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All Perk-ed up

If you are in the age group of 18-25, ‘go snacking’ in between class lectures or office meetings must be part of your daily routine. Cadbury has just added a dash of glucose energy to it.

Last week, the leader in the chocolate market with a 70 per cent market share launched a new variant of its coated wafer brand, Perk. The new glucose energy chocolate also promises more for less.

The new Rs 5 Perk comes with 50 per cent more grammage at 21 grams. It is also available at a single serve pack of Rs 2 for 7.5 grams.

“This is a part of the core strategy that we have been pursuing to grow the market. As market leaders, we need to innovate to grow consumption,” says Cadbury India Executive Director (Strategy & HR) V Chandramouli.

Chandramauli is bang on. India’s per capita chocolate consumption is just 54 gm compared to the UK and US’ 10.5 kg and 10 kg, respectively.

Cadbury is hoping the more-for-less strategy will help increase that number by at least 5 per cent.

The small-pack strategy is already paying off. Dairy Milk Shot, which was introduced last year and costs Rs 2 per packet, has already contributed 15 per cent to Dairy Milk sales.

This is not the first time that Perk has changed. The brand was launched in 1995 in the chocolate wafer category as a snack that could be had anytime and anywhere.

Around the same time, Nestle introduced Kitkat. But after promising starts, both brands fizzled out as consumers thought they were paying for chocolate biscuits rather than chocolate.

Quick on the uptake, Cadbury relaunched Perk. While it maintained the wafer quality, its packaging changed to Cadbury’s trademark purple to prove it was pure chocolate. However, that initiative too was short-lived.

In 2000, Nestlé launched Munch and since then has been the leader in the category. In terms of pricing, Perk has followed Munch’s pricing of Rs 2 and Rs 5. Recently, Nestle launched a bigger pack priced at Rs 10.

After competing with Perk, Nestle Munch now has its sights set on Dairy Milk. For example, earlier this year, Cadbury came out with an ad for Dairy Milk around payday celebrations in the country. “Aaj pehli tarikh hai,” (Today is the first day of the month) was the premise of the ad. Soon enough, Munch came out with a campaign that announced “Khao bina tareekh dekhe,” (Eat without looking at the date).

Thus, Cadbury’s latest salvo hasn’t surprised anybody. Perk Glucose Energy is also a part of an insight the company gained from a study that suggested that consumers wanted a tasty recharge.

Also, there’s a growing health awareness among consumers who have been shifting towards lighter chocolates, a category which is reportedly growing faster than pure chocolates. “We need a brand that is youth-centric and at the same time is powerful. The new Perk makes maximum sense in that context,” says Chandramouli.

On the brand building front, the company is spending about 10 per cent of sales on its 360 degree campaign – Naya Perk — which will encompass TV, outdoor, tieups and sampling activities. All this, the company hopes, will increase the market by about five per cent.

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