Despite Cadbury India's revenues dipping in the last fiscal year, it continues to be the market leader in chocolates with an impressive 67 per cent market share. It is still synonymous with chocolates for the average Indian.
But there is one area in which Cadbury has been beaten - the premium chocolates category.
After being acquired by Kraft in 2010, the first product that Cadbury India rolled out from the global Kraft portfolio was the Oreo cookie. It overlooked the potential of premium chocolates. Thus it was that Italian chocolate-maker Ferrero International, which entered India in 2010, swept the luxury end of the chocolate market, leaving Cadbury on the backfoot.
Ferrero International launched its flagship brand, Ferrero Rocher, not only in modern retail stores (which typically attracts clientele which would buy premium chocolates) but also in several kirana stores at price of Rs 250 for a box of 10 chocolates. It sold like hot-cakes, especially during the festival season.
"The round shape with the cover resonated well with Indian consumers as it looked like a laddoo wrapped in a golden cover," says Devendra Chawla, President (Food Bazaar), Future Group.
Cadbury India's decision to launch Kraft's largest selling premium chocolate brand, Toblerone, in the country was in response to Ferroro Rocher.
Along with Toblerone, other premium chocolate-makers such as Lindt have also entered the Indian market and are doing relatively well. However, 60 per cent of the premium sales in India continue to Ferrero Rocher's chocolates, claim retailers.
The most frequently gifted brand in the premium end during festival season is Fererro Rocher, points out the sales head of yet another Mumbai-based retail chain.