From Candy Shop to Rs.17,223 crores Behemoth: The Parle Story

Unveiling Parle's success story: A transformation from candy beginnings to dominating the biscuit market, shaping India's snack culture along the way.

From Candy Shop to Rs.17,223 crores Behemoth: The Parle Story

Wednesday December 20, 2023,

3 min Read

In 1928, the Indian confectionery landscape witnessed the birth of Parle Products, a company that would eventually redefine the nation's biscuit industry. Founded by Mohan Lal Dayal, Parle began its journey as a candy producer. However, the pivotal year of 1939 marked a significant shift in the company's focus - from candy to biscuits, a change driven by an astute observation of the market dynamics of colonial India.

Back then, biscuits were a luxury, mainly imported and relished by the elite. Mohan Lal Dayal, with a vision to democratize this treat, embarked on a mission to produce biscuits locally, making them accessible and affordable for the Indian masses. This strategic pivot led to the creation of Parle-Gluco biscuits, a product that would soon become a household name.

The emergence of Parle-Gluco coincided with a crucial period in India's history - the independence movement. During this time, the Swadeshi movement, which promoted the use of Indian-made goods, was in full swing. Parle-Gluco, being a locally produced biscuit, resonated with the nationalist sentiment, gaining immense popularity.

By the 1960s, however, the biscuit market in India had become fiercely competitive, with players like Britannia entering the fray. Parle-Gluco responded by reinventing its packaging, introducing the now-iconic yellowish wax-paper wrapper adorned with the image of a plump little girl - a creative masterpiece from an Everest agency artist in the 1960s.

The brand has ingeniously evolved over the years. The "G" in Parle-G, originally standing for glucose, was later associated with "genius" in line with the brand's modern marketing narratives. Parle-G positioned itself as "Bharat ka Apna Biscuit," tapping into a deep sense of patriotism and familial bonds, a sentiment echoed in their hashtag #YouaremyparleG.

Parle-G's marketing prowess was further exemplified through its memorable commercials aired on Doordarshan in the 80s and 90s, etching the brand in the collective memory of a generation. The company has since diversified its product line to include various other popular brands, continually expanding its footprint in the confectionery market.

Today, with a staggering revenue of 17,223 crores INR and a presence in over 3 million retail outlets across India, Parle-G sells approximately 1 billion packets monthly. This translates to an incredible 4551 biscuits consumed every second in the nation. Parle's journey from a modest candy business to becoming an integral part of India's snack culture is a testament to its innovative spirit and adaptability, a true embodiment of entrepreneurial resilience and ingenuity.