Unibic Foods, the premium cookie brand, is turning its focus on the health and wellness segment and has come up with a wide range of new flavours and it is aggressively pushing itself to expand its market share and product portfolio in cookies segment. Aarti Iyer, Marketing Head – Unibic Foods, speaks to Swaminathan Bala subramanian for tvnews4u.com’s StraighTalk briefing on the brand’s strength and marketing plans.
Unibic has been growing at CAGR of 50 percent over the last five years. The brand currently has 21 variants of cookies under five categories. Where does Unibic stand in Indian Biscuit Market?
Unibic is in the premium cookie segment and we are well recognised both by the trade and consumers for the quality of our cookies and the range of portfolio that we offer. We are seen as one of the fastest growing brands in this vertical. We currently have more than 30 variants in our basket.
You have been braving the challenges from giants like Britannia, ITC, Kraft and Parle, What makes you stay unique among players in this segment?
We ensure our vision to offer “premium cookies at affordable prices” remains consistent. We are technologically innovative and have pioneered many firsts in the industry such as the ‘wire-cut technology’ which gives our cookie the authentic texture.
In addition to this, we were among the earliest to introduce center-filled cookies in the market, called ChocoKiss. Last year, we had launched 3 healthy variants which are 40% oats and Ragi. We also launched a snack bar range this year. We also are known for our rich taste thanks to the high-quality ingredients that we use. This we believe is our biggest USP.
What are the key factors you would attribute to your success?
We are adept at identifying the need gaps and offering something different from time to time that stands out for its rich quality and taste. This keeps us uniquely ahead of others in this segment.
What are the challenges you come across while reaching out to the potential consumers through Marketing and Communication campaigns?
Challenges are always there and it varies from region to region. We try to address them as much as we can by understanding the needs of the consumers and offering what it is important to them.
Having established in the South, now you are planning to expand in North and North East. How are you planning to take your brand in non-South regions?
We have been present in the North and we intend to make our presence stronger. We are looking to increase our visibility across national media and as well as tie up with sports-related branding in order to establish a pan India presence.
According to you, you will start putting-forth ‘health and wellness’ as the theme of the branding activities. Can you explain the strategy behind it.?
Health & Wellness is one of the segments we concentrate on. Indulgence has also been our prime forte. We will be considering more launches in this segment and we will be coming up with a new range in the digestive segment.
You seem to have more focus on TV for last-mile connectivity, Which is your best medium for ad-spend in terms of ROI – print, digital or TV?
TV is still big in India and it does play a major role in taking our brands to the consumer’s homes. However, we have also been considering a 360-degree approach in our branding initiative by focusing on OOH for brand recall, in-store for impulse drive and digital to build the affinity of the brand.
How are your Strategic Alliances with PepsiCo, CCD and Future Group fairing? What is the current status of the vertical?
Private label has been working effectively for us.
Do you have any portfolio expansion plans in the near future?
Yes, there are some launches that might happen in the near future as part of the strategy to expand our product portfolio. We keep experimenting new variants of existing categories and work on addition and omission based on the consumer’s response towards the respective product.