Will Mondelez’s Christmas cookie work?

Food major Mondelez is extending its Bournvita brand into the cookie space, marking its second extension of the brand in five months.

In August, the company had entered breakfast cereals via Bournvita, launching it in two markets, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The back-to-back launches point to a larger game plan that the company has for Bournvita, which includes tapping the morning snacking occasion.

“Bournvita is a legacy brand, which has stood for nourishment for over 70 years. We wanted to build on this equity of nutrition and health by looking at all morning snacking occasions,” says Sudhanshu Nagpal, associate director, marketing, biscuits, Mondelez India.

“Parts of it have been unveiled now with the two launches we’ve had in the last few months. This journey will continue into the future,” Nagpal adds.

Within biscuits, this will be the fourth launch after Oreo in 2011, Bournvita biscuits in 2016 and Cadbury Chocobake cookies in early 2020.

The biscuit category has been among the fastest growing food segments in the last 6-8 months, led by in-home consumption during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organised biscuit market in India — valued at Rs 37,000 crore (rs 370 billion) — increased at double the rate of growth in April-May, compared to the pre-Covid levels, as people stocked up during the lockdown.

Multiple industry executives and analysts reveal that, from the levels of about 7-8 per cent in terms of growth rate seen before the lockdown, the organised market surged to levels of about 12-15 per cent in April-May.

It has since tapered to levels of about 10 per cent in terms of growth rate, but most biscuits makers continue to report double-digit growth in rural and semi-urban areas as consumption continues to be strong.

Mondelez has a nearly 10 per cent share of the cream cookies market, dominated by players such as Britannia (Treat, Milk Bikkis), Parle Products (Milano) and ITC (Sunfeast).

Bournvita Crunchy, which is the new launch, will give Mondelez a foothold in the larger cookie segment, which again has a presence of all key biscuit makers.

Experts say that consumers are open to new products within biscuits since many are seeking safe and innovative eating experiences.

This has prompted biscuit makers to look at interesting products, targeting heath and wellness apart from making them as affordable as possible.

“Biscuits are easy to pick off the shelf. They are affordable, with price points as low as Rs 5 for all types of biscuits, including cream biscuits, cookies and glucose variants,” says Kaustubh Pawaskar, associate vice-president, research, at brokerage Sharekhan.

Mondelez, like most other food majors, continues to explore the in-home snacking trend, implying that its attention on categories such as biscuits will be high.

The company is rolling out Bournvita Crunchy nationally and will target all channels including traditional trade, modern trade and e-commerce.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

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