Very soon, Diwali will be upon us, a perfect occasion to indulge in sweet fantasies. Indians have a great liking, or rather craving, for sweet-tasting foods. We go on uninhibitedly, stocking our fridge with laddoos, barfis and gulab jamuns! As children, most of us have snuck out of our rooms in the middle of the night to raid the fridge… it’s the most Indian thing to do.
Indian sweets and snacks retail industry is a whopping Rs.45, 000 crore market, dominated by regional and local mithaiwalas. For example, in the National Capital Region, there are chains such as Bikanervala; Kolkata has Ganguram and K.C. Das, while the South has Sri Krishna and Anand Bhavan.
Interestingly, the sweets and snacks industry does not have a truly national player, and for a good reason. Taste and product profile varies radically from region to region, thereby making it difficult to standardise products.
In the North, Bikanervala is the closest to being a national player. Haldirams is already comfortably placed in the sweet food chain.
Bikanervala, a sweets & snacks manufacturer, based in Delhi, was founded in 1950. Around 65 years of sweet-and-snacks making have made them masters at their trade. Starting out as a retail sweets and namkeen shop in Bikaner, Rajasthan, they have carved a huge niche for themselves in the Indian market.
Bikanervala products are exported to several countries worldwide.
With consumers looking for fresh products, Bikaner reportedly adds minimal preservatives or stabilizers to snacks and sweets. In order to stay ahead of time and competition, the sweet & snack company has continuously been involved in a spate of product innovations, value-additions and new launches in the Indian confectionery market.
According to industry experts, with young consumers looking for newer format and flavours in confectionery, manufacturers were forced to cash in on the demand, and expand their product range. With a well-integrated supply chain and a good marketing strategy, a tremendous opportunity lies for those who have the expertise to exploit the space.
A large segment of urban India belongs to the working class. With no time to spare for full meals, they opt for quick or on-the-go bites which ensure the maximum utilisation of their time, without having to compromise on quality. This trend seems to be going upward with more and more people opting for such meals.
Sweet & snack restaurants like Bikanervala, Haldirams, Nathu’s sweets etc have established their credentials through decades of research into sweet-making and providing products high on quality and rich in taste. They cater to the needs of a large section of people who have only so much time to indulge in meals.