Did you know that the success of the nostalgic biscuit is a product of the Swadeshi Movement
Biscuit is the most popular tea-time snack in India. It performs multiple tasks; from being a saviour during arrival of guest without notice to solving untimely hunger issues, biscuits have never failed us. Every Indian household has a corner reserved in the kitchen for biscuits. So, can you recall the name of ten Indian biscuits? Ask the same question to five more people. Which name was common in all the answers, Parle G right? This is the impact of Parle G, world's largest selling biscuit as reported by Nielsen, in 2011.
Parle-G instantly evokes happy childhood memories! This simple, unassuming biscuit, filled with the goodness of milk and wheat, is at the centre of so many nostalgia-laced stories. Tea time at most Indian homes is incomplete without this one-of-its-kind glucose biscuit and the ritual of dunking Parle-G biscuits in tea or milk, is decades old.
Whenever I hear Parle G's name, it always takes me to my childhood when this biscuit used to be everyone’s favorite. But did you know that the success of the nostalgic biscuit is a product of the Swadeshi Movement? The Swadeshi Movement was a movement of self-sufficiency which started in Town Hall, Calcutta on 7 August 1905 to focus more on domestic production rather than using foreign goods. It was in the year 1929, when Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan, a Mumbai-based silk trader, who was deeply influenced by the Swadeshi Movement decided to have a Swadeshi confectionery. After learning the skills and importing required machinery of confectionery-making from Germany, he set up a small factory between the village Irla and Parla, with just twelve employees. He along with his family members played the role of engineers, managers, and confectionery makers. It is said that as founders were busy in their work, they forgot to name it. Hence, the brand came to be known after its birth place, Parla.
Starting with orange candy, it was the year of 1939, when Parle started its biscuit-making operations with the name Parle Gluco. It was easily accessible at an affordable price and also was a source of nourishment as it was a glucose biscuit. Parle Gluco quickly became popular, because back then biscuits were only meant for elite class as they were mostly imported and expensive. There was also high demand of Parle Gluco among the British-Indian Army during World War II. However, due to severe shortage of wheat in India in 1947 post partition, the production of the biscuit had to stop for a while. But soon the supplies were restored as wheat production became normal.
During the 60s brands such as Britannia started dominating the market, people confused by similar brand names started purchasing other biscuits. In order to combat the situation, Parle adopted new packaging which had a little girl imprint along with brand name and company logo in a yellowish wax- paper wrapper. But it failed to distinguish Parle Glucose biscuits from other brands. It was only in 1982, when the brand renamed their glucose biscuits ‘Parle G’ along with a change in their packaging material to a low-cost printed plastic.
Since then, Parle G biscuit has always remained in the heart of people and holds one-third of its brand’s profit. Taking a step further Parle-G, India’s beloved biscuit brand partners with Bombay Sweet Shop, India’s favourite new-age mithai shop in a first-of-its kind partnership - to create the Geniusly Sweet Collection. While nothing beats the original way of eating Parle-G, the creative minds at India’s favourite new-age mithai shop – Bombay Sweet Shop, have found a whole new way to enjoy this iconic biscuit. The Geniusly Sweet Collection features the decadent Parle-G Fudge made with 55% dark chocolate ganache with chunks of Parle-G biscuit and crunchy, almond- hazelnut praline. It is then enveloped in a geniusly nostalgic Parle-G peda and topped with a buttery cashew tuile and Parle-G biscuit. The Chai Biscuit Choco Barks - Bombay Sweet Shop’s immensely popular Choco Butterscotch Barks meet the delicious world of Parle-G. Imagine, dark chocolate layered with silky butterscotch chai spice caramel and Parle-G, topped with roasted almonds, sea-salt and some chocolate-coated Parle-G. This indulgent brittle comes loaded with crunch and nostalgia - geniusly sweet, isn’t it?
Bombay Sweet Shop loves reinterpreting traditions that magnify India’s sweet diversity. This special association with the legendary Parle-G is a tribute to all our childhood memories. A perfect union of the classic and contemporary, this collection brings to you old fashioned sweetness in a whole new avatar. This makes for a thoughtful, indulgent gift for a loved one or a cheeky nostalgia-filled sugar rush for oneself! Be reminded of the universal truth - mithai makes everything better.
With a reach spanning the remotest villages of India and major cities across the world, the House of Parle has become synonymous with trust, globally.