Parle infuses fresh life into two legacy brands to carve a wider niche

The new campaigns for Krackjack and Monaco have been released in 11 languages so far
At 50 and 75 years, Krackjack and Monaco are among the oldest brands in the Parle pack. And for that reason alone, one would assume, unlikely contenders for millennial attention. However the two brands are leading the company’s charge into the demographic and driving Parle’s efforts to expand its footprint in the Rs 5000-crore-plus market for crackers. 

Krackjack valued at Rs 800 crore and Monaco around Rs 550 crore (A C Nielsen estimates as provided by industry) have seen a concerted marketing push in recent months. New flavours and packaging apart, the company is also working on an independent identity for the two. The company says it is high time that these brands stand out, sharing their own independent spot of the sky under the Parle banner. The two will also see more brand extensions, while some existing ones will get a fresh coat of marketing gloss.

The cracker segment that both Monaco and Krackjack are part of, is estimated to be about 15 per cent of the Rs 35,000 crore biscuit market. Parle has four brands in the mix here but these are the big two, which give it nearly 28 per cent market share. Britannia is market leader while Parle holds the second spot.

Today biscuits as a category is growing at around 12 per cent, in that cookies and cream biscuits are growing at around 16-18 per cent, crackers clock around 9-10 per cent. Mayank Shah, senior category head at Parle, believes that brands have been lethargic in developing the segment so far. It has not seen any major launches in recent years, he says. Parle wants to change that. It has launched two new variants, KrackJack Butter Masala and Monaco Pizza in recent weeks. 

Ambi Parameswaran, brand strategist and founder of Brand-Building.com says that extensions are a tried and tested way of re-energising brands. “Old brands like KrackJack or Monaco are fixed in their ways, you don’t expect them to be different. Such extensions create an excitement around the brand,” he adds. 

Today biscuits as a category is growing at around 12%
Keeping consumers interested is a challenge and extensions help do that, but Parameswaran says, one must not look at such exercises as a means to multiply sales. Extensions may account for five per cent of the total sales but the important thing is that they can sell the mother product. “It gives consumers the faith that their brand is an exciting brand, interesting things are happening. Also extensions help a brand try and test new price points. They work in many ways, but the only thing is that you need to keep them under control. If you have unrealistic expectations, then a brand can fall flat. If one expects sales, growing at say five per cent per annum,  to jump 20 per cent after such launches, it will go wrong,” he adds.

Parle believes that the crackers category has not seen too many experiments in the past and it hopes to drive the buzz around its brands with two new variants to begin with, available in different sizes and at two price points, Rs 10 and Rs 25. 

Parle is rolling out a multimedia campaign across print, digital and television for the two brands. The TVCs will be released in 11 languages, including Hindi, English, Marathi, and Tamil and will be followed up with a digital campaign. 

The brands’ main customers are in the age group of 15-25 years for Krackjack and 15-35 years, for Monaco. The company says it will first target markets with population over five lakh and in the second phase, in less than 24 months, move to towns with one lakh plus population. This, says Shah, is a different move compared to the usual strategy of going to the markets with over 10 lakh population in the initial stage. 

The company expects the two new additions would add around 15-20 per cent to the KrackJack and Monaco business in the first year of launch.