New price points, unique flavours: Snack makers keeping it crisp

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 6 2014, 06:36am hrs
To maintain its leadership in the Rs 12,000-crore branded snacks sector, PepsiCo Indias Frito-Lay is betting on different pack sizes at different price points to improve penetration. On the other hand, to fight competition from multinationals, Parle Products, the maker of Parle Namkeens and Wafers, is ramping up distribution and infrastructure while ITC Foods is sharpening focus on innovation and new launches. The maker of Hippo, Parle Agro, is increasing its R&D spend by 30% to woo consumers.

As competition intensifies, the dynamics of Indias branded wafers and salty snacks sector are set to change. The sector is currently growing at 25 % annually.

PepsiCo India leads the pack with 60% market share and other major players include ITC's Bingo (8%), Balaji Wafers (16%), Haldiram(8%), Parle Wafers (5%) and Parle Agros Hippo.

The recent introduction of the Rs-15 packs for Lays and Kurkure is in line with our endeavour of leveraging consumer research to tap into new consumption occasions,'' said a spokesperson from PepsiCo India.

''Our objective is to innovate and offer choices at different price points, to drive penetration by offering consumers an affordable treat, he added.

Along with its smaller packs, priced at Rs 3, 5 and 10, PepsiCo India also offers products at higher price points of Rs 20, 30, 60 and 99 for in-home consumption and family occasions.

''We will sustain our growth momentum through product innovation, effective marketing, consumer engagement campaigns, enhanced distribution and by offering consumers value through the right price pack offerings across categories, '' he added.

On ITC's strategic plans, Chitranjan Dar, chief executive, Foods Division, ITC, said the company's focus will be on innovation and differentiation to drive volumes. The use of digital media to spur word-of-mouth and clutter-breaking communication continue to enhance our brand salience. Bingo has been witnessing robust growth, driven by the finger snacks portfolio comprising Mad Angles, Tangles, TedheMedhe and GalataMasti he added.

Recognising the growth potential, Kellogg India recently forayed into the sector with the launch of its global brand, Pringles.

To take on international rivals, Parle Products is in the process of rolling out new products, including potato finger chips called Aloo Lacha. With this move, the company will compete directly with McDonald's potato snack brands.

Like PepsiCo, Parle Products is also planning diverse price points. To woo economy-conscious consumers, the company is currently promoting Parle Namkeen in Rs 5 packs.

''Our core strategy is to improve our distribution and infrastructure; for our snack brands, we have separate distributors who go to towns with 5-lakh population. We are increasing our total distribution by 15% this year, said Praveen Kulkarni, general manger of Parle Products.

Like ITC, Parle Agro is betting big on innovation to drive volumes. We have already developed and tested numerous products that shall be launched gradually under the Hippo brand name, as per our overall strategy, said Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director of Parle Agro.