Parle-G: 85 years of being every Indians favourite chai-time snack

Parle-G represents more than just a biscuit. It serves as a comforting reminder of home and an everlasting link to our childhood memories.

By  Tanaya PradhanFeb 19, 2024 9:30 AM
Parle-G: 85 years of being every Indians favourite chai-time snack
Parle G has been recognised as the world's largest biscuit-selling brand. (Images sourced via Parle Products website)

Parle Products was established as a confectionery manufacturer in the Vile Parle neighbourhood of Mumbai in 1929 by Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan. It expanded into biscuit production in 1939. Following India's independence in 1947, the company initiated an advertising campaign showcasing its Gluco biscuits as an Indian substitute for British-branded biscuits. As per the Neilsen survey, Parle G has been recognised as the world's largest biscuit-selling brand.

1929 - During the Swadeshi movement in 1929, Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan established the first Parle factory in Vile Parle, Mumbai. Inspired by the movement's call to promote Indian goods, Dayal ventured into the confectionery business, having gained expertise during a trip to Germany. Upon his return, armed with both knowledge and imported equipment worth Rs 60,000, Parle started operations with just 12 workers and German machinery. This marked the flavourful beginning of the House of Parle, leaving a lasting mark on Indian taste buds with its distinctive products.

With this humble start, the founders unknowingly laid the groundwork for a legendary brand that would span generations. Interestingly, they reportedly forgot to name the factory due to their busy schedule, leading the initial Indian-owned confectionery enterprise in the country to later adopt the name Parle, derived from its city of origin.

1939 - In 1939, the simple ‘Parle Gluco’ biscuit was launched, with an aim of affordability to all consumers. In 1947, following India's independence, Parle-G emerged as a symbol of ‘Swadeshi’ (made in India), advocating for both affordability and flavour.

1950s - In the 1950s, Parle Gluco rolled out its now iconic blue and yellow packaging featuring a smiling child that became instantly recognizable and popular across India. The round-faced girl imagery was meant to convey innocence and relatability, appealing to consumers of all ages. It was a departure from traditional packaging designs of the era and played a significant role in establishing Parle Gluco as a household name in India.The distinctive design indicated warmth, going beyond a plethora of languages, nationwide.

1980 - In 1980, Parle acknowledged the importance of standing out in the crowded market of newly launched glucose biscuits. They consequently renamed their product from Parle's Gluco to Parle-G and leveraged newspapers and radio to spread the word, initiating the iconic advertising journey of Parle G.

1982 - In 1982, Parle G debuted its inaugural television commercial on Doordarshan, featuring the slogan 'Swaad Bhare Shakti Bhare' conceptualised by Everest Brand Solutions. The advertisement showcased Dadaji and his grandchildren singing the slogan. Parle G aimed not only at children but also successfully gained popularity among older generations, ensuring its appeal transcended age groups.

In the 1980s, Parle-G rolled out the "G for Genius" initiative, underlining the nutritional advantages of its biscuits and positioning them as the intelligent choice for children's growth.

1990s - During the 1990s, Parle-G continued its momentum with the "G Maane Genius" campaign, reinforcing the idea that its biscuits weren't just delicious but also nourishing, contributing to mental sharpness and overall health.

In the 1990s, the brand partnered with Shaktimaan, the Indian superhero who endorsed Parle-G, boosting sales and brand image.

2000s - In the 2000s, Parle-G introduced the "Har Parle-G Gaya, Parle-G ka Naam Thaaya" campaign, spotlighting the brand's widespread popularity and cultural significance across India, solidifying its status as a household favourite.

2010s - Transitioning into the 2010s, Parle-G refreshed its messaging with the "G Mane Genius" tagline, renewing its commitment to promoting the nutritional benefits of its biscuits while also celebrating the potential of every consumer.

2018 - Parle-G's advertising campaign positioned itself as the 'Unsung Hero of Biscuits.' This campaign celebrated the often-overlooked relationships that profoundly impact our lives, yet are rarely acknowledged, emphasising their essential role in shaping our experiences.

2020 - During COVID-19 lockdown, the Parle Products gained a market share of around 5 percent in the highly competitive biscuit segment. This increase was attributed to the popularity of Parle-G biscuits, which was a preferred choice by the people while stocking pantry during the pandemic. Parle-G biscuits also gained traction as it was largely distributed by government agencies and NGOs as a part of food relief packages during the pandemic.

2021 - Parle-G launched the next leg of its iconic ‘G mane Genius’ campaign that spoke about ‘Jo Doosro Ki Khushi Mein Paaye Apni Khushi’ while stressing the significance of cognitive intelligence in today’s children.

2022 - In 2022, Parle-G launched a campaign that highlighted the selflessness of children. The three-film campaign by Thought Blurb Communications furthered the brand's 'G Maane Genius' philosophy.

2023 - Parle-G gave its packaging a temporary makeover, featuring influencer Zervaan J Bunshah's face instead of its iconic mascot. It all started when Bunshah posted a video asking a playful question about what to call the owner of Parle-G. The video caught the attention of netizens, and Parle-G joined in, saying they could be called the ‘OG’. The brand even shared a post with Bunshah's smiling face on the biscuit wrapper, inviting everyone to enjoy their favorite biscuit with a cup of tea.

Throughout the years, Parle-G has consistently emphasised its biscuits as not just a delicious snack but also a wholesome option for consumers of all ages. These campaigns have played a pivotal role in establishing Parle-G as one of India's most cherished and trusted biscuit brands, with a legacy that resonates across generations.

First Published on Feb 19, 2024 9:30 AM

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