Financial Times

Maliban crackers for a lunchtime snack as lifestyles change

Opening its doors to the media after many years, Maliban Biscuits introduced its new Cream Cracker to the public on July 23 in Colombo. The normally, publicity-shy company, which currently has 28% market share in the biscuit market and 15% market share in the cracker segment, hopes to recapture the market with the new Cream Cracker which has been improved to appeal to both the young and the old, Advisor to Maliban Biscuits, Nirosh De Silva told reporters.

According to Mr. De Silva, crackers will play an important role in the future, as the country goes more from manufacture to a service oriented country where more and more people make do with something on-the-go for lunch. The current per capita biscuit consumption in Sri Lanka is two kg while in Europe it is about 32 kg and according to Mr. De Silva the local figure will go up to about 10 kg in the medium term.

Maliban Biscuits also introduced a new 50 gram pack, sold for Rs 20, which according to Kumerini Candappa, Head of Marketing of Maliban Biscuits, is targeted at the office staff as well as the snack market.

Explaining that local biscuit manufacturers use high quality ingredients delivering a quality product, Mr. De Silva said that currently they are not troubled by the entry of Indian multinationals but pointed out that the risk was in the area of cheap products and excess stock being dumped by countries who could leverage their trade agreements to gain unfair advantage over local producers. Maliban Biscuits currently exports to over 20 countries including Canada, the USA, UK, Maldives and Kuwait, among others and it is also served in flight on Emirates.

Maliban Biscuits will launch new television and radio commercials and a poster campaign featuring popular local artistes. (LP)

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