Home >industry >retail >Parle tries to claw back ground lost to Pulse candy

New Delhi: It came and it conquered the hearts of millions of consumers. Within the first three quarters of its launch, ‘Pulse,’ a raw mango-flavoured candy with a tangy inside, priced at 1, crossed 100 crore in revenue. And, it caught the attention of established candy makers.

Mumbai-based Parle Products Pvt Ltd, known for its Parle G biscuits, has hit back. It has launched the ‘Spicy Kaccha Mango Bite’ – a spicy raw mango-flavoured candy — to counter Pulse, a product of Noida-based DS Group, the makers of Baba chewing tobacco, Pass Pass mouth freshener and Rajnigandha paan masala.

Interestingly, Parle was the first company to introduce raw mango flavoured hard boiled candies in India a few years ago under the brand ‘Parle Kaccha Mango Bite’ and the spicy version is considered an extension.

“The success of Pulse made us see the opportunity. Our Kaccha Mango Bite already makes more than 100 crore. But the spicy version came into the market just about 3 months ago. We are happy with the initial response," said Pravin Kulkarni, general manager (marketing), Parle Products, adding that the new candy is already selling about a fourth of what Pulse does.

“Our products reach about 5.5 million retail outlets. This gives us an edge. Pulse does not have such wide retail reach," he added. Pulse’s monopoly has now been challenged by Parle’s candy, he added.

Products of DS Group reach about 850,000 retail outlets across the country. Pulse, which is a sub-brand under DS Group’s umbrella confectionery brand Pass Pass, is also not available nationwide. Initially, the product was sold only in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Maharashtra, before reaching a few more states. The company has also launched a second flavour – Guava. But this was not received as well in the market.

“With Pulse, we rejuvenated the category. We consider competition healthy. The market is big enough to accommodate many players. As a fast moving consumer goods company, we feel the consumers should have more options. Consumer delight is our main focus," said Shashank Surana, vice president, new product development, DS Group.

Pulse’s success also spawned several copy-cat products. Some of them are still being sold at road-side kiosks.

Still, spicy raw mango flavoured candies account for a minuscule part of the Indian market. The candy market in India was estimated at 5,500 crore, according to a study published when by market research firm Euromonitor International.

Italian company Perfetti Van Melle India, which sells Alpenliebe, Chloromint and Mentos candies and Happydent chewing gum, leads the market with more than 2,000 crore in sales. Besides Parle Products Ltd, Kolkata-based cigarette-to-hotels company ITC Ltd also has a presence in the confectionary space. ITC makes Candyman and Mint-O.

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