Parle G is the world largest selling biscuit and has managed to hold its own despite competition from different players
Just hearing the word “Parle G” conjures up images of biscuits dipped in warm milk and rapidly eaten before they disintegrated into the drink. Most Indians have grown up eating the simple rectangle biscuit that goes so well with tea.
For millions of Indians, this biscuit is more than simply a snack; it’s a staple.
The Swadeshi Movement was launched at Town Hall, Calcutta, to reduce reliance on imported commodities, on August 7, 1905.
Inspired by the ideals of the Swadeshi movement, Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan travelled to Germany a few years ago to hone his skills in confectionary making. In 1929, having acquired the necessary expertise and equipment (imported from Germany for Rs 60,000), he returned.
He purchased a run-down factory between the two peaceful towns of Irla and Parla and gave it a new lease of life. The Chauhans only had room for 12 personnel in their factory, and they all had to do double duty as engineers, managers, and candy makers.
It is said that the founders were so preoccupied with running the plant that they failed to give it a proper name. Thus, the first Indian-owned candy company in the nation eventually became known as Parle, after the location of its inception in India.
Candies and Biscuits
After launching with orange candy, Parle expanded into various candies and toffees. However, it didn’t start producing biscuits until 10 years later. In 1939, when the war trumpet sounded, the firm produced its first biscuit.
Biscuits were mostly consumed by the upper classes since they were imported, costly, and reserved for royalty. British companies including United Biscuits, Huntly & Palmers, Britannia, and Glaxo dominated the industry.
Because of this, Parle Products introduced Parle Gluco, a low-cost nutritional supplement aimed at the general public. The lowly cookie immediately gained widespread acclaim once it was produced in India, localised for Indian tastes, and made available to all citizens. The British Indian Army also had a high need for it during WWII.
Production of Parle Gluco biscuits was temporarily halted in 1947 because of a severe scarcity of wheat (India was left with just 63% of its wheat farming area after Partition).
Until wheat supplies were normalised, Parle advised its clients to make do with barley cookies in an advertisement that paid tribute to Indians who had risked their lives for the liberation of their nation.
Defeating the Opposition
As early as 1960, Parle Products saw the effects of competition from new manufacturers of glucose cookies. Britannia, for instance, introduced Glucose D, the first brand of glucose biscuits, and had it endorsed by Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan’s guise in the film Sholay). People would merely ask store clerks for glucose cookies since so many brands sound the same.
The company patented its packing technology and developed custom packaging to fend off imitations. Back in the 1960s, Manganlal Daiya of Everest Brand Solutions’ artwork of a curvy young girl graced the new yellow wax paper wrapper that also included the firm name and a red logo.
While the target market for the biscuits—children and their mothers—welcomed the updated packaging, it did nothing to distinguish Parle Gluco from the numerous “me-too” glucose biscuit brands already available. Because of this, the biscuit’s management decided to give it a new name in the hopes that it would make it stand out from the competition.
As a result, Parle Gluco was renamed Parle G in 1982, with the “G” referring to glucose. Low-cost printed plastic was used as a replacement for the yellow wax paper because it was being copied by smaller biscuit manufacturers who offered inferior products in the same packaging.
With its new witty slogan, “Often imitated, never equalled,” the company aimed to differentiate itself from the competition.
Afterwards, a creative TV advertisement with a big Dadaji and his bright young granddaughters singing “Swaad bhare, Shakti bhare, Parle-G” became a hit. To read more – https://onlykutts.com/index.php/2021/07/13/parle-g-subko-patha-hai-ji/
For their 1998 campaign, Parle-G partnered with the television show’s desi superhero Shaktiman, who was a huge hit with young Indian viewers.
Since then, Parle goods have only become better. Parle- G’s advertising, has been successful in expanding the brand’s identity beyond that of a simple energy biscuit.
Well-executed commercials and the consistently high quality of the biscuits have contributed to the brand’s longevity. The monthly sales numbers that the corporation now brags about are staggering, at over a billion packets. That’s over a hundred million Parle G packs every month, or 14,600 crore biscuits per year, or 121 biscuits for each of India’s 1.21 billion people.
The biscuit is so well-liked that it has been included in several upscale dessert menus. There is a Parle G cheesecake at Farzi Cafe and a Parle G eat shake at Cafe145 in Mumbai.
However, the brand has maintained its integrity despite its meteoric rise to fame and overwhelming popularity. Its consumers span the socioeconomic spectrum, from those living in the largest cities to those in the tiniest villages. In addition, it is the only brand that may be found in remote locations, such as a community of 100 people close to the LoC.
Perhaps that’s why, despite the constant influx of different biscuits onto the market, the basic glucose biscuit continues to have a unique place in the hearts of all Indians.