Whether you are a chocoholic or not, it is highly unlikely that you wouldn’t have heard or tried the legendary Swiss chocolate, Toblerone, recognised worldwide for its unique triangular shape. Till now being imported, the honey and almond nougat chocolate from Kraft Foods has been launched by the Cadbury group in India.
Cadbury-Kraft will now be the official distributor and marketer of the chocolate brand in the country; making it the third offering by the Kraft stable in India, after Oreo biscuits and Tang powdered drink.
In line with Toblerone’s premium image, Cadbury has positioned the chocolate as a gifting brand with a brand theme of ‘Gift like no one else’.
With a premium chocolate portfolio comprising brands like Celebration, Silk, and Bournville, Cadbury is looking to enhance its presence in the fast-growing premium chocolate market in India, which is seeing a deluge of international gourmet brands as well as domestic players.
According to Nielsen, chocolates form a Rs 3,200 crore category (2011), of which the premium segment constitutes only 10 per cent. However, with higher disposable incomes and evolving consumer tastes and preferences towards richer chocolates, the premium segment is growing at a rate of 50 per cent, a faster pace than the mainstream chocolate market. It is with this underlying objective of growing and leading the premium gifting chocolate market that Cadbury has launched Toblerone.
“Our consumer research in India showed that Indians are increasingly looking for unique gifting options that can delight and touch the heart of the receiver. Being the pioneers of chocolate gifting in India, we believe that Toblerone with its unique shape, unique taste, Swiss heritage and premium quality is the perfect choice to make a mark in gifting,” says Chandramouli Venkatesan, Director, Snacking & Strategy, Cadbury India.
Venkatesan adds that the market is clearly moving towards the premium stage, and the per capita consumption for chocolate is steadily growing not with only the urban towns, but also smaller cities posting strong consumption trends.
Unlike other locally manufactured brands, Toblerone’s premium appeal is further amplified because it is manufactured only in one factory, Bern Brunnen in Switzerland and exported to counties all across the world. In India, the brand will leverage Cadbury’s extensive distribution network to strengthen its presence in modern trade.
Explaining the strengths of the partnership, Venkatesan says, “We believe that the combined strength of Kraft Foods’ global scale and expertise and Cadbury India’s strong track record in this country, paves the way for a phenomenal future ahead.”
In terms of its retail strategy, the brand will be available across the country in five pack sizes – 50 gm for Rs 65; 100 gm for Rs 130; 150 gm tiny box for Rs 375; 200 gm for Rs 250 and 400 gm for Rs 430. This is certainly an upscale pricing strategy and the most expensive in Cadbury’s premium lot with Silk and Bournville priced between the range of Rs 30 to Rs 120.
With a slight price differential, doesn’t Cadbury run the risk of cannibalising the sales of other brands in its premium portfolio?
Venkatesan seems to disagree and feels that Celebrations, Silk, and Bournville already have a well-established brand equity and distinct positioning, and that there exists room for the growth of all brands.
Sharad Sarin, Professor Marketing, XLRI holds a similar view and feels that cannibalisation is a normal occurrence in multi-brand companies, and this move, on Cadbury’s part is in the overall interest of the company with an added advantage that the chocolate brand has a high recall value and awareness in India.
He also adds that while the distributional strength of Cadbury will be a significant positive for Toblerone and reach will not be a constraint, cost of distribution in India is likely to pose a problem if the volumes are low.
Known for its clutter-breaking campaigns, which are high on the emotional connect and have struck a chord with the audience, Cadbury is looking to market the ‘Gift like no one else’ brand theme and drive awareness with a targeted point of buying, digital, and public relations strategy for the first year. Some of the in-store activities will include visibility elements, product sampling in select stores, and promoters aiding shoppers to make unique, customized gift shapes with Toblerone.
For India, the brand is also looking at pursuing the digital media aggressively to enhance consumer engagement and interaction. “Currently, the global Toblerone page is about 2.6 million fans with a strong consumer engagement from fans around the world, including India. We will be creating a Toblerone India Facebook page specifically to give an opportunity for our Indian consumers to experience the brand,” comments Venkatesan.