch

Britannia bakes a new batch

The biscuit maker is relaunching its best-selling brand with a new logo, look and taste

Raghu Krishnan & Arindam Majumder | Bengaluru/Kolkata

August 25, 2015 Last Updated at 21:40 IST



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A little over a year after a new management team under CEO Varun Berry took charge, Britannia has rejigged its product portfolio to focus on its premium brands and is now innovating on taste, presentation and packaging of its best-selling brands.

Among the most recent products, chosen to be the change the company wants to bring about, is Good Day, the cookie that accounts for 30 per cent of its revenue from biscuits. The 28-year old product, the biggest brand for Britannia, has just become crunchier and has acquired a new logo too--a smile. The cookie has got more nuts and butter, while the texture comes with a curve that depicts a smile.

Britannia will relaunch the Good Day brand this week with a 360 degree media campaign, television and newspaper ads, and visual PoPs, tasting sessions at retail outlets to support the eight week publicity blitzkrieg. The entire advertisement campaign is created by its agency McCann Erickson. The packaging overhaul is likely to be backed by a high-octane advertising campaign, CEO Varun Berry had said earlier in an interview, with cricket and films to be used for promotion. The firm is a sponsor for Filmfare awards and co-sponsored the IPL cricket as well as advertised in the Kabbadi league.

Britannia is also focusing on cookies, which are emerging as one of the fastest-growing categories in biscuits in India. At around Rs 6,000 crore, it is already 24 per cent of the Rs 25,000-crore overall biscuit category and is growing at a compound annual rate of around 20 per cent. Elaborating on the company's strategy, Ali Harris Shere, director of marketing at Britannia says, 'In the last 7-8 years, there are not too many brand innovations that we can talk about.' The biscuit brand did bring some new products such as diabetic nutrichoice and Tiger chocolate, he says.

Since Berry took over, Britannia has introduced three new cookies - Good Day Chunkies, Nutrichoice Heavens, and Tiger Butter Krunch. 'They are doing really well,' says Shere. With premium brands, Britannia, he claims is the top brand in biscuits in urban India and is the leader in five of the seven biscuits category nationally. Parle is the dominant player in India in the Glucose biscuits category. In the recent IMRB-Kantor brand footprint survey, Parle emerged as India's most chosen brand while Britannia was fifth.

'We want to take the category to the next level. Who else will do to set new benchmarks than us,' says Shere. 'There is no bigger brand for us than Good Day.' Good Day owns 70 per cent of India's premium cookie market even as two big rivals ITC and Parle are becoming more aggressive in this segment. Parle in recent months had launched a string of cookies, including Happy Happy, Milano Minis and 20-20 to add heft to its cookie portfolio, which includes brands such as Milano.

For Good Day, the bright packaging has been designed by San Francisco agency - Innovation Kitchen. Britannia worked on improving the product for over six months, which includes improved texture, putting nuts on the cookie and making it crunchier. Also as Berry said, the company is looking at films and cricket as marketing vehicles for the brand. 'Tell me what works in India? Cricket and films? We had earlier walked away from sports and films. Now, we are getting back to that. We will keep investing behind big properties in these two areas,' Berry said.

Britannia is also expanding production through contract manufacturers and strengthening its distribution to reach out to more outlets. 'It is a synergy between various departments. The product team has created a world class product, the manufacturing capacity is adequate, we are doing the marketing and the sales will reach out to more places than ever,' says Shere.

Britannia reported its best results in terms of margins and profitability in the first quarter, which Berry attributed to 'superior products, better packaging and robust distribution network'. 'We have at present 7,000 rural distributors. Within three years, we want to be present in all villages,' he added. Also in the coming months, other brands such as Marie Gold, 50:50, Nutrichoice and Milk Bikis will also see a rejig with improved product and packaging. 'We will bring innovation on every product and brand,' says Shere. Time to refill the cookie jar.





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