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BAKERY

Price point critical factor to sell cookies, opines Unibic Foods India
Wednesday, 30 May, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Unibic Foods India is of the view that price point is a critical factor for selling cookies. This is because of the competition in the Indian market. Despite the presence of several brands, the company has fared very well with the range of cookies in the last two years, despite competing in terms of quality and costing.

The 13-year-old Bengaluru-based company is one of the pioneers in the cookie segment. It has taken the lead to introduce the wire-cut technology into India, giving each cookie its unique texture.

“Price point is a very critical factor for selling cookies as well, though consumers do not mind paying a premium price for niche product offerings. But to get to high-volume growth, keen price point is essential as competition is huge,” said V V S Mani, director, operations, Unibic Foods, told F&B News, in an e-mail.

“All age groups are attracted to Unibic cookies. However it is those in the age group of six to 35 who are seen to be attracted towards its range of indulgent variants. The older consumers are likely to prefer the healthy range that include sugar-free and oatmeal digestive,” he added.

“The tremendous competition comes for us from across regions, but particularly from the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In Kerala, we are able to compete against the large players. However, Unibic has differentiated product offerings, with products like Fruit and Nut, Jeera cookies, Chilli Butter cookies and Choco Ripple, among others,” Mani added.

Commenting on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is currently 18 per cent, and the efforts made to reduce to the industry demand of 12 per cent, Mani said that cookies/biscuits were akin to the staple food for various sections of the society and reduction of GST to 12 per cent would augur well to promote the nutritious, safe cookie range among a wider population segment at affordable prices, offering more value for money. “We are lobbying legally at various levels to try and see if this can be achieved,” he added.

“Consumers have been graduating from basic biscuits to value-added cookies over the years. Many players are jumping onto the bandwagon of cookies to capitalise on the demand. Though the Indian cookie consumption is still far lower than that in the European, American or Far-Eastern markets, it is expected to increase in the coming years. Crackers is another area which has a huge scope, which is yet to be tapped to its potential,” Mani noted.

The modern-store formats have been catching up with the traditional trade in a big way. Online formats have been useful to an extent, but are yet to catch up in a big way. This is albeit the good success we had in online sales for our gift packs during the festive seasons.

“Competition is, no doubt, quite stiff, and the options available before the well-informed consumers are many and varied with attractive price points. To differentiate oneself among the giants has been a challenge, which Unibic has successfully coped with under the leadership of Nikhil Sen,” Mani said.
 
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