Demand for the simple confectionary keeps rising, and candy makers are trying hard to innovate on offerings
After the success of Pulse Kachcha Aam, wherein the DS Group captured the hard boiled candy (HBC) market in the country by reaching Rs 100 crore within just eight months of its launch in 2015, the company is steadily increasing its offerings with a collection of niche flavours like guava and litchi and popular flavours like raw mango and orange and pineapple over the course of time.
The confectionery market in India is valued at $1.5 billion, growing at a two-year CAGR of 9%, as per Nielsen India. Various reports suggest that India is the fastest growing confectionery market among the BRIC countries.
Indian consumers look for the most fun and enjoyable products. This means manufacturers need to innovate with new and novel shapes, textures, flavours and packs. The Indian candy market is divided into three main categories — sugar candy, chocolate candy and gum candy — on the basis of type, region and competitors.
“Innovation in flavours was a key to our brand success. The in-house R&D team tried many different formats and after extensive taste sampling, the final mandate was given to the Kachcha Aam flavour with a tangy twist,” recalls DS Group’s new product development VP Shashank Surana.
Similarly, Parle Products has kept innovation at the core of conceptualising and manufacturing products. The company has created and manufactured iconic confectionery brands such as Kismi and Melody. “A majority of confectionery brands, including Parle, are dominated by the 50 paise price point. We are consciously moving towards the Rs 1 price point,” says Krishna Rao, category head, Parle Products.
With flavour and pricing being the most important factors in the category, companies have tried to capture audiences and play by their own rules. Over the last few years, many have observed an increase in purchase of the wholesale confectionery bags priced at Rs 50 and Rs 100, which is a trend that is likely to continue.
The north region of India constitutes the largest share in the candy market followed by the west region. According to a report by Research and Markets,metros such as Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata are amongst the leading demand generators of candies in the country, while tier II cities have also been contributing.
What is worth noting is that today, most candy segments target not just children, but youngsters as well. To expand their horizons, many have moved beyond advertising in children’s books and traditional mediums too.