Jun 22, 2013 01:12 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Oreo bakes new ways to retain top spot in Indian cookie mkt

Oreo biscuits have made it to the top of the premium cookie segment. CNBC-TV18's Farah Bookwala finds out the reasons why the brand has been successful within just two years of its launch.

It has barely been two years since US' bestselling cookie, Oreo, was launched in India by Kraft Foods.

But even in that limited time, it has not just climbed to the top of the pyramid in the premium cookie segment but also fuelling the innovation cycle in the country's robust eating out sector, reports Farah Bookwala.

Also read: How industries fared in April 2013: CARE Research

It is tough to survive in India's cookie market. The biting competition between domestic giants ITC, Parle, Britannia is far from sweet.

But dark cookie, Oreo, has proved to be the dark horse in the race. In just 2 years since its launch it is now one of the top selling premium cream cookies in the India. The Indian biscuit market is valued at Rs 12,500 crore.

Oreo India is growing into an Rs 300 crore brand with a market share of 30 percent.

Harish Bijoor, CEO of Bijoor Consultants says, "Oreo realises that if it wants to be in different markets, it needs to be much more than a cookie. It needs to be part of the ingredient mix, of quick service restaurants (QSRs), homes."

From ice-creams shakes to doughnuts and frappes at coffee outlets, it is constantly lending itself to new innovations in the country’s Rs 250,000 crore eating out market.

This is largely dominated by QSRs and cafe outlets. With Oreo milkshakes, an already proven global-hit, experts say, such delicacies are likely to find more takers in India.

"Oreo doughnuts are very popular; they contribute 20 percent to our sales today. It was introduced briefly but now made a permanent fixture of menu", says Tarak Bhattacharya, COO, Mad Over Donuts.

K Ramakrishnan, president, marketing for Café Coffee Day said, "If there is an opportunity for us to work again with Oreo, we will certainly do it."

Oreo: Baking new strategies

For Cadbury, the brand under which locally manufactured Oreo biscuits; they are marketed by parent Mondelez International. These were born out of splitting Kraft Foods into two entities in 2012 -- allowing eateries to use their product in exchange for visual promotion has been a cost-free way to drive the brand's consumption

"It is a great branding programme, a great marketing programme, a symbiotic approach is out there between the QSR and the brand", adds Bijoor. 

But even as Oreo tastes success brand analysts say, they need to continue to innovate and expand distribution in the country in order to maintain growth.

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