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India a seed market; to continue to invest for future growth: Mars Wrigley

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Mars Wrigley India is focusing on its core brands — Galaxy, Snickers and Boomer — expecting a “huge percentage” of its business and growth for the next 5-10 years to come from these brands

New Delhi: India is a “seed market” for Mars Wrigley and the global confectionery major is investing in the country ahead of the curve for better growth, a company official said on Monday.

Mars Wrigley India is focusing on its core brands — Galaxy, Snickers and Boomer — expecting a “huge percentage” of its business and growth for the next 5-10 years to come from these brands, according to Country General Manager Kalpesh Parmar.

“We have identified India as a key seed market which means we will invest ahead of the curve. We will build the business for the future… if you want to have better business tomorrow, you need to have a much faster growing India business,” he said.
Parmar said that in terms of percentage-wise growth, India is the fastest-growing market but in terms of business, it is a long way.

Mars Wrigley India, on Monday, announced the launch and local production of Galaxy Fusions Dark chocolate at its Pune plant. This marks Mars Wrigley India’s foray into the dark chocolate segment in India.

As a company, Mars Wrigley is learning the emerging markets play in India by catering to different channels and different segments of society across the price range.

“We would have a portfolio, which is simple but packs might differ by channels,” he added.

On Mars Wrigley’s plan to introduce some more brands in the Indian market, Parmar said it all depends on the consumption habits of the category.

“If you look at consumption, it is very low (around 150 gm per annum) compared to many other countries. The consumer habits (regarding chocolate) have not evolved yet and the portfolio in India had to be very simple,” he said, adding that the company is operating in all key categories.

From the availability point, all key brands are available such as Mars, Bounty, and Twix through imports.

“We are very proud that presently 85 per cent of our business is manufactured in India such as chocolates, gums, mints and fruity confectioner and 85 per cent is sourced in India,” he said.

Regarding inflationary pressure, Parmar said there were lots of headwinds in 2022.

“Even in the first quarter (January-March), we have seen some of the headwinds, but we are seeing improving in the rest of the year,” he said.

The company has taken grammage change and price increase in 2022 to manage the inflationary headwinds.

Mars Wrigley, which competes with global manufacturers in India as Mondelez, Nestle and Ferrero, has three factories in India.

In Pune, Mars Wrigley India manufactures chocolates under brands such as Galaxy, Snickers and pack M&M’s and Skittles, while at Bangalore and Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), it manufactures Doublemint, Oribit, Boomer, Skittles, Solano, Pim Pom lollypop.

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