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Unibic presents Chyawanprash Cookies to focus on health and wellness category
Wednesday, 16 November, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bangalore
Unibic Biscuits India Pvt. Ltd, the country's only wire cut cookie major, has developed chyawanprash fortified cookies, Chyawanprash Cookies, in an effort to grab a share of the market in the health and wellness space.

A daily consumption of three cookies will provide the health benefits of chyawanprash, claims the company. The cookies are manufactured in Bangalore, at the Unibic facility, which is the first automated cookie plant in the country with wire cut technology.

The company has received a licence from the Department of Ayush, Government of India, to incorporate chyawanprash into its cookies. The label on the Unibic's Chyawanprash Cookies carton indicates that it is a proprietary product.

According to the company, the product is an attempt to make the taste of chyawanprash more appealing for consumption. The issue with chyawanprash, which comes in semi-solid form known as "leyham" in Sanskrit and is prepared according to the "Charaka Samhita" text in Ayurveda, is the taste.

In this product, Unibic has been able to balance the taste and provide the efficacy of chyawanprash. The chyawanprash was sourced from Sri Sri Ayurveda Products, Bangalore, by Unibic and the two teams worked closely to come out with the final product.

Extensive validation of the taste was carried out among 400 potential consumers who expressed the acceptability of the final product.

"We invested in a technology to inject chyawanprash into the cookie ingredients. Chyawanprash is a well-known health supplement known to provide good health for all age groups as an herbal rejuvenating product. We wanted to bring to the table a unique offering and went on to develop the cookies that delivers chyawanprash in a format, led by an acceptable taste," Nikhil Sen,managing director, Unibic Biscuits India Pvt. Ltd, told F&B News.

Chyawanprash contains 32 herbs including amla and is known for its sweet-sour flavour which makes its unpopular among children who dread its taste.

"We decided to work out the inclusion of chyawanprash in a manner that masked its taste. The cookie made of wheat flour is also embedded with dates paste, sugar and butter among other ingredients with a 15 per cent fibre content," he added.

The product development spanned over 6 months. Unibic was already known for its introduction of Anzac Oatmeal Cookies and Digestive Cookie which is manufactured using oats and bran. In order to take the company to the next level of product development and growth, it pursued the path of health and wellness to come out with the sugar-free cookies which is its fastest selling brand. With Chyawanprash Cookies, its latest offering on the shelves, the company hopes to repeat its success story. The product, with a shelf-life of six months, is priced at Rs 30 for a pack of 90 gram.

The present cookie market is valued at Rs 1,500 crore. Unibic competes with Britannia's Good Day, ITC's Sun Feast's Golden Bakery and Parle's Hide & Seek in this segment.

"What sets us apart is the technology, richer recipe, dual branding of indulgence and concept of health maintenance apart from the pricing, distribution and taste. Of the 17 variants, 14 are in the category of indulgence and they include chocolate chips, cashews & almond encrusted, centre-filled cookie with a chocolate paste filling, jam topped, honey and oatmeal based varieties. Health maintenance range has oatmeal and wheat bran base, sugar-free and chyawanprash cookies," stated Sen.

"With the current market opening up promising prospects for growth in the health cookie market, we are optimistic about profitable growth," said Sen.
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