A global first: Hershey’s bets on high protein offering to elbow into India’s $2.8bn biscuit market

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey India is rolling out Sofit Protein Cookies onto the Indian market.
Hershey India is rolling out Sofit Protein Cookies onto the Indian market.

Related tags: Hershey's, India, Biscuits, Britannia Industries, Protein, Soy milk

Hershey India is launching a range of ‘better for you’ protein cookies to garner a share of India’s crowded biscuits market dominated by Britannia, Parle and ITC.

Sofit Protein cookies is the first line of products in the biscuits space that the local arm of American confectionery maker Hershey Co has developed internally, and confirms the company’s intent to expand the soy milk brand across different categories in the country.

In the past decade, Hershey India has successfully grown Sofit – and hence, the soy milk category – by an estimated CAGR of 20%.

According to Herjit Bhalla, Hershey India’s MD, India is a critical part of the company’s international business and one of its focus markets.

“Our very clear strategic intent is to drive growth of Sofit by building a ‘better for you’ snacking portfolio that spans different categories. This is the first big launch keeping that strategic intent in mind,”​ said Bhalla.

The launch will be supported by a 360° marketing campaign that spans across TV, digital, PR, activations and in-store presence, aimed to jumpstart its footprint in the $2.8bn biscuit segment.

The rise and rise of Sofit

Bhalla added Sofit has been growing at a 20% CAGR over the past decade, and by a whopping 50% this year.

“Over the years, Sofit has built a distinct protein proposition for itself. That is why we believed Sofit was the best brand to take us into this big leap of entering a very big biscuits category​.

“Going forward, our intent is to build Sofit into a snacking portfolio of different categories. Till now it has been a single category beverage brand,”​ he said.

Sofit Protein Cookies – targeted at working adults who lead an active lifestyle – will be available in three variants from general trade stores and e-com in the country’s larger cities at a price point of Rs 45 for the small pack (100g) and Rs 65 for the take home pack (150g).

Last year, Hershey’s committed to invest $50m to build manufacturing and supply chain capabilities over the next five years in India.

Hershey’s entered the India market in 2007 through a joint venture with the Godrej Group, which it wholly-acquired in 2012. Sofit is a local brand launched by the JV.

Entering the protein cookie category is a global first for the company. Last month, Hershey’s launched its iconic Kisses brand in the country.

 

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