Britannia recently launched Crème Wafers a category that almost every brand has steered clear from. The Crème Wafers are part of the ‘Treat’ series, which includes popular products like Jim-Jam.
The New Wafers
These products have been launched with the same old format with hardly any change, and are available in tried and tested variants of vanilla, orange, strawberry, and chocolate. There have been no new additions in terms of flavors also.
It would be a rather interesting thing for the industry to see how Britannia markets these new products and how would the venturing out in this segment prove for the brand. Except for Pickwick cream wafers, no other brand has been able to sustain in this category. Pickwick was launched in 1984 and has stuck to cream wafers and cream wafer rolls as its prime business.
In a press release, Jayant Kapre, Britannia’s business head – Adjacencies and New Business, says “Britannia is diversifying into more categories in macro-snacking and with the introduction of ‘Crème Wafer’ we offer a quick, on-the-go snack. We aim to expand the market and take a leading position over time.”
N Chandramouli, CEO, Trust Research Advisory (a brand intelligence and data insights company) says, “Cream wafers, as a product, is a good independent snack, but not a good accompaniment to tea or coffee. This is one reason that has held it back from being part of the Indian household. Britannia has to be clear that the buyer of its large biscuit base is not the buyer of the wafers. It is important to understand the target consumer and the keenness to buy.
Cream wafers have been a semi-organised business for a while. There is only one major name – Pickwick – and a few local brands. Also, it is not an advertised category and consumers pick it up from experience. To make it a part of the family purchase basket, the parent also has to be convinced.
Also, there is a lot of awareness among today’s children and they are some of the fastest changing consumers. Unlike the cream wafers from a couple of decades back, today’s teen has a host of other options to choose from.
While I don’t see much competition, one of the primary challenges would be market creation. There isn’t a huge market for the product and that’s why all the major players have stayed away. This has its own challenges as there is no proven strategy in place. Typically, the marketer would follow and utilize internal learning from the wide experience of selling biscuits. But that will be a roadblock.
The brand has also launched a couple of TVCs and as of now, the messaging is centered at children in the age group 7-13 years.
Jagdeep Kapoor, CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants feels, “It’s a great opportunity for Britannia as the cream wafers segment has not been properly explored by national brands. Its market is growing since there is a young population and there is exposure to travel.
Since no major brand has been able to present the format on a national level, in terms of communication and distribution, Britannia could make a major in-road and also be able to grow the category.
The brand bringing alive an old format and targeting it at teenagers also makes sense as a lot of older things are coming back as trends. Take Saregama’s Carvaan, for example.
Now that it is going to be exposed to the new generation by a very credible major brand, I think there is a high probability of success. There was a gap, a sweet spot in the Britannia portfolio that is now filled. It is that one gap that many other brands have to fill. With existing brands like Good Day, Bourbon and Jim Jam; coming up with cream wafers makes perfect sense.
Also, Britannia can actually take advantage of the nostalgia as the format also makes sense to today’s adults who consumed cream wafers when they were younger. I expect the category to be opened up by Britannia and competitors like Parle might follow suit”.
Well, time will tell the fate of this rather unpopular category and how Britannia will bring it to the limelight again.