KATHMANDU: In 1985, Kabra Group started out with a small company named Kwality Biscuits Industries Pvt Ltd (KBIPL), which they claim was the first company in Nepal to begin manufacturing biscuits. Under the brand name Kwality, the Kabra Group successfully launched its product Tasty-Tasty biscuit — Nepal’s largest selling biscuit. The company’s portfolio has now extended to include
35 other products.
With the success of KBIPL, the company has started its other biscuits company named Kwality Diet and Food Products. “We are producing different biscuits in various price ranges that focus on consumer demand. Among our 35 products, Tasty-Tasty, Bonbon, Butter Crackers, Jackpot, Morning Touch and Sweetheart are the most popular products in terms of taste and quality,” says Sunil Mukhiya, marketing chief of KBIPL. The prices of the goodies range from Rs 10 to Rs 12 per packet. According to Mukhiya, Kwality Biscuits enjoys 40 to 45 per cent market share of the whole biscuit market and produces 80 to 90 tonnes of products per day.
Stating that the brand name ‘Kwality’ itself represents quality, Mukhiya says, “We believe in producing quality products and never make compromises on that. It is our mission and it is related to our brand image and consumer health.” KBIPL is certified as an ISO 22000: 2005 company and all its products are lab tested to assure quality. According to Mukhiya, 90 per cent of their essential raw materials like flour, sugar, and cheese are gathered locally, whereas added flavours are imported from neighbouring countries.
KBIPL has recently added a new manufacturing plant that is helping them to increase production as per demand. Informing that the target group for various types of biscuits varies with age, he says, “Youngsters prefer creamy biscuits and butter crackers are loved by the elderly, while the sweet and sour variety is liked by all.” While the company is presently rather inactive in its promotional activities, it plans to come up with promotional activities such as advertising in print and broadcasting media and sponsoring programmes in the near future. To disseminate products all over Nepal, the company has appointed seven dealers within Kathmandu Valley and 28 outside the capital.
Stating that counterfeit products and unhealthy competition among Indian products are major challenges to the industry, Mukhiya says, “Duplication is a major problem. It is not only killing our market but also deceiving consumers and violating the copyright.” Kwality’s Jackpot is duplicated as Passport and Butter Crackers is duplicated under the same name Butter Crackers, though the packaging differs. “More than 10 of our products are duplicated by different unregistered companies. The government has provisions to penalise the guilty party or parties, however a lengthy process creates more problems than it solves,” Mukhiya says in disappointment. He informs that by the time the government officials swing into action, the damage has been done to the brand and the market spoilt.
Furthermore, the company faces serious competition from imported Indian biscuit brands. “Indian biscuits are imported with customs duty charged per kilogram, while similar Nepali products when exported are taxed on market retail price on the package. We find it difficult to compete as production costs are high and we cannot compete with imported brands,” says Mukhiya. Besides these, power cuts, labour problem, instable government and fuel shortage are other factors that are creating problems for operation and smooth production. Kwality has many future plans and it expects to launch its ‘Tradition’ brand of biscuits soon. Besides biscuits production, the Kabra Group is also involved in confectionery and soap production since the last 20 years.