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History of Parle products: A journey beyond biscuits



By Vivek Joshi

Parle, a household name in India, traces its roots back to 1929 when it was founded by the Chauhan family, led by Mohan Dayal Chauhan. Originally established as a confectionery maker in the Vile Parle suburb of Mumbai, Parle Products embarked on a journey that would transform it into one of the country’s most iconic brands.

The inception of Parle Products saw the creation of its first product, the ‘Parle Orange Candy,’ marking the beginning of a decade-long focus on confectionery items. It wasn’t until 1939 that Parle made its foray into the world of biscuits with the introduction of ‘Parle Gluco Biscuit.’

During the years 1939 to 1947, Parle’s focus shifted exclusively towards producing biscuits for the British army, limiting public access to these baked delights. However, with India gaining independence in 1947, Parle redirected its efforts toward the wider market.

In the post-independence era, biscuits were considered a luxury item, primarily imported and associated with the diets of the affluent. Seizing this opportunity, Parle positioned itself to cater to the common Indian audience. The affordability of Parle biscuits, coupled with their delectable taste, led to widespread consumption, catapulting the brand to new heights of popularity.

The name ‘Parle’ itself carries a geographical significance. The first factory, established in 1928 by Mohanlal Dayal, was located in the area of ‘Vile Parle’ in Mumbai. This locale became the inspiration for the brand’s nomenclature.

The evolution of ‘Parle Gluco’ into ‘Parle-G’ in 1985 was prompted by the rising competition in the glucose biscuit market. To distinguish itself from other brands flooding the market with similar names, Parle opted for a distinctive identity. This decision proved monumental, as ‘Parle-G’ went on to become the world’s highest-selling biscuit brand.

As of 2022, Parle-G boasts a staggering production of over 100 crore packets per month, demonstrating its popularity. In 2013, the brand achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first FMCG brand to reach sales of ₹5000 Crore. Today, the sales figure has surged to ₹16000 Crore.

The legacy of Parle extends beyond biscuits. The company underwent a division, with Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan’s five sons contributing to different segments:

Marketing strategies of Parle-G

The story of Parle products reflects not only the evolution of a brand but also the dynamic strategies employed to adapt, grow, and become an integral part of the daily lives of millions of Indians.

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