A wafer-thin biscuit ‘Potata’, exported to India by the Bangladeshi food giant PRAN, enjoys immense limelight in the FMCG segment. The brand’s bespoke product is a hit – from garnering the right social media attention to earned organic coverage!
Following Potata’s success, India’s major biscuit players – ITC and Britannia, have also forayed into this unique potato biscuit category. While all the excitement is primarily due to the innovative cracker format and its savoury taste profile, it also indicates the shifting preferences of Indian consumers and the transformation of the biscuit industry in general.
What makes PRAN Potata extraordinary and how did it become a huge hit in India? Answer to this question lies in the answer to several other questions: Why is Nestle Maggi the most preferred instant noodle brand across generations? How did DS Group’s Pulse candy gain massive popularity even as several tangy and lemony candies were already available in the market? How has Parle-G managed to be the world’s largest selling biscuit brand for decades? A likely explanation could be the way these brands appealed to the consumers’ nostalgia and their ability to create a memorable, sweet spot in their mind space. In these lines, PRAN’s Potata has somehow struck the same sentimental chord.
These innovative thin biscuits are light and slim, and consumers can munch on them in one go. The unique mix of tangy, sweet, salty, and spicy tastes makes it all the more irresistible.
PRAN Potata, which more or less created a new sub-segment called Potato crackers, in a way, intensified competition in the Rs. 6,000-crore Indian cracker biscuits market. FMCG giants Britannia and ITC soon followed PRAN into the segment vying to capture a larger share of the market. ITC rolled out its ‘Sunfeast All Rounder’ around June 2021 while Britannia launched ‘50-50 Potazos’ the next month. Both packs were similar in the design scheme, imagery, and variants – chatpata masala and masti masala – respectively.
The pricing was also kept competitive. PRAN’s 100 gm Potata pack is available for Rs. 25.00 across India. Britannia’s 100 gms 50-50 Potazos comes at Rs. 30.00 except for Assam and West Bengal where it is sold at Rs. 25.00. ITC’s All Rounder is priced at Rs. 10.00 for 33 gms pack and Rs. 20.00 for 75 gms pack.
Cremica and Unibic also launched their products under the segment during the latter half of 2021. Both launched two variants each of their product. Cremica Non-Stop Potato crackers offered Crunchy Masala and Pizza as flavour options while Unibic Snappers offered options Indi Spice and Cream n ‘Onion.
With the product and their variants continuing to gain momentum in the marketplace, it won’t be surprising to see other major manufacturers joining the cracker club soon.
What makes potato crackers an instant hit in India?
Potato biscuits are selling like hotcakes and are popular especially in urban India.
Brands and manufacturers are aiming to cater their premium offerings in this bespoke cracker format. While there isn’t much difference in the taste and flavor portfolio, let’s see a few subtle drivers of this innovative and trending snack:
- Indian consumers instinctively and readily approach masala and tangy flavors.
- The innovative mix of flavors also resonates with the sweet and spicy taste of the subcontinent.
- These biscuits taste better than regular salty biscuits, offer great bite, and are value-priced.
- Cracker biscuits are preferred for everyday consumption.
- The versatile potato biscuits can be enjoyed with various dips and used as a base for other toppings.
- As consumers spend more time at home due to the pandemic, they consider this new in-home snack a better option.
According to the PR Newswire information release, India ranks third in the massive biscuit market in the world, after the USA and China. India’s organized biscuit market value is approximately between Rs. 37,000 crore and Rs. 40,000 crore. The release also mentions that out of the total value share of the Indian biscuit market, the organized market contributes over 70%, and the sector is expected to grow at about 10% through 2025.
Britannia and Parle Products dominate over 70% of the Indian biscuit market, marking their presence in more than 2 million stores. ITC ranks third in the overall market share, and is followed by others including Unibic and Cremica. With all key players in the market pursuing a potato cracker marketing play aggressively, the segment is set to witness explosive growth over the coming months.
Potato crackers, as a category, has undoubtedly captured the Indian consumers’ mindshare. By creating a stir in the Indian consumer market with its extraordinary Potata, PRAN has inspired Indian manufacturers and snack aficionados to develop and innovate around tastier, healthier and unique offerings. For instance, enrobed crackers from Indonesia, like Garuda Food’s Gery Gone Mad and Mayora’s Malkist, have already kindled innovator’s attention, and are bound to be popularised soon by the Indian giants. And the consumers are in for surprising offerings that possibly breach the boundaries of biscuits, chips and other snacks. Like PRAN Potata did.
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