Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alpenliebe : From the Alps

Brand : Alpenliebe
Company: Perfetti Vanmelle
Agency: McCann Erickson
Brand Count : 108

In the 1200 crore sugar confectionery market, Alpenliebe is the single largest brand in India estimated to be worth around 160 crore. The brand is positioned as a family candy and has been one of the most successful brand in a highly competitive market.

The brand came to India with the entry of the global giant Perfetti in India in 1994. Van Melle came to India in 2001. In 2001 the Italian and Dutch companies merged together to become Perfetti Vanmelle ( PVM).Now the Indian venture is the second largest of their global portfolio next to China.

In the products of PVM, Alpenliebe is the star. With effective and aggressive brand building , this brand has grown to become the single largest brand in the segment. The brand is a unique case study because of its peculiarities ie the name and the size.

Alpenliebe is a very complicated name. I searched for half a day to understand what it means. Their website does not have the answer nor do other marketing sites.
Then a friend of mine suggested that it is related to mountain Alps. Taking half hour on the , I found Liebe means Love. So by all probability Alpenliebe means From Alps with Love ( its my guess, inputs are welcome).

So it is a Herculean task to teach Indians ( with 24 languages and a million dialects) pronounce a brand name that does not have a meaning. Theory says that the brand name should be simple, reflect the brand values and easily pronounced. Alpenliebe broke all rules.
It is said that the initial 30 second ad of Alpenliebe pronounced the name 5 times to ensure that the TG pronounce it correctly. Why such a complicated brand name is another question all together. But this risk paid of in that the name became the biggest differentiator and reflected an International image. It is known fact that Indians are crazy about foreign brands and Alpenliebe capitalised on that.

The shape was also unique because most of the candies at that time was rectangular or cylindrical but Alpenliebe came out with a round shape.
More than the shape and the name , the product was really good .The company changed the taste of this brand to suit the Indian Palette making it more Caramelliar ( my usage) than the international one.
The brand is available in three flavours: milky caramel, Cream strawberry, Chocolate. A lollipop extention was launched last year.
Perfetti knows the method to build the brand. It is not hesitant in spending lot of money on Alpenliebe through high decibel interesting ads. The brand is positioned as a Family Candy with kids and elders sharing the limelite. The ad where the boy imitates the "father at Home and Office" is a hilarious one.
The market for Candies is expected to degrow in coming years. We have to see how Alpenliebe copes with this.

Alpenliebe is a classic case of marketers defying the theory and also highlights a simple truth " If You have money to spend, you can make a consumer sing in your language without understanding a bit of it . " anything is possible"
Source: Businessline, Agencyfaqs, Strategic Marketing


  1. Anonymous4:42 PM

    That was a really interesting story about Alpenliebe. It was my favorite candy from the day it was introduced to me. It still costs 50p. Nice info.. btw, i seem to be getting the hang of the Abbreviated words in your writings here and there..

  2. Anonymous3:11 PM

    I am not clear. The brand name Alpenliebe was give after the formation of PVM or it was before that?

  3. Nice research being from the confectionery industry i found that first year they did not have salaries to pay their staff, after the success of alpenleibe, the company never looked back and they successfully ensured their nearest competitors sold out. Zig when others zag uttered Ogilvy, and Perfetti did precisely that. Of course the margins are fantastic to promote the lacto based product. Good post Harish

  4. Those candies were my favorite when I was a kid, but at the same time were my road to obesity.

  5. hi
    Alpen means food, liebe mean love.
    Alpenliebe love for food.

    1. Alpen means Alps in german language. Liebe means love in the same language

    2. Alpen means Alps in german language. Liebe means love in the same language

  6. I love Alpenliebe creamfill and I want to go in alpenliebe world in dream...

  7. Wow, I know that this was posted a looooooong long time ago, but the question popped up in my head the other day while I was eating an Alpenliebe sweet - why is this brand name used in India? And then I came upon your blog.

    Just to clarify, 'Alpenliebe' is a combination of two German words - alpen and liebe.

    -die Alpen (pl.noun.fem) means the alps. Its singular form is 'die Alpe'.
    -die Liebe (s.noun.fem) means love. Its plural form is 'die Lieben'.
    So basically the name means Alpine love. ^_^

    34% of the European population speak fluent German(second only to 49% English speakers) and around 23% have it as their native language, the highest percentage out of all other European languages (stand: 2001). So roughly we can guess that 50% of the population would know what 'liebe' means, it being a common word and all. And as for the 'alpen' part, they have a common root word so it would sound mostly the same in all the major European languages: Alps, Alpes, Alpi, Alpen, Alperna, Alperne, Alpit, Álpeis

    I do agree with you in that the word would seem meaningless and hard to pronounce to native Indians, but in all fairness, Alpenliebe brand of sweets was first launched in Italy in 1984. That's 11(almost) years before it came to India(Dec 1995), so it wouldn't really make any sense to change the brand name just because it's a different country.

    -source: I'm a German Language diploma student ^_^

  8. Please send me the name of the product which gave as a free thing for alpenliebe chocolate in the time 2007..

  9. Please send me the name of the product which gave as a free thing for alpenliebe chocolate in the time 2007..


Your Views are Important. Please share your views as comments.