Tuesday, March 02, 2010

McVitie's : Taste Ki Nayi Language

Brand : McVitie's
Company : United Biscuits

Brand Analysis Count # 445

Another global brand has come to India. United Biscuits which is World's third largest biscuit manufacturer has launched its flagship brand McVities in India recently. United Biscuits is a $1.6 bn giant which has brands like BN, McVities, Jacob's, Phileas Fogg, Hula Hoops etc. United biscuits has already acquired a manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh .

McVitie's is a whole wheat based digestive biscuits. The brand is currently running its launch campaign in various channels.

Watch the launch ad here : McVities

United Biscuits has entered a highly fragmented fiercely competitive Indian market. The biscuits market in India is around Rs 6000 crore with major players like Britannia, Parle , ITC, Unibic etc fighting for the share. Along with these players, there is also a fair share of competition from private labels and local players..

McVities has a rich heritage. The origin of the brand dates back to 1892. The brand derived its name from the original owners McVities & Price Ltd.

The first product to be launched in India by the brand is McVitie's Digestive. Infact McVitie's digestive is worlds first digestive biscuit ( source) created in 1892.

McVitie's is positioned as a healthy biscuit . Worldwide, the brand is positioned based on its " Whole grain " content. Globally, the brand has the slogan " Whole Wheat At Its Heart".

Regarding the launch campaign, I feel that the ad was not able to do justice to the brand. I came to know about this only after some desktop research for this blog. For an ordinary consumer, the advertisement conveys nothing much about the rich legacy of this global brand.

McVitie's positioning in India is based on two attributes . It focuses on Health ( whole grain) and Taste. The brand has adopted the tagline " Taste Ki Nayi Language " translated to " The new language of taste ".

In my personal opinion, the ad was poorly made. The concept of people speaking caves as maves, thank you as Mhank you , Wow as Mow etc after eating McVitie's was little overboard and out of woods. I feel a total disconnect between the brand and the current communication. The segmentation and targeting of the brand is also unclear. The products like Digestive biscuits will not appeal to all customers. The brand may be thinking that taking a positioning platform like taste will bring in all customer.

The brand wanted to bring in some humor in the ad but failed miserably. At the end of it, the launch ad was a very hastily made poor one which failed to do justice to this global brand. Regarding the positioning, McVitie's choice of taste as the major platform is also flawed. I don't think that taste can act as a powerful differentiator for McVities. All brands talk about taste at one time or the other. The powerful differentiator for McVities would have been its global image and the quality factor which made it one of the most respected brands in Britain. The brand could have projected itself as the REAL Digestive biscuit which invented this product category. The packaging mentions the brand as " The Original " , the brand should have focused on that.

Having said that, the critical factors for success in this business is the distribution reach and the shelf space. Since biscuits is largely a spontaneous purchase, retailer support is the key. McVetie's has the back of a global major. So marketing support may not be an issue. But it will take a long time for the company to reach to the nook and corner of the market. It will be interesting to see the subsequent launches of United Biscuits also into the Indian market.


  1. No post today?

    I curiously logged in to see if you wrote another review.

    Good show, by the way. I got to your blog the other day when I was trying to undestand the Rin vs Tode ad.

  2. Well Prof Harish, After having working in the food industry my practical take is that for success of any food product :

    1. Factory fresh biscuit should be made available to the consumer with attractive packaging.

    2. Product trials or sampling is the key to acceptance, bad product advertising will kill the brand.

    3. Shelf life of biscuits is hardly 3 months in Indian conditions, with nuts the shelf life comes down further, even though mfg state 6 months life span.

    4. Sunfeast has succeeded in celebrity by using SRK, it was primarily because their quality was better than Britannia in some products.

    5. Biscuit market is crowded with big guns already 3 big players BIL, ITC & PARLE. So space for the 4th player is limited.

  3. great full thinks about biscuits read here for getting every thinks.


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