United Biscuits (UB), the world’s third-biggest biscuit maker launched McVitie’s a year back. McVitie’s grew at a rate of 40% and gained 20% share of the digestives category. Their latest campaign has roped in movie stars – Bipasha Basu and Shriya Saran (for the south region) to fight for their share in the biscuit market, largely dominated by Parle (42%), Britannia (25%) and ITC (10%). Further, the glucose category dominates the Indian biscuit market with a 50% share, followed by cookies (20%), cream and digestives (20% and 10%). The campaign, therefore has a bigger challenge at hand than just sell the product. The campaign has to grow the category itself which is a measly `1 billion in the `120 billion biscuit market. The Indian biscuit market has grown to be lucrative with international players like Kraft, PepsiCo, GSK and now, UB launching their brands successively. Not only are market shares shifting as a result, market dynamics too are changing with functional biscuits which once made up 80% of total biscuit sales is now down to 70%.
The McVitie’s campaign is innovative and with the catchy jingle talks about the product becoming a ‘habit’ and just not a ‘choice’ which is the key distinction. The company should follow-up with other campaigns to encourage more people to shift their ‘preferred biscuit category’. And then, investing well-meant resources in campaigns and leveraging the brand, the company should focus their strategy in becoming a preferred brand in the category. While it remains to be seen how competition will respond, the campaign may not see significant results in the near future because the premium biscuit market accounts for less than 30% of biscuits sold in India.
For Bipasha’s version of the commercial and its making, check out the Brands India YouTube channel