In December 2022 and January 2023, Continental Biscuits Limited (CBL) introduced two new products within their Prince by Lu range: Prince Mini Stars and Prince Mini Biscuits. According to Zainab Khan, Brand Manager for Prince, these products were introduced primarily to “retain consumer equity.”
Mini Stars, as their name suggests, are star-shaped, and are available in a packet containing three biscuits. Although they are chocolate-filled, the chocolate is different from the one used in Prince Sandwich Biscuits – apparently, the crème flavour in Mini Stars is more “decadent” and, for now, the product is being promoted as “a limited-time offer.” However, says Khan, “We are trying to extend the availability of the product in select retail points that have the storage conditions of up to 32 degrees.” Mini Stars are priced at Rs 20, and Prince Minis (mini-versions of the original Prince Biscuits) are available in a pouch containing six mini biscuits at Rs 10.
Ovais Chhippa, Group Brand Manager, CBL, says, “We wanted to offer customers a bite-sized option of our original Prince biscuits. They are both affordable and ideal to munch on the go.”
Given their price points, it appears that these products are competing with Bisconni’s Cocomo, which is available in two SKUs priced at five rupees and Rs 10 – in several flavours including chocolate, orange and vanilla. However, CBL say there are no direct competitors to Mini Stars in the market, but acknowledge that Cocomo has strong brand equity that spans two decades. Nevertheless, Khan is optimistic that the new Prince products will do well due to the strong brand loyalty associated with the Prince brand.
The affordable price points of Prince’s new products (Rs 10 and Rs 20) will ensure that they cater to SECs A and B as well as C and D. Currently, these products are available in both urban and rural areas at a ratio of 70 to 30, and can also be purchased on various e-commerce platforms including Pandamart, Daraz and Krave Mart.
Prior to launching Mini stars, CBL conducted focus groups in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Approximately 180 children between ages eight and 13 sampled Mini Stars and gave feedback on its texture, taste and packaging. “We did not disclose the product’s name and were delighted to receive a positive response. The children loved the taste and texture of the Mini Stars,” says Chhippa.
To promote the product, the brand has used digital, OOH, TV and PR. According to Khan, marketing strategies in the biscuit category are now putting a greater emphasis on digital platforms to target Millennials and Gen Z.
The launch campaigns for both products were executed by IAL Saatchi & Saatchi and both centre on the brand’s ‘adventure’ identity, featuring the Prince and other animated characters.
As the products were launched within a month of each other, to differentiate between the two, IAL developed two separate themes under the central idea of adventure.
According to Mahrukh Nadeem, Account Executive, IAL, “Prince Mini focuses on ‘mini adventures har roz,’ as well as innovation and teamwork to overcome evil and which is why we feature an animated character – Ali – who works with the Prince. Mini Stars incorporate a magical element and portray the biscuit’s star shape as a symbol of light that eradicates darkness both literally and metaphorically. These distinctive communications allow Prince to provide children with two fun experiences that showcase heroism and adventure.”
For context, Prince Biscuits were launched in the eighties and featured an animated Prince who continues to be used to this day. Since then, all Prince product extensions feature the Prince as the main protagonist in the brand’s stories. Nadeem further elaborates on the brand’s communication strategy – “New and exciting communications are continuously produced, inviting children to enter a world of unlimited possibilities and adventure, where good always triumphs over evil.”
According to CBL, the biscuit market in Pakistan is ‘exploding’ and is currently valued at Rs 250 billion. Branded biscuits (including second-tier brands) account for 85%, while the remaining 15% are unbranded. CBL’s market share stands at 28% of the branded biscuit market. At present, the challenge for biscuit brands is to maintain the quality of their products as well as retain customer loyalty, despite the fact that price points are increasing due to inflation. This has resulted in lesser-known brands gaining market share temporarily as they offer more affordable options.
The market response to Prince’s new product launches is being monitored every month, and the results have been favourable so far. As for future plans, Khan says the brand has more “exciting” innovations in the pipeline.