A hard-boiled, tangy candy from an Indian company better known for making pan masala is giving sleepless nights to billion-dollar leaders of the confectionery market.
The Pulse candy from Dharampal Satyapal (DS) Group has registered sales worth Rs 300 crore since its launch in mid-2015, leaving more established multi-nationals scurrying for new market strategies.
The candy market in India, worth Rs 6,600 crore, is growing at an annual rate of 12-14%. Italy’s Perfetti, which makes Alpenliebe, Chlor-mint, Mentos candies and Happydent chewing gum, leads the market with more than Rs 2,000 crore in annual sales.
Parle, ITC Ltd and Wrigley are the other major players in the segment.
But it’s Pulse that is racing up to competition.
Priced at Re 1, the candy clocked Rs 100 crore in revenue within eight months of its launch. It has now become the centrepiece for the DS Group, which also makes Rajnigandha pan masala, Catch spices and Pass Pass mouth freshener.
The hard boiled candy brands that Pulse competes with include Parle’s Mango Bite and Perfetti’s Alpenliebe, besides some local brands.
Last year, Parle launched the ‘Spicy Kaccha Mango Bite’ to grab a slice of the lucrative hard-boiled candies (HBC) market.
Mars Inc-backed Wrigley is looking to lure Indians with new offerings.
Wrigley already has a product in the HBC segment, Solano, but with a negligible market share. Known for its oral-care range Orbit that commands over 90% market share, Wrigley plans to focus more on the confectionery business.
“It is a great opportunity that exists. In the coming years, the confectionery business will be one of our priority businesses. We have research and development in India based on which we are evaluating opportunities to expand this space,” MV Natarajan, managing director at Wrigley India had earlier told HT.