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‘Chai biskoot’ gets a makeover


F&B: ‘Chai biskoot’ gets a makeover
By: Shinmin Bali | Published: January 21, 2019 12:20 AM
Brands are adding more zing to the plain biscuits category, in the face of premium biscuit offerings becoming popular.


F&B: ‘Chai biskoot’ gets a makeover
From the ‘glucose biscuits’ that became customary with tea in Indian households to the emergence of premium biscuits that promise ‘less sugar’ and ‘more fibre’, the category has evolved and how. But even as manufacturers such as Britannia, Parle and ITC are upping their premium offerings, the plain biscuits segment continues to drive growth in the category.
Sameer Shukla, ED – retail measurement services, Nielsen South Asia, says that the biscuits category in India has grown 9.7% over the last five years, and that the plain biscuits segment (Marie, milk, glucose and arrowroot varieties), accounts for around 40% of the total biscuits sales.
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The lure of premium
Mintel estimates that 57% of consumers in India have consumed glucose biscuits (the highest share in the biscuit category) in the last six months; 49% have consumed salted biscuits/crackers and 44% have had cream-filled biscuits. Shekhar Agarwal, director, Surya Food & Agro (manufacturers of Priyagold), believes plain biscuits are “almost a necessity”. “Biscuits are like bread and butter in terms of being necessary in the consumer’s life. But they are open to newer varieties.”
Britannia’s annual report for FY18 mentions its relentless focus on ‘premiumisation and democratisation’ for bakery products (of which biscuits are a part). Making premium products available at affordable price points has increased reach for the brand, whereas low unit packs have become significant growth drivers for its portfolio as they work well in rural markets and serve the convenience-seeking consumer in urban regions.

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