Menu Close

Essential enjoyment: Britannia’s biscuit business booms during COVID-19

Essential. The once humble and sparsely used term has skyrocketed in rank to one of the most defining words of our time. It’s a word that has kept the world functioning safely throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It’s used to describe frontline workers, travel, business, services and more. And it’s shown the citizens of the globe what absolutely cannot be lived without – resiliency, adaptability, humanity and even cookies.

Britannia Industries’ CEO International Business Annu Gupta

“Biscuits have been categorised in the Essential Food category by the government,” shares Britannia Industries’ CEO International Business Annu Gupta. “Britannia has always been one of the most trusted brands among South Asians. And in times like this, riddled with crisis and uncertainty, consumers have turned to us to solve their snacking needs. They know that we will operate in hygienic conditions and continue to provide exceptional quality.”

Britannia, makers of such iconic offerings as Good Day, Marie Gold, Milk Bikis and Bourbon, has been in the business of baking up smiles for more than a century. The global company’s portfolio boasts a slew of comfort foods, ranging from biscuits to bread, cakes to rusks and even dairy products. And while it was founded in India, Britannia has grown to be cherished the world over, with an international footprint spanning more than 80 countries.

“Britannia has always been one of the most trusted brands among South Asians. And in times like this, riddled with crisis and uncertainty, consumers have turned to us to solve their snacking needs.” – Britannia Industries’ CEO International Business Annu Gupta

Thanks to its solid reputation, Britannia has basically rendered itself pandemic proof. Of course, the company has seen an ample amount of challenge throughout the decades. But with that comes a knowing – take care of your people and the rest will fall into place.

“We have given the utmost priority to our employees and vendor welfare. In doing that, we have managed to never compromise on our supplies to market, which has been very critical in these tough times,” Annu says. “Of course, we’ve had our fair share of supply chain disruptions. However, by and large, we have been on top of the issues, continuing to innovate and arrive at solutions on a real-time basis.”

Additionally, he says driving cost efficiencies has been crucial during this time of extreme disruption. “Whether in manufacturing, procurement or front-end sales and marketing activities, maintaining cost leadership has been essential to coming out on top amid the demand erosion during the pandemic,” he stresses.

Having a strong position in the market hasn’t hurt either. Britannia is a standout among its competitors thanks to its heritage, knowledge and wealth of experience. But where the company truly shines is its local-for-global strategy.

Some of these include having a localised digital presence, in-store amplifications and even joint promotions with other popular brands. Britannia also adapts the taste, profile and variety of its products to appeal to the broader global population. Examples of some products exclusive to International Business are Black Seed Rusk, Black Seed Digestive, Dry Cake and Marie Gold Petit Beurre.

Annu Gupta with Britannia Industries products

“These differentiated products are exclusive to the International Business. They have been developed based on the taste preferences of local consumers,” Annu explains. “Products like Black Seed Digestive, for example, appeal strongly to the Middle Eastern population, and our sugar-free variants have a universal appeal.”

And while Britannia boasts an impressive line-up of quality snacks with considered ingredients – it was India’s first bakery company to remove trans fat from its entire portfolio – its most crave-worthy element is perhaps nostalgia.

“When Indians go abroad, they are spoiled for choice. Britannia is their connection to their roots. It puts them in their comfort zone and most definitely ensures Britannia products make it in their monthly shopping basket,” Annu says.

By keeping longtime favourites on the roster and continually innovating new favourites like Chunkies and Chocolush, Britannia is able to remain not only relevant, but sought-after too. “We have made remarkable progress in the GCC, becoming one of the top three biscuit manufacturers in most countries. We are number one in cookies and rusks, and a close second in others, boasting impressive market shares across the entire range,” Annu tells Trade Arabia.

As for Britannia’s future, Annu promises even more furtherance and fun – “new formats, more goodness and lots of excitement” – all essential ingredients for the brand’s ongoing, sweet success.

Britannia Industries’ International Business is booming amid the pandemic. The premium biscuit-making company posted revenue of US$464.1 million in the April–June quarter – an increase of 26 per cent over a year ago. Operating profit also surged to US$91.8 million, a significant jump of 91 per cent.

Britannia’s Four Key Values for Driving Superior and Consistent Quality


“Come home to Britannia”
Indian consumers will always be at the heart of the company, but its warmth extends to all nationalities as well, with specially curated offerings that appeal to diverse cultural nuances.


“Fuel the hunger”
Britannia International is constantly striving to create comforting sensorial experiences, which cater to a myriad of palettes in an ever-changing global landscape.


“Build enriching careers”
Britannia is for Britannians. As such, most of the company’s employees are grown within the organisation.


“Do the right thing”
Respect and value for the communities it impacts and the environment it operates in is deep-rooted in Britannia’s culture.

Leave a Reply