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Snack Preview: Surya to make Sunfeast shine
The Economic Times - 03 Apr 2006

ITC Foods has appointed Tamil film's leading hero, Surya, for endorsing its flagship Sunfeast brand in Tamil Nadu. Surya will be the brand ambassador for the entire range of snacks under Sunfeast.

Sunfeast, which has around 10% share in the Rs.550 crore Tamil Nadu market, is targeting a 20-25 % share in the next 1-2 years, a senior ITC official said. "Tamil Nadu is a huge biscuit market and is a significant contributor to Sunfeast's topline. Surya's appeal extends across all age groups and would complement the brand," Devarajan Iyer, brand manager, ITC Foods told reporters on Friday, "It is nice to be associated with a brand known for its innovations, " Surya said.

Stating that ITC has achieved a sizeable market share in Marie, glucose and cream biscuit categories in less than two years since their launch, Mr Iyer said the appointment of brand ambassador would help enhance Sunfeast's image.

The association with Surya is an extension of Sunfeast's region specific marketing strategy designed specifically for the Tamil Nadu market, he explained. Surya's brand endorsement would be subsequently extended to other southern markets, he said ITC would also expand its range by launching cookies and salt crackers shortly, Mr Iyer informed. As sale of biscuits is witnessing a steady increase, ITC is now setting up a facility for biscuits production in Bangalore and Uttaranchal, he said. Currently, the production of biscuits is largely outsourced.

The investment in the Bangalore facility, which would cater to the southern market, would be in upwards of Rs.20 crore, Mr Iyer said. The Bangalore unit would be operational in another seven months and ITC is investing around Rs.16 crore in the Uttaranchal facility, he added. The market for biscuits in the south is pegged at around Rs.2000 crore. The organized biscuit market in Tamil Nadu, estimated to be around 10, 000 tonnes is dominated by Britannia, which has a 38% share followed by Parle with a 36% share.