Parle Wafers - Taking on Lays !

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on January 02, 2011

Recently Parle has bombarded the Indian snacks market with their brand ‘Parle Wafers’. The wafers are available at every nook and corner. Wherever you expect to find chips, you will find Parle Wafers. Where ever you will find Lays, you will find Parle Wafers. And you might end up buying Parle Wafers even if you thought you bought Lays. Confused? Even we were.

Parle has been known for launching brands which have transformed the market. The Parle business house has given us Parle G, Thums Up, Frooti, Bisleri etc. The list is too long. Parle Wafers doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Wafers were launched few months back.

In the first paragraph, word Confused has been deliberately used because this is the strategy Parle seems to use against the market leader Lays.

Just have a look at the two packs below. Left pack is of Parle Wafers and the other one is Lays. The looks, the images used, the name of the flavor, everything seems to be suspiciously similar.


Lays vs Parle Wafers


Parle Wafers have also launched precisely the same four flavors as Lays and with the same color coding : Classic Salted (Yellow Pack), Cream and Onion (Light Green Pack), Tangy Tomato (Red Colored) and Masala Magic (Blue colored Pack).

On tasting the snack, we found no difference in the taste when compared to Lay's counterpart.

Is this Deliberate?

May be, Lays Chips are a kind of a standard in the snacks market. Their packaging and flavors are well known to the target audience. Parle is such a big marketing organization, how come they didn’t notice this? They surely have.

Now if we look at the name, it’s very generic. Parle Wafers. Youngsters mainly refer to potato wafers as chips and so does the main target audience but in semi urban and rural markets people still refer to them as wafers. So does it ring a bell? Also for the same Price, Parle offers more quantity than Lays. Parle is trying to capture the semi urban and rural market by bringing a similar looking product as lays but naming it as wafers.

If we go down the basics of marketing, there are three kinds of Look Alike products

1) Spell Alike

2) Look Alike

3) Duplicates

Parle seems to fit in the second category.

Bingo is a successful brand today and competes well with Lays because they didn’t copy anyone. They were original and unique (sometimes vague) in their flavors, design and ads but Parle doesn’t seem to be any of that.

They have launched a Product which looks like a copy of Lays in design and taste.

We agree that Quality is not compromised. Usually such products are low on quality but obviously Parle Wafers is a very high quality product.

It could have been a very successful product (it might still be) but Parle could have gone for a better packaging and research.

Who knows Parle Wafers might overtake Lays? Time will tell. The Rs 3500 Crore Indian branded snacks market is set to witness some action in time to come.

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