Kraft adapts brand strategy in India

07 March 2011

NEW DELHI: Kraft, the US food group, is rolling out brands such as Oreo under the Cadbury banner in India, thus leveraging the equity of its most recent acquisition.

Having purchased Cadbury for $19.7bn (€14.1bn; £12.1bn) last year, Kraft is attempting to exploit the leading position the latest addition to its stable enjoys in India.

Kraft previously sold Oreo and Tang in India via export, but is now assuming control of the manufacturing and distribution process, alongside tapping from Cadbury's local insights and know-how.

"The two will be a part of the Cadbury India portfolio," Anand Kripalu, managing director of Cadbury India, told the Business Standard.

"Cadbury reaches 1.8 million stores in the country, and, we are constantly growing our reach. So, yes, the two products will benefit from this exercise."

To derive the fullest possible advantage from the long-established reputation built up by Cadbury, Oreo's will be marketed using the Cadbury name, rather than Kraft.

"Cadbury is an iconic brand in this category and it was the most appropriate thing to do," said Kripalu. "Our ambitions are to have a sizeable market share in this segment."

Research firm Nielsen last week revealed that India is the world's biggest biscuit market, contributing 22% of sales in 2010, ahead of the US on 13%.

More specifically, it reported the sector recorded a 17% annual expansion in India, encouraging multinationals like Kraft to boost their activity.

"The Indian biscuits market continues to show remarkable growth, a testament to rapidly developing consumer tastes that provides us the perfect opportunity to enter this category," Kripalu said.

"Our extensive consumer research shows that more and more consumers are looking for new, innovative products. We think Oreo responds well to these preferences."

"Introducing Oreo marks the beginning of our journey in this growing category and we are readying ourselves to make Oreo a preferred choice with Indian consumers."

For the moment at least, Kraft is concentrating its efforts on marketing Oreo and Tang, according to Kripalu.

"We have no immediate plans to launch any more Kraft brands for now," he continued.

"There are a range of Kraft products that are available through the import route here. That will continue."

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff