INDIA – DS Group, maker of the raw mango candy Pulse, is now taking the brand to international markets, a top company executive said.
DS Group is introducing Pulse in its raw mango, guava, pineapple, and orange variants in the UK, Gulf countries, and southeast Asian markets (Singapore and Malaysia), Shashank Surana, vice president, DS Group, said in an interview.
“We have started distribution our markets in UAE, UK, and southeast Asian markets (Singapore, Malaysia)—wherever the indian community is there,” Surana said.
DS Group will primarily sell Pulse in Indian ethnic stores—a network shops where the Indian diaspora shops for ethnic ingredients and brands from the home market.
“We got to know that Indians abroad love Pulse candy and it was not available there,” Surana said. “So we got a lot of queries coming in from these countries.”
DS Group has also upgraded Pulse’s manufacturing capacity, signing on a total of seven contract manufacturers, up from just one when starting out in 2015.
The company plans to invest more than Rs20 crore (US$2.1 million) — nearly 7% of its total sales from Pulse — in marketing and advertising the brand, Surana said.
Pulse candy first made news in 2015 when word of mouth helped the brand earn Rs50 crore (US$7.74 million) in sales within just six months of launch even as it sold at Rs1 per candy, double the price of hard boiled candies in India.
In March this year, Pulse crossed R300 crore (US$46.5 million) in sales.
The brand now leads the hard boiled candy market in India, with 12-13% market share in the nearly Rs2,650 crore (US$410 million) organized market.
Pulse has left behind the likes of Parle Products’ Mango Bite and Perfetti Van Melle’s Alpenliebe.
The market for hard boiled candy is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 9% between 2016-2021 led by the top 10 metros, according to a November 2016 report by market research firm TechSci research