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Amul, Britannia throw down the gauntlet; win for consumers

Britannia and Amul have begun a war over the best ‘Butter Biscuit’. As the challenger brand, Amul released a print advertisement on several Times of India editions claiming to have 25% butter in their cookies. In a simultaneous Twitter engagement, the brand asked consumers to check out how much butter was incorporated in the making of other butter biscuit products of their competitors. It highlighted that other biscuit manufacturers use vegetable oil instead of butter to produce biscuits and have as little at 4% butter in their cookies.

This communication is in line with Amul’s previous communication for their icecream sub brand and their brand proposition of ‘Asli Butter’ and quality assurance of their products.

Now in the organised sector, Britannia and Parle Product account for 70% of the volumes in the biscuit category. However, there is no dearth of competition in the category with players like Mondelez, ITC, Surya Foods, Anmol Biscuits, UNIBIC Foods, and others. In the butter biscuit segment, Brtiannia rules the roost with their ‘Good Day’ product that was launched in 1986 and has 2/3 market share.

However, Britannia has not taken this attack by Amul lightly. They have released their own communication a month after Amul launched its campaign to address the issue with having 25% butter in your cookies i.e. it has 7 times the cholesterol.

While the response might have been delayed it is well thought out, as health consciousness among customers is increasing and has given impetus to new categories such as Digestive Biscuits, Whole Grain Biscuits etc.

Communications Consultant, Karthik Srinivasan pointed out in a Twitter post, “a note for the fine print, which alludes directly to butter brands, not butter cookies brands: “Reference: Derived value basis nutritional panels of leading butter brands which declare cholesterol content of 180mg per 100gms.”

This observation gives an inkling as to why Britannia chose to engage with Amul in this way. Given that the latter brand also has a formidable history and leadership in the butter category, Britannia could not avoid a confrontation.

It remains up to consumers which brand communication resonates with them. Ultimately, the organised biscuit category has room for growth as the Indian biscuit market is projected to grow by $ 8.2 billion by 2023 according to a study by 6Wresearch.

In the game for one-upmanship between these brands, it is ultimately the consumer who wins as their choices increase.

Marketing
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