We expect 30-40% increase in sales for Treat: Ali Harris Shere

With a market share upwards of 50%, Britannia Industries has a strong play in the premium cream biscuits category. While its share in the value segment is in lower double digits, the management is working on increasing it. It is also strengthening its market share in the premium cream segment simultaneously. Ali Harris Shere, VP – marketing, Britannia Industries Ltd, speaks to Ashish K Tiwari about the company’s plans and more.

How is Britannia playing in the premium biscuits segment vis-a-vis competition?

Britannia is the market leader in biscuits but our presence in the premium segment is quite strong. If you take aside the value segment viz. glucose, value cookies, cream and crackles, we have a market share in excess of 58% in the premium segment of biscuits. Even under the premium segment, there are various sub categories wherein we have market share in excess of 60-70%. While we are the leaders in the premium creams category, our market share has become very fragmented due to competitors like ITC, Mondelez, Parle, etc. While we currently have around 35% market share in this category, we are ahead of our next competitor – ITC, under the Sunfeast brand with variants like Dark Fantasy, Choco Fills, Sandwich Cream, Dream Cream, etc – by a good 8-10% points. However, we now want to go over 50% market share in the premium creams category as well.

How do you plan to do that?

With the Pure Magic brand (targeted at adults), you will see a lot of action with first of its kind products that will disrupt the category. The Bourbon space will see new advertising, re-staging of the product and some innovations as well. We have already worked on Sandwich Cream brand Treat and have planned a huge play with it. The brand has undergone a complete overhaul and we have launched two new variants. We are also restaging the rest of the portfolio with new flavours, design of biscuit, logo, packaging and communication. The brand Treat was being targeted at young kids. We are extending the target group to slightly older consumers, i.e. tweens and teens. Another brand Jim Jam is also getting renovated as part of this exercise. Accordingly, we will now have 14 stock-keeping units (SKUs) as compared to nine earlier.

How does the pricing compare with what’s already on offer in the market?

While a lot of investment has gone behind cream biscuits category, it hasn’t really grown in the last few years. This category contributes around 8% to total biscuits revenues but consumes 30% of the advertising budget. Here, pricing is higher and so are margins. But there are two issues: one is pricing wherein cream biscuits are averaged two times the price of average biscuits. We haven’t priced ourselves on the higher side, making the products more accessible allowing more consumers to try it. We are offering two convenient price points viz. Rs 10 and Rs 30. Also, we will give more value to consumers than some of our competitors – between one and three biscuits more in each of the price points.

What kind of an uptick in sales are you expecting post the renovation exercise?

Our estimates are changing on a daily basis but overall we should see a 30% to 40% increase in sales for Treat. Earlier we used to do Rs 250 crore odd with Treat including Jim Jam.