Tk 1400 cr market creates
Staff Correspondent: It is hard to find anyone who does not like candy, lozenges or chewing gums. These sweet stuffs made of concentrated sugar mixed with water come in various flavours and fragrances.
Candies and lozenges were introduced in this country many years ago by melting sugar and wrapping it around a stick.
Local businessmen still create such lozenges in several parts of the country. But with the passage of time, these products are being commercially manufactured in the industrial sector as well.
Several large industrial groups are now producing and marketing candy, lozenges, lollipops and chewing gums in the country. The leading among them are Pran-RFL, Olympic Industries and Danish.
Besides, the Italian multinational brand, Perfetti Van Melle (PVM), is producing and selling various types of candy and chewing gums in the country.
According to information given by industry experts, the local market of candy and chewing gums is worth nearly Tk 1,400 crore at present. This market has been developed with the products of local and foreign brands and local companies.
The yearly growth in this sector is 10-15 per cent.
The global candy market has been valued at USD 79.35 billion in 2018, and is further expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.5 per cent during 2018-2023.
Experts say the export market, as part of the confectionery industry, is seasonal with demand peaking in festive seasons. So, great opportunity would open up for Bangladeshi manufacturers and exporters if a robust backward linkage industry could be developed fully.
PRAN Foods Ltd, a sister concern of PRAN-RFL Group, has been marketing sugar confectionery products like candy, lollipops and bubble gums since 2000.
Talking to The Independent, Kamruzzaman Kamal, director, marketing, Pran-RFL Group, said that Pran sugar confectionery had more than 80 established brands in around 10 major categories and exported to more than 30 countries around the world.
“Understanding the brand essence and continuous effort to identify consumer needs and create value for them are also our core strength,” he said.
Reply to a query, he said, Pran had already captured around 30-35 per cent of the local market in Bangladesh.
When asked about the products that were in demand most, he said that hard-boiled candy such as lollipops and Mr. Mango were the two most popular candy brands of Pran at present. These two products enjoyed an enormous demand in the market along with Hajom candy.
PRAN chewing candies were luscious and easy to chew, coming in different flavours such as mint, strawberry, and banana. Its range of fruity chewing candies was especially popular among the youth, he said.
Pran Lollipop was available in five fruit flavours, he added.
Replying to a query, he said that these candies were produced in two automated factories at Ghorashal, in Narsingdi, and Habiganj, in Sylhet.
Every day, the factories produced 200-250 types of sugar confectionery products, he said.
About quality control, he said, “Candies and lollipops are produced by strict quality control without the touch of human hands. There is a great demand for these products in the market because they are tasty and easy to eat.”
“We always work to improve product quality. That’s why Pran’s Hard Boiled Candies are the top product in the market,” he informed.
Explaining the reason behind the growing demand, he said that product variation, changing consumption patterns and an increase in disposable income were three reasons contributing to the demand growth of the candy market in Bangladesh.
Talking about product variation, Kamal said that product diversity and innovation was possible because of technological advancement. Companies are importing sophisticated technologies that help to produce products having different tastes, colours and textures.
Responding to a question, Kamal said that Pran exported sugar confectionery to countries like India, Nepal, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries.
“Our export has increased, resulting in a 40 per cent growth over last year,” he informed.
Highlighting some of the challenges, he said, “The prices of raw and packaging materials such as foil paper and cookie jar are high and we have to import them.”
Sugar is another prime component of these confectionery products. “We have to import sugar especially industrial sugar from abroad. If we can build the backward linkage industries in this sector, we will be able to easily produce high-end products at an affordable price and add value to our export market as well.”
According to his estimate, the size of the local market is about Tk 1,500 crore.
About the potential of this industry, he said, “The export potential is high, as we don’t yet produce high-end products.”
Kamal added, “We should improve the backward-linkage support to this industry in order to become more competitive in the global market.”
Another local industrial conglomerate company, Partex Star Group’s candy brand ‘Danish’ has its own taste in the candy market.
Talking to The Independent, Soumendra Das, chief marketing officer of Partex Star Group (Danish), said “Currently we produce 12 types of sugar confectionary products in three categories. We started our sugar confectionery production in 2012.
Describing the popular brands, he said, “Our Danish Milk candy and Danish Mango candy are very popular, having a good demand in the market.”
“Our other brands include Danish Green Mango, Danish Lichu, Danish Rich Milky Caramel, Danish Milk Candy, Danish Pineapple Candy etc,” he said.
Responding to a query, he said that Danish maintained quality by doing effective quality control, sourcing good quality raw materials and maintaining healthy manufacturing practices.
When asked whether Bangladeshi candy makers were able to meet the local demand entirely, he said that local demand was subject to various factors like occasions, seasons and demography. Sometimes demand is created by applying a push strategy.
Danish primarily exported to the neighbouring countries, he added.
All Danish Foods Products were manufactured in their own factories at Shimrail, Shidhirgonj, and Narayangonj, he informed.
Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery and chewing gums.
The company started its business in this country in 1990. In 2006, they built their own factory at Gazipur, where 500 people work at present.
Among its popular brands are Alpenliebe, Mentos, Center Fruit, and Center Fresh.
Among them, Alpenliebe candy and lollipops are found in the market. These candies are available in various flavours like caramel, strawberry and coffee. The popular chewing gum brands are Mentos and the Center Fresh. There are various types of products under these brands.
Olympic Industries Ltd is another notable manufacturer in the candy market. Various flavours made by the local organisation are available in the market. These are: Juicy Litchi, Green Mango, Pineapple, Ripe Mango, Juicy Orange, Tetul candy, Tasty Milk, and Creamy Caramel.
Olympic pulse candies are popular in the market with their pulse mango and tamarind flavours.
Alongside the established brands, Titas, Elson, and Mother Rorsa, a few small candy brands are also available in the market.