• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Scramble for digestive biscuit market: MaBisco, McVitie’s show competitive edge

Scramble for digestive biscuit market: MaBisco, McVitie’s show competitive edge

It takes confidence, boldness and self-assurance by a new entrant into a market segment to take on an established player as a new entrant into the digestive biscuit segment, MaBisco seems equipped to compete against McVitie’s for huge market share in Nigeria.

Fundamentally, the new players customarily enter the battle ring well prepared and fortified with deep research, consumer understanding, product production and packaging, price and advertising. More also, when inter-brand or intra brand competition occurs, all the players adjust and the consumer and marketing communication benefit.

This is what will increasingly happen as MaBisco Digest Biscuit produced by Major Biscuits Company enters the digestive biscuit market, competing against well-established McVitie’s digestive biscuit and others.

Market players often say that competition is good for business. It compels them to sit up and be the best in the game and makes them think outside the box. Brand owners of these two proudly Nigerian products may have the same notions but the target consumer will be the ultimate decider, while being influenced by the quality on offer and the pricing.

McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits with UK heritage enjoys first mover’s advantage in Nigeria and popularity, but it appears that MaBisco Digest is ready to give the brand a run for its money in the Nigerian market as they compete on the same price and outlook.

It looks obvious that the intention of Major Biscuits Company is a prepared fight to claim sizeable percentage of the digestive biscuit huge market much of which is held by McVitie’s as the packaging and designs of both MaBisco and McVitie’s biscuits are similar and hard-to-spot the differences. Each contains four pieces of biscuits in their smaller pack. McVitie’s is marketed in Nigeria by A&P Foods Limited, a subsidiary of Pladis. A&P holds the franchise to produce and market the product in Nigeria.

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Both biscuits are made from wheat and sold almost at the same price. In Apapa area of Lagos, McVitie’s smallest pack is sold at N70 while in Ikeja area, MaBisco is sold for N50 each.

The demand for digestive biscuits known as a semi-sweet biscuits has made McVitie’s popular in many markets including Europe and Africa. The big market encouraged other investors largely importers to compete in the market.

While MaBisco is projecting ‘Rich source of fiber’, ‘The Original Naija’ with many ingredients in the product as advantages, McVitie’s is upholding ‘No artificial colours or flavours’ and has other ingredient properties.

In a market survey to measure consumers’ feelings over the products, respondents shared their experiences when presented and asked to assess, taste both digestive biscuits. The respondents said the two biscuits are soft in the mouth and milky, but MaBisco is dryer and lasts more in the mouth while McVitie’s leaves tiny particles of wheat after chewing it.

Comparing the tastes, a consumer who prefers to be identified as Fred, who lives in Ago Palace Way Okota, Isolo of Lagos said McVities, which has darker brown has a sweeter taste after he was offered the two biscuits. “Both biscuits are crunchy and they dissolve almost at the same time in the mouth”.

In his response, Shuaib Akinyemi, a consumer who works in Apapa, noted that McVitie’s Digestive biscuits has lighter brown colour than MaBisco, which has a darker brown colour with both biscuits containing four pieces of biscuits. Francis Onyemaechi, another worker in Lagos, observed that MaBisco had an exception as ‘Go 5’ printed on the wrapper perhaps indicating MaBisco Digest Biscuit contained five pieces.

On the design of the wrappers, while both packages look similar in the colour of plain shade of maroon both biscuits had their logos embodied in blue background.

Ingredients of McVitie’s Digestive include; Wheat flour (51%), partially hydrogenated vegetable fat (palm), sugar, wholemeal wheat flour (12%), invert sugar syrup, raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, malic acid, ammonium bicarbonate), salt, maltodextrin, antioxidant (E321); contains gluten while ingredients of MaBisco Digest include Whole wheat flour, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable fat, golden syrup, brown sugar, caramel, leavening agents, Ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, salts, ethyl vanillin and permitted flavouring.

However, the Nigerian consumers are watching as the competition ensuing between McVitie’s and MaBisco biscuits evolve with MaBisco, the new entrant, making a strong statement with its boldness and confidence to match established old McVitie’s brand.