Parle Products

Parle has firmed up plans to return its focus back on confectionary as the future of its mainstay biscuits looks bleak. While Parle started operations in British India with confectionary products such as toffees, peppermints and rose mints, biscuits became its mainstay over the decades, thanks largely to Parle-G, which has become one of the largest-selling biscuit brands in the world. But with biscuits currently attracting a higher tax of 18% under GST compared with 12-14% earlier, the company has decided to bank on the popularity of its iconic brands like Kisme and Poppins to grow its confectionary business, which accounts for 12% (Rs. 1000 crore) of its revenue. “The Rs. 10,000 crore organised confectionary market, currently growing at 12%, has the potential to grow at 15-20% because the category remains under-penetrated,” said Krishna Rao, category head at Parle Products. “While we were not able to grow the confectionary business fast before, we plan to grow it to 15% over the next two years.” While Parle was busy biting off a large chunk of the Rs. 27,000 crore biscuits market, global confectionery giants, including Hershey, Perfetti Van Melle and Lotte have set up shop here to dominate the local market. Although biscuits account for 85% of Parle’s revenues at present, Rao said the company plans to grow its confectionary business by targeting established players and local B brands selling rip-offs.