Mosuf Khan Profile picture
15 Sep, 30 tweets, 6 min read
The story of Center Fresh(The chewing gum that adults Chew after smoking their Sutta) and its maker Perfetti Van Melle.

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Inspired by: @zhr_jafri @palakzat @vivekraju93
@zhr_jafri @palakzat @vivekraju93 1/ The story starts in 1900 when Izaak Van Melle converted the bakery founded 60 years earlier by his grandfather in Breskens(a town in Netherlands) into a small confectionery business.
2/ In 1932, His brothers Michael and Pierre Van Melle set off for Poland where they learned the procedure to produce soft fruit chews, their journey led to the creation of Fruittella.
Based on the same recipe they created a peppermint flavoured candy that was later named Mentos
3/ on the other hand, Two brothers Ambrogio and Egidio Perfetti started their own confectionery business by the name of Dolcifio Lombardo, in Lainate, a town outside Milan, The company changed its name to Perfetti in 1970.
4/ Fast-forward to 1991, Perfetti acquired 37% of Van Melle.

A sidenote: in 2001, The former acquires the entire outstanding shareholding in the latter, the company will hereafter be called Perfetti Van Melle(that became the 3rd largest confectionery group in the world).
5/ In 1994, They entered the Indian market with the launch of Center Fresh, along with the other two brands namely Big Babool and Alpenliebe in 1995.
6/ During the launch, Center Fresh had a TV commercial, which was primarily made for the international market where a man is rafting downstream signifying the fall of freshness.
7/ At the price of 1.50 rupees was a bit higher than other brands selling gums, the rafting ad campaign was worthwhile for the initial few months after the launch but failed to cater to the masses, as a result the sales collapsed.
8/ The co. reduced the price by 50 paisa which helped in increasing sales
9/ An enormous opportunity knocks at the door of Perfetti in 1996, When they were selected as the official chewing gum and promotional partner of Indian cricket team, subsequently grabbing the attention of consumers.
10/ That resulted in creating a massive hike in sales, as Indians have an eternal love for cricket, cricketers were often seen chewing gums, Center Fresh perfectly utilized this and won the acceptance of mass audience.
11/ It was the first liquid-filled gum in the market, consumers loved the Freshness.
12/ over the next one and a half decade, Center Fresh(along with Center Fruit) became synonymous with chewing gum, it took a backseat in the consumer consciousness and the co. launched other brands such as Babool, Alpenliebe, Mentos, Chlor Mint, Happydent, Center Shock.
13/ In 2002, Perfetti India(hereinafter called Perfetti) launched Center Shock- the chewing gum with tart liquid filled inside, hence the name Center Shock.
14/ It bacame an instant hit, capturing a great market share and the love of millions of kids.
15/ on the other hand, it almost wiped off the market share of Center Fresh between 2003 and 2006, major role in making the brand so popular was largely played by the famous Barber commercial with the tagline "Naya Center Shock Chewing Gum, Hila ke rakh de".
16/ By 2006, the Center Fresh has almost faded away, but the word Center was fixed into the Center of the Consumer brains.
17/ The well recognised ad campaign with the tagline "Zabaan Pe Rakhe Lagaam" was initiated, many ads were launced under the same tagline for Center Fresh along with Kaisi Jheebh Laplapai for Center Fruit.
18/ The quirky humor became a way to deliver these memorable, nostalgic ad campaigns, the commercials were deemed hilarious, Center Fresh was back in action.
19/ The brand got a Fresh life after almost getting wiped out, the huge rise of Center Shock, met with unfortunate demise, it was later phased out in line with business plans.
20/ In 2015, Perfetti came with a new campaign with the tagline Chali Hawa Mastani for Center fresh as Zabaan pe rakhe lagaam seemed outdated, they went back to the center of Center Fresh category which is fresh breath, an attempt to revive slow growth of sales.
21/ In 2017, The co. came with a new tagline Tazi Saans Rakho Paas.
22/ Center Fresh Survived for more than 2 and a half decade and still thriving.
23/ Center Fresh(along with Center Fruit) retained its market leadership for years to come in the gum category, the brand survived and thrived, competing with the biggest confectionery companies in the world.
24/ such as Wrigley (which makes Boomer and Orbit, the largest sugar free Chewing gum brand in the world endorsed by dental associations all over the world), Parle Products, not to forget ITC(with its Candyman and Gumon brand)
25/ Center Fresh now has the market share of 31% along with Center Fruit with 25%, both brands have a combined market share of 56% in the Gum category.
26/ On the other hand Perfetti has a market share of almost 20%(which they plan to increase to over 25% in the next 2-3 years), Perfetti India reported Rs 1850 Crore Revenue in FY19.
27/ Today, Perfetti has more than 15 brands under its umbrella, with three manufacturing units, located in Gurgaon, Chennai, Uttranchal which also exports to other Asian countries, its products are available at almost 4 million outlets all over the country.
28/ India's confectionery market is estimated to be worth around Rs 12,000 Crore growing at a rate of 10-12 percent (before the pandemic, obviously)
The End.

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