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Gold Flake bags gold in FMCG brand race
The Economic Times - 18 Dec 2002

Pepsi Breaks Tobacco Rule At Top Of Charts

Sachin Baxi

QUIZ anyone in the FMCG industry about the three largest brands in India by sales and you’ll be surprised at the responses. The answer could be anything from Lifebuoy, Rin, Colgate, Pepsi and Britannia to even Surf and Dalda. That’s as far off the mark as you can get. It’s cigarette brand Gold Flake, at Rs 3,700 crore of sales, including excise, that tops the list of largest brands by sales. At No. 2, it’s sister brand Wills (including Classic), and don’t be surprised- it’s half the size of Gold Flake, at Rs 1,800 crore.

Other brands in the top 10 are those backed by high-voltage advertising. At number three, it’s the choice of the new generation- Pepsi, at Rs 1,740 crore. Despite what critics may say about Coke’s earlier strategy to phase out Thums Up, it’s right up there at number four, at Rs 1,350 crore, ahead of Coca-Cola at number eight with Rs 1,030 crore. Biscuit majors Britannia and Parle also make it to the top 10, while Brand Colgate makes it to number six. The homegrown success story Nirma is ranked at number seven with sales over Rs 1,100 crore, while HLL’s price warrior Wheel finds pride of place at No. 10 position with Rs 814 crore. The figures for brands mentioned here include all variants and categories- for instance, in the case of Colgate, it includes the sales of toothpastes, toothpowders and toothbrushes.

It’s always difficult to ascertain the size of brands in the fast moving consumer goods sector given the multitude of pack sizes, price points, market share battles and a vast unorganised segment. For the first time in India, Brand Equity presents the top 100 FMCG brands by sales. Based on AC Nielsen’s retail audit data for the year ended August 2002, the survey throws up some interesting insights into the Indian FMCG industry.

The figures for the carbonated soft drink sector and cigarette brands included in the study fall outside the preview of AC Nielsen, but we’ve included them in the list after talking to reliable market sources.

A study of the largest 100 brands by sales throws up some interesting insights. The top 10 brands total Rs 15,230 crore- or more than 14% of India’s FMCG industry sales.

The largest brand, Gold Flake, is 4.5 times the smallest brand Wagh Bakri at Rs 106 crore. At Rs 5,500 crore, the two cigarette brands in the top 10 equal three soft drink brands and one fabric wash brand combined. The largest brands also belong to the companies which are reputed to have the greatest distribution width and scale, reaching into almost every part of India.

While the cigarette brands take the gold and silver, in category rankings these give way to the soaps and drink brands. Personal care, with 21 brands in the top 100 list, totalling Rs 6,885 crore, is the largest, followed by cigarettes at Rs 6,575 crore and soft drinks at Rs 6,247 crore. While ITC Ltd rules in the smoking zone, Hindustan Lever Ltd wipes the floor in the ‘cleaning’ category.