Confectionary Giants Sweeten Licensing Initiatives in India
Confectionary Giants Sweeten Licensing Initiatives in India

With the expanding confectionery market in India, major chocolate brands are engaging in collaborations and licensing strategies to stand out in the crowded market. The Global Brand Licensing Market is projected to grow from USD 274.9 billion in 2022 to USD 385.4 billion by 2027 at a CAGR value of 4.1% from 2022 to 2027.

According to the Global Market Estimates report, the Asia Pacific (India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Rest of Asia Pacific) region is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the global brand licensing market during the forecast period.

While the United States and Canada accounted for the majority of licensed product retail income in 2019, the United Kingdom witnessed a 2.5% increase year over year, and the South Asia/Pacific region continued to expand steadily, with a 5.9% increase from the previous year.

Gaining Positive Response

Mondelez collaborated with Hindustan Unilever Limited to expand its frozen dessert portfolio with the launch of Kwality Wall’s Cadbury Crackle Tub and Oreo ice cream. Additionally, Mondelez’s Gems/Lickables portfolio has seen engaging toy collaborations, exemplified by partnerships with popular characters like Motu Patlu and Chhota Bheem.

Elaborating of licensing strategies, Nitin Saini, Vice President, Marketing, Mondelez India explains, “We have strategically engaged in numerous licensing collaborations, garnering positive responses within the market. These innovative partnerships have proven to be successful for our brands by infusing fresh and exciting elements tailored to the right target audience. The approach of licensing not only enhances brand affinity but also contributes to expanding flavor experiences through associations with complementary categories.”

These collaborations play a pivotal role in capturing consumer attention, fostering brand affection, and maintaining product saliency in the market. He added.

Kinder collaborated with celebrities Karisma Kapoor, Subhashree Ganguly, and influencer Sneha Reddy for their 360-degree marketing communications campaign. Moreover, Indian cartoon characters like Chhota Bheem and Friends, Motu Patlu, Singham, Mighty Little Raju, and Roll No 21 have resonated well with Indian audiences and are popular among kids.

 “We work with global licensors such as Tom and Jerry, Hello Kitty, Disney Princess, Batman, etc. This is not only to attract children; these characters also resonate with parents. Our research shows that parents are well aware of these characters, serving as a link between parents and children.”

Exploring Homegrown Characters 

Ferrero introduced Kinder Joy to the Indian market in 2007, disrupting the market with its unique product proposition. With the success Kinder enjoyed in the market after being associated to global licenses for characters such as Tom & Jerry, Hello Kitty, Batman, Disney Princess, and others. India has been home to popular cartoon characters such as Chhota Bheem, Doraemon, Motu Patlu, Jungle Book, among others. Now, Kinder is planning to also explore Indian homegrown characters to resonate with Indian parents.

When asked about acquiring licenses for these Indian characters, Amedeo Aragona, Regional Marketing Head at Kinder stated, “Global licenses are managed by the global team, making it easier for the brand to acquire them. The global licenses we acquire are well-known and also resonate with the Indian audience. We conduct a detailed study to ensure these licenses are appealing to Indian consumers before entering into licensing deals and initiating the process of adding toys and characters to our products.”

Amedeo further said, “We as brand be it Ferrero or Kinder, we look for exclusivity while acquiring licenses. We ensure that the character we license is exclusively with us for three months before and three months after the product launch, creating exclusivity. Although we haven't entered into local licensing yet, in the future, we will explore India-specific characters.”

Expanding in the Indian Market

Lotte Wellfood recently introduced Original and Crunky Pepero products and now envisions positioning Lotte Pepero as a premium brand in the local market, building upon the success trajectory of Lotte Choco Pie.

Lee Chang-yeop, CEO of Lotte Wellfood, expressed, "We are actively expanding our investments in the Indian market, recognizing its substantial growth potential. Following the success of Lotte Choco Pie in India, the introduction of Lotte Pepero aims to fortify Lotte's brand strength and extend sales in the Indian market.”

He further said, “We are committed to creating locally tailored Lotte Pepero products, resonating with regional food culture and climate-specific dining preferences. This investment is a strategic move to bolster Lotte's position in India, a country with a confectionery market valued at approximately 27000 Cr. In 2023, Lotte India's sales performance reached Rs. 654 Crore, with a target of more than 20 percent growth in 2024."

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