Your tea time conversation with your family is set to get crunchier. Just visit your nearest kirana store or supermarket and you will find a flurry of offers on biscuits of all kinds. Biscuit manufacturers pulling up their socks to boost sales and retain their share in an almost flat market.
Market leader Britannia is selling 19 small packs of Goodday Choconut biscuits with a jar worth Rs 50 free for Rs 140 and a combo pack of two Bourbon plus one Pure Magic each worth Rs 25 each at Rs 63. The company is also giving a cookie jar free with two 150-gram Goodday Kaju Pack biscuits and one bowl free with 100 gm of Britannia Nutrichoice. New player McVitties is offering one microwave safe container dish free with a 100-gram pack of McVitties Digestive and aloo bhujiya worth Rs 25 free on a 150-gram pack of McVitties Digestive biscuits.
This sudden blitzkrieg of offers by Britannia could be seen as a fight back to hold onto its declining market share. According to latest data compiled by Nielsen, , ITC’s market share has grown by 2 percentage points to 11.3 per cent in the fourth quarter ended December 2012 from 9.3 per cent in the year-ago period. Britannia’s share of the pie has slid a bit to 29.8 per cent for the same period from 31.2 per cent.
According to the data, the tobacco major has shown a continuous increase in market share for seven straight quarters from 8.6 per cent in second quarter of calendar year 2011 to 11.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012.Entry into the cream biscuit category with two new biscuits Sunfeast Dark Fantasy Chocofills and Dream Cream biscuits, innovation in packaging and a strong distribution network has given ITC an edge over other players, FMCG analysts added.
Chitranjan Dar, Divisional Chief Executive, Foods Division, ITC, said that well-differentiated products, supported by significant investments in product development and distribution infrastructure have enhanced the market standing.
Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle, believes that the biscuit market has reached a saturation point which was triggering a slowdown in growth rates in volume of the overall market and not value. He said, “Distribution is the biggest challenge in this industry especially in rural areas where biscuit is not considered a snacking item. However, the current year will be better with more players entering the markets.”