Parle seeks to be on a roll with Rol.a.Cola comeback, eyes Rs 100 cr sales in 1st year

New Delhi: Biscuits and confectionery major Parle Products expects its Rol.a.Cola candy to clock sales of Rs 100 crore, accounting for 10 per cent of its overall turnonver in the first 12 months of relaunching the brand in India after a gap of 13 years, according to a senior company official.

Parle Products, which had discontinued the hard-boiled candy with cola flavour in 2006 during a product rationalisation process, is bringing the brand back based on consumer response on social media. "A brand comeback based on consumer demand using social media interaction as a platform is a very significant one in the marketing of Parle Products...In the short term we should be able to achieve a number of around 200 tonnes a month of sales (of Rol.a.Cola)," Parle Products Senior Category Head Marketing Krishna Rao. In terms of value, he said the company is looking at sales of around Rs 50-60 crore during the remaining part of the ongoing fiscal.

"Overall, in the first year of relaunch of Rol.a.Cola we are targetting around Rs 100 crore of sales from it," Rao added. Confectionery vertical contributes around 13-15 per cent of the entire business of Parle. "Rol.a.Cola with around Rs 100 crore would be adding around 10 per cent to the overall turnover of the company," he said. Already, the company has started distribution of the cola candy after starting production in mid-September, he said adding, "We are looking at reaching at least 5 lakh stores in the first six months". In February this year after a social media user tweeted asking Parle Products to bring back Rol.a.Cola candy, the company had sought 10,000 retweets to bring it back.

In response, consumer driven #BringRolaColaBack campaign went viral and secured more than 7.11 lakh impressions on Twitter. "After 13 years, we felt that there seems to be a space again for this brand and we are willing to listen to consumers' voice. We felt that we should not have discontinued it and it should have remained as a possibility for a much larger brand," Rao said. Although Rol.a.Cola was discontinued in India, Parle Products continued to sell it in Africa and the Middle east all these years. In view of the relaunch of the brand, the company has added fresh capacities for Rol.a.Cola at its existing plant at Indore. "Depending on demand we will be taking a decision on whether to set up a new plant and spread to certain geographies or not. If in the next six months we get 40-50 per cent of sales from a particular geography (in India) it will make sense to set up a plant to cater to the demand and also to save transit cost and time," Rao said. He said the new Rol.a.Cola will retain existing product formulation and characteristics but there has been upgradation in packaging, which looks "far more vibrant" to keep in tune with the preferences of millennials, who are the primary target consumers.

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