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Mondelez eyes rural markets to boost sales of Bournvita biscuits

Confectionery giant is ramping up its distribution network across India to push the sales of Bournvita biscuits. The company is also marketing heavily on digital platforms to promote the biscuit as a healthy morning snacking brand

Mondelez India, the maker of Cadbury Bournvita biscuits, is focusing on the untapped rural markets for the growth of its biscuit brand.

The confectionary giant, which also manufactures Cadbury chocolates, is the market leader with more than 50% share in chocolate and health drinks category in India but has a meagre 1.4% share in the Rs 30,000-crore biscuits category.

“We believe that the rural market in India represents a huge, untapped opportunity and will continue to focus on it.  From a biscuits category perspective, rural contributes a sizeable percentage to our business and is growing at a disproportionately higher rate,” said Sudhanshu Nagpal, Head-Biscuits category, Mondelez India.

The company already has a strong network of dealers across 40,000 villages of India. The confectionery giant had launched its Bournvita Biscuit brand as an extension of its energy drink in 2016 with a focus to become a healthy morning snacking brand. Mondelez India entered the biscuit category in 2011 with the premium brand Oreo, which currently has a share of 6 per cent (MS Val - Nielsen YTD’17) in creams while 15 per cent in MT creams.

"Bournvita Biscuits was launched to provide the choice of a delicious biscuit enriched with the wholesome goodness of Bournvita, the drink Indian consumers have trusted for close to seven decades. With this, we expanded our category footprint from creams to cookies. Bournvita Biscuits with its ProHealth Vitamins and signature chocolaty taste offers a perfect balance for the morning snacking occasion,” the spokesperson added.

Nagpal said the company has been focusing on mothers as the target audience for the biscuit brand as they're are the key decision makers. “It appeals to mothers seeking a healthy and tasty snack in the morning consumption occasion. We target all mothers who are key decision makers for the right biscuit to be purchased for their kids.”

The brand has been focusing on its strong association with milk to sell itself as a healthy snack, which is perfectly suited for kids.

Since its launch, Bournvita Biscuits has performed very well for the Mondelez portfolio with encouraging response from the consumers. The brand is present in around six lakh stores across India.

When asked why the Bournvita biscuit was launched after five years of Oreo, Nagpal said the company wanted to introduce a very special second biscuit brand in India. "The morning snacking occasion had a huge opportunity for a product that brings together taste and nutrition which consumers want," he said.

Unlike other FMCGs, the company has been aggressively spending on the digital advertising as it believes that the medium provides better ROI than traditional mediums.

"We are probably among the higher percentage spenders on digital compared to many other mainstream FMCG categories. Digital not only plays a role in engagement, but also gets the traditional consumer to purchase online, and allows e-commerce to create markets for the future. We’re investing where it counts to make it a success, from e-tailer partnerships, digital media spend and creating relevant content for the medium," he added.

The brand has been getting an overwhelming response for its advertising campaigns on mediums such as Facebook in terms of overall engagement and positive social media commentary perspective.

"We believe that consumers today like to discover content on digital (particularly Facebook) and have the inclination to view long-form content on digital as opposed to TV. With this understanding in place, we developed long-form content and decided to go digital-first from a media perspective. We have an exciting calendar in place for Bournvita Biscuits with one of our key goal being owning the association with milk," Nagpal said.

Modelez recently launched an innovative campaign. "Our challenge was to deliver this simple message of Bournvita Biscuits goes well with milk in an otherwise routine category and make our presence felt. Hence, we came up with the idea of making milk bottles go shopping for their favourite partner," Nagpal said.

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