Most often when we say Parle, every Indian has the quickest recall of a Glucose Biscuit. But sadly, that is not the company I am talking about- that would be Parle Products. Parle Agro is not connected in any way with Parle G, Poppins or Hide N’ Seek. This is a company which has revolutionalized India between the last 1970 to this date.
Every brand created by them is a journey into a frontier where no man has ever been before. If Thums Up, Limca, Gold Spot are their glorious past, Bailey, Frooti, Appy, LMN and the latest Hippo… all are a part of a brand list created from nothing but sheer boldness. Every brand is also a testimony to how brands in India have been built.
Thums Up for instance; an Indian Cola Brand which had a 60% market share when Coke decided to buy it for Rs. 120 Cr. A brand so strong that Coke; which at one point tried to underplay Thums Up and boost its own self, was forced to revive and make the Global Coke-Pepsi battle into a Coke-Pepsi- Thums Up in India. This might be one of the blunders Coke has done after the New Coke fiasco in 1985.
Thums Up ruled India for 16 years after its launch in 1977. This meant fighting off Campa Cola which came from the same plants which made Coke in India since 1949. Though there are stories about the manner in which Campa Cola was brought down to its knees, there is certainly nothing to take away the credit as to how they built a fortress called Thums Up. Much like Thums Up, Limca also did not lose its shine. Gold Spot was the only brand which made way for Fanta.
In 1985, no one could have imagined a drink in a Tetra-Pak, and that’s what set Frooti apart from Mangola. Appy in a Tetra-Pak in the 80s was not as successful; but its new avatar in the 2000s as a sparkling apple and grape drink is a success story. Bottled water named Bisleri came into India from Italy. But it was only when Bisleri under Parle-Bisleri came in a PET bottle, that bottled water came as a concept in India. Today, Bisleri is not only the category leader; it’s a category by itself.
Latest in line; while Lays and Kurkure, fight Bingo their wars for finger snacks, Hippo comes in as a bread snack with a proposition of not being fried but bakes. If Real and Tropicana are the choice of fruit juices, Saints is waiting n the wings.
In conclusion, FMCG is a sector where loyalties and brands can we washed away when the multinationals flood the market. For the time being, Parle Agro has made itself a class apart- par excellence in true terms