Publication : Economic Times
Edition : New Delhi(22.10.2014)

NEW DELHI: Italian chocolate maker Ferrero is set to nationally launch its fifth brand in the country — Schoko Bons Crispy, a wafer chocolate innovated by its India team.

Emanuele Fiordalisi, marketing head at Ferrero India, said the firm is stepping up focus on localised innovation, both in terms of products and strategy. The firm's first localised product was the elaichi flavour for Tic Tac mints.

"In India, you can't speak the same language to (all the) consumers. We are segmenting the way we are addressing consumers — through below-theline marketing and on the digital space," he told ET.

The firm currently sells Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Tic Tac mints, Kinder Joy egg-shaped chocolates and Nutella spreads in the country.

Fiordalisi said Rocher now has over 50% share in the premium chocolate category priced Rs 200 and above, where its rivals include Mondelez's Toblerone and Cadbury Glow and Nestle's Alpino. Diwali contributes more than 30% to Ferrero Rocher's annual sales, he said, adding that this season it expects higher sales than last year.

Tic Tac and Kinder Joy, too, are category leaders, but Nutella hasn't made much headway yet in the country. "We need to build the category and imagery of our brand within it," Fiordalisi said.

Ferrero, which has adopted the strategy of selling niche premium products, topped Rs 500-crore in sales last year. "We will continue with our strategy of selective distribution for our brands. It is a global strategy which we are adopting in India as well," Fiordalisi said.

He said the firm is exploring launching many more products in the country. "We have a robust portfolio of global brands, many of which are in testing stage." The firm manufactures Kinder Joy and Tic Tac in its plant in Baramati in Maharashtra, while Ferrero Rocher is imported.

While Mondelez dominates the Rs 6,800-crore Indian chocolate market with close to 70% share, Ferrero is the fastestgrowing player and has cornered about 8% per cent share, said an official quoting market researcher Nielsen.

 

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