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Monday, October 6, 2008

ITC signs on Tamil film actor Surya to endorse Sunfeast biscuits

Our Bureau

MR DEVARAJAN IYER, Brand Manager-ITC Foods Business, with Tamil film actor and Sunfeast brand ambassador, Surya, at a press conference in Coimbatore on Friday. — K. Ananthan

ITC has signed up Tamil film actor Surya as brand ambassador to endorse its biscuit brand Sunfeast.

Speaking at a news conference in Coimbatore on Friday, Mr Devarajan Iyer, Brand Manager, ITC Ltd-Foods Business, said Tamil Nadu was one of the largest markets for biscuits in the country and the value of biscuit market in the State was around Rs 550 crore. The entire Southern market was worth about Rs 2,000 crore.

Close to top

He said while Britannia and Parle were market leaders in this segment as they have been present for decades, Sunfeast that entered this segment just about 18 months ago has captured a market share of 9-10 per cent in the State. In some of the sub-segments such as glucose biscuits, marie or cream biscuits, it was either at the top or close to being No 1. The company is planning to launch new varieties such as cookies, sweet and salt crackers and more differentiated products. It plans to capture a market share of 20-22 per cent in the State in a year's time.

Own facilities

When asked as to whether the company has plans to establish its own manufacturing facilities rather than using franchisee manufacturing route for producing biscuits, Mr Devarajan said the biscuit unit at Bangalore was under construction and he expected the work to be completed in about 5-6 months.

This involved an investment upwards of Rs 20 crore and this would help serve the Southern markets.

Another biscuit factory would come up in Uttaranchal at an investment upwards of Rs 15-16 crore.

On the reasons for selecting actor Surya to endorse Sunfeast, he said the actor and Sunfeast shared certain core values and he was confident that Surya's mass appeal would help the brand become a market leader quickly.

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