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Pulse's recipe to success: How the Re. 1 candy made Rs. 300 crore sales in two years
Brand Equity, 08 March, 2017


Pulse, a raw mango flavoured tangy candy, was launched by DS Group, makers of Rajanigandha pan masala and Catch bottled water, in mid-2015

Upstart Indian brands beating MNC marquee brands is not new. But this one takes the cake – or the candy.

Pulse, a raw mango flavoured tangy candy, was launched by DS Group, makers of Rajanigandha pan masala and Catch bottled water, in mid-2015. Last month, the Re 1 candy clocked Rs 300 crore in sales, beating MNC blue chip munchie brands such as Oreo (Rs 283 crore in sales, launched in 2011) and Mars bars (Rs 270 crore in sales, launched in 2011).

Pulse looks like a sweet success compared to other MNC brands as well. Coca-Cola’s much advertised Coke Zero, launched in late 2014, has a sales figure of Rs 120 crore. Pulse’s brisk sales growth is more impressive considering the stiff competition in India.

The sweet candy category is estimated at Rs 6,600 crore (hard boiled candies, mints and jellies), and is growing at 12-14% year-on-year.

Existing hard boiled candy brands that Pulse competes with include Parle’s Mango Bite and Italian maker Perfetti Van Melle’s Alpenliebe, besides a slew of local brands.

Parle and Alpenliebe are established players for more than a decade. Pulse raced to the third spot in just over two years in a market where price competition is fierce and brand loyalties are fickle.

DS Group senior vice-president (new product development) Shashank Surana said: “Pulse is a highly scalebale brand and it has resonated exceptionally well with consumers. The brand has huge potential.” DS is starting to sell Pulse in stores in Singapore, the UK and the US, and may also consider patenting its formulation, Surana said.

Industry and retail officials said the market disruption that Pulse candy caused is riding on taste, which worked despite deep-pocketed competition from Parle and Perfetti Van Melle, Italian makers of Alpenliebe.

“Local taste that can produce a blockbuster…home-grown taste always finds acceptance faster if launched in new forms,” said Devendra Chawla, chief executive of Future Consumer.