The general manager of Indian biscuit major Parle Products is unconcerned about reports that PepsiCo is preparing to enter the country’s INR110bn (US$2.41bn) biscuit market.
According to The Economic Times, PepsiCo is looking to pilot the launch of cookies under its Quaker brand in India next month. The US food and drink giant, however, declined to comment when contacted by just-food.
Amid speculation of PepsiCo’s entry, Praveen Kulkarnii, the general manager at Parle, said current players in India’s biscuit market will have an advantage.
“Old players will have an advantage as they know consumer preferences. Products at affordable price without compromising the quality, and innovation with tastes and flavours will keep one ahead of its competitors,” he said.
Nevertheless, Arvind Singhal, chairman of management consultants Technopak Advisors Pvt Ltd, said PepsiCo’s entry could boost demand for biscuits overall.
“The processed food category is booming in India. Companies in this sector are diversifying. The entry of PepsiCo India will help expand the biscuit market,” Singhal said.
The UK’s United Biscuits, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Australian-owned Unibic India, and the Indian Tobacco Company already sell biscuits in India, with Kraft Foods planning a launch later this year. Indian-owned Parle Products and Britannia Industries dominate the market, however. Annual per capita biscuit consumption in India is 2 kg compared to 12 kg in the UK.