For the second, Parle Products Private Ltd has withdrawn the variants of its chocolate-chip cookie brand, Hide & Seek. Having extended the Hide & Seek franchise early last year to two new flavours — butter and cashew badam — the biscuit major has now restricted it to chocolate-chip cookie.
It has decided to bring them under the Parle franchise and re-named the same as Parle Cookies. The brand is currently being test marketed in the south.
Explaining the rationale behind withdrawing the variants, Mr Mayank Shah, Product Manager, Parle Products Private Ltd, said: "Hide & Seek has a strong association with chocolate. It has always been accepted as a chocolate chip cookie brand and people were not ready to accept the butter and cashew variants. We have now de-linked the variants and re-introduced them as Parle Cookies. The products will soon be re-launched nationally."
Early last year, Parle Products had pitted its Hide & Seek variants against Britannia's Good Day Cookies at the premium end of the biscuit market.
However, this was not the first time that Parle was introducing variants under its Hide & Seek brand. Pioneering the chocolate-chip cookie category with its Hide & Seek brand in 1998, Parle had subsequently extended the brand into three variants — orange, coffee and mint. However, poor offtake led the company to discontinue these products while the Hide & Seek chocolate-chip cookies continued to be successful .
Meanwhile, Parle has pegged its growth rate between 12-13 per cent this year. With no intentions of dropping prices for any of its brands, the company expects to drive further penetration for its flagship glucose brand, Parle G, along with brands such as Monaco and Krack Jack. "We still have a long way to go in biscuits. It is not availability but acceptability which is an issue with consumers," says Mr Shah.
In the confectionery category, Parle Products has pegged its growth rates at 15 per cent for its brands such as Poppins, Melody and Mango Bite. "We have to maintain our prices for our confectionary brands to protect our bottomline since even with a 50 paise increase in price the volumes go down by more than 100 per cent," says Mr Shah.
Besides, the company has decided to de-focus from its snack brands such as Cheeselings, Jeffy and Sixer. "The products may be still available on the retail shelves but we have decided not to focus on the snack brands," added Mr Shah.