"We have reinvested ourself as health conscious brand": Amrinder Singh

How do you see the biscuit market has evolved in this country, if we can compare present market to last two decades?  Kindly also share few numbers to quantify the same? What would be the estimated share of BONN Group in overall market? 

Evolution in tastes palate of people and products is a global phenomenon and India is no exception. People have evolved and have made the industry to evolve. People have evolved from consuming biscuits which are low on fat content to biscuits that have rich recipes. There are cookies in Indian market that have rich recipes and are slightly more expensive.

There are lot of variations of biscuits in terms of flavors and texture in line with the choices of consumers. Simultaneously, people are focusing on health related aspects of food items that they are consuming.

As far as numbers are concerned, we are on the right track against overall CAGR of market and growing consistently.We have many new innovative products in the pipeline to launch, which we are sure give an edge over our competition.

What were the key changes that took place in the market which prompt you to carry out the product makeovers(or launch new lines) from time and again ? 

One trigger was the choice that consumers started to make in terms of wanting different types of biscuits. They did not want to consume the same flavor and types of biscuits always.Another trigger was consumers laying lot of stress on the health and nutrition aspects of the food that they were consuming which made us launch products and new sub-brands. For example, we have launched NuHealth range which has many health benefits. The first bread that was launched under this new category was ‘Happy Heart Bread’ which is low on fat and sugar and with 11 types of grains and in addition Omega 3 which is good for heart . Another range that we have launched is La Americana which has gourmet range of cookies offering taste and experience.

Do you think Indian biscuit market has become heavily influenced by western cookie culture, thus, forcing the manufactures to follow international norms? 

 It is not so much about western culture as it is a case of evolvement of the tastes and preferences of Indian consumers. Yes there is a change and the change is towards cookies and lot of chocolate offerings. The biscuit makers are catering very well to the changes in the preferences of Indian customers.

No, cookies have not started to eat into the market share of biscuits. The cookies are in addition to the biscuits market and cookies category is growing YOY.

Also shed on how the biscuit as the product has evolved from a tea time snack to a perfect gifting solution? As per you, what are the major challenges as far as biscuit retailing is concerned?

It is an interesting question. People wanted to break away from the monotony of the gifting traditional sweets and ladoos. They were looking at something different and something more fashionable also. Then there are advantages that biscuits and cookies have over conventional sweets.

They have longer shelf life and can be easily transported and sent through courier as compared to sweets. The problem of adulteration of sweets with chemicals and unhygienic items also led people to look beyond sweets and cookies were the next logical solution.

Today, cookies and biscuits gifting market is a huge market and set to expand further. Some of the challenges are related to transportation and supply chain logistics but they are not insurmountable. 

What are the core changes you have done in your marketing strategies to reach out to wider audience? Who do you see as your competition in this space?

We have positioned Bonn as a very health brand;adding on lot of healthy products and using high quality ingredients. Even our tagline ‘Eat Pure Be Sure…!’ has been chosen to reflect the point that Bonn means only healthy products and if one chooses Bonn products, one can be absolutely sure of the quality of ingredients.

How important is product packaging? What were the key changes that you have carried out in this segment? How this element has effected your overall sales?

Packaging is everywhere, it comes on just about everything we eat, wear, and use in our everyday lives. Consumers may see it just as a way to get information about the product they are purchasing, but in reality, it plays a huge role in marketing a product. The product’s packaging creates the first impression on a potential buyer. Is it a good first impression or a bad one?

The packaging design will dictate whether that consumer buys your product or whether they move on and look for something else. Packaging can make or break a product. The Segment has changed a lot in terms of packaging. In same terms, we are spending lot on packing development and packaging designing. They are more vibrant colors and carton boxes; innovative packaging for the products. The changes in the packaging has changed the look and feel of the product, which has make good difference in our sales as compare to early days. 

How do you think consumers’ behavior has changed towards traditional biscuit? What is working with Indian consumers now? 

Greater affluence and frequent travelling abroad has influenced customers’ preference in India over the years. They want biscuits with different tastes, flavoursand sometimes even spices. They want cookies that are more than just biscuits. They also want healthy element be thrown in.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans to extend the brand from here? Also share, your tentative project for this financial year also how did you close the last financial year?

We are in exciting growth phase. We have launched NuHealth and La Americana range of breads and Bakery which have been very well received by our patrons as well as new customers. We will launch new products in these two ranges and continue to focus on the quality of ingredients. We are exporting to more than 50 countries right now but we are looking to expand our overseas market as well.    


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