The largest confectionery company Mars Wrigley India has stepped up its focus and deepened its position in rural and semi-rural areas, offering cheaper options for its products. More resources are allocated here to expand distribution. The company strategically expanded its Orbit and Doublemint brands to the £ 1 price bracket, which significantly contributed to the country’s confectionery segment.
Kalpesh R. Parmar, CEO of Mars Wrigley India Business line“Previously, the contribution of rural regions to our common business was low in single digits, but now it has increased to more than 20 percent. Rural demand has been a key driver of growth, especially during the pandemic, as consumers increasingly find solace in reliable packaged food. ”
He added: “We’ve played with Boomer for decades at a price of 1. Earlier this year, we also decided to launch Orbit and Doublemint at that price to increase category penetration. We believe that the contribution of rural areas will continue to grow, not only in the gum and mints, but also in our chocolate portfolio, ”he added.
The company also changed its distribution strategy. “We have doubled our distribution points in rural areas with the hub and spoke model, and we will continue to grow them over the next 6-9 months,” Parmar said.
Rural regions and second-tier markets were largely isolated during the first wave of the pandemic. They contributed to the recovery of the FMCG sector. But the second wave was much larger. This has raised some concerns about rural demand.
“With good monsoon forecasts, reduced Covid cases and increased vaccination rates, we believe rural demand will rebound significantly, especially for players who have the right portfolio and can supply these products at the right time in these regions,” Parmar said.
He added that as most states are currently easing restrictions on store opening hours, there is optimism about recovery trends. “We will start the recovery trends from August-September. There should be a full recovery in the fourth quarter of the calendar year, “he said, adding cautiously that it all depends on” how the pandemic develops. ”
Over the past few years, the company has brought its iconic global brands such as M&M and Skittles to India. “Most of our key global brands are now available in India. The current focus is on strengthening the position of these brands in the Indian market, as well as increasing their relevance by adding variants of these brands made for India, as we did with the Snickers cashew and fruit and nuts variant. option, ”Parmar said.