It’s no longer just a war over prices. ‘Health’ appears to be the new proposition from snack makers. PepsiCo recently added a ‘health’ proposition to its bevy, with Aliva. Now Parle Products is performing a similar act with ‘Smart Chips’.
Parle believes its ‘health’ snack, Monaco Smart Chips, will pay dividends. It is eyeing a 25 per cent market share in the domestic snacks market over the next two to three years. Monaco was launched to strengthen the company’s non-biscuit venture. Parle forayed into non-biscuit snacks with Musst Chips and Musst Stix 18 months ago and competes with Frito-Lay’s (subsidiary of PepsiCo) Lay’s and ITC’s Bingo.
Smart Chips is being positioned as ‘not fried’ – probably a first in chips. It is available in four flavours: tangy tomato, crazy chaat, simply salted, and macho masala in Rs 5 (25g) and Rs 10 (50g) price points. The product is already being sold in the metros.
Mayank Shah, group product manager, Parle Products, says: “There is more awareness on health these days. People want something not only tasty but also healthy. But more than 95 per cent of chip brands are not healthy. We wanted to offer consumers healthy wafers.” Unlike other wafers, it’s baked and made of potato, corn and gram flour.
The snack food market in India is estimated to be worth $3 billion, with the branded snack market at $1.34 billion, and is growing at 15-20 per cent yearly. The unorganised sector, worth $1.56 billion, is also growing at 7-8 per cent. PepsiCo’s Lay’s leads the pack with 48 per cent market share. It is followed by ITC’s Bingo with 13 per cent and Parle’s Musst Chips and Musst Stix with 5-7 per cent market share.
There is, however, a gap in the market today for a snack that’s healthy and tasty, which has led Parle to launch this, say industry watchers. Naimish Dave, director, OC&C Strategy Consultants, says: “A baked product is not necessarily healthy. For instance, most biscuits contain maida and trans-fats. But these two launches (Aliva and Smart Chips) seem to offer the best of both worlds: non-fried and healthy ingredients.”
Aliva is PepsiCo’s healthy venture. Though, these are in different categories: Smart Chips is a wafer and Aliva is a cracker. ITC, on its part, has several product ideas at various stages of development and completion. It’s only a matter of time before ITC, too, delivers a “healthy” snack.
Parle chose to extend Monaco, one of its strongest and fastest-growing pillar brands in biscuits, to its chips. Says Dave, “While brand extensions are common across the marketing world, it is the proper use of it which determines success or failure. Of all its biscuit brands, Parle has chosen the most appropriate one for this. Monaco has long been associated with a snack (remember the ‘toppings’ ad?). It should work as long as the consumer finds the product appealing.”
It shortly plans to launch the product’s commercial. It has Aamir Khan endorsing for the Monaco biscuit and will continue with him for the chips. It is for the first time in its advertising history that Parle has a celebrity endorsing it.