Armed with Nutribic court order, GSK set for cookie war

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 18:40 hrs

Three weeks after securing the approval of the Madras High Court to market its nutritious biscuit Horlicks Nutribic, pharmaceutical and consumer goods maker GalxoSmithKline (GSK) has rolled out the product.

The Nutribic biscuit, first launched in August, found itself in the eye of a storm, owing to copyright and trademark infringement issues. Britannia Industries had moved court, alleging the product had borrowed from its Nutrichoice biscuits, also positioned on the health platform. Britannia had alleged GSK had borrowed the packaging style and colour schemes from Nutrichoice biscuits.

In an interim order, GSK was barred from manufacturing, selling and advertising the Nutribic brand. However, after GSK challenged the move, it was given the go-ahead to launch the biscuit.

Initially, Nutribic has been launched in Mumbai, Delhi and some markets in the South.

Jayant Singh, marketing director, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, says, “In today’s scenario, everyone is hard-pressed for time and mid-day snacking at work has become a norm. Consumers are increasingly looking at healthier choices, even between meals. With Horlicks Nutribic, we offer these consumers a nutritious option.”

GSK has launched two variants of the Nutribic---a high-fibre digestive biscuit and a variant for diabetics. Britannia’s Nutrichoice also has similar variants. However, Nutrichoice has also been extended to categories such as cookies, crackers, etc.

Though the share of the nutritious biscuit segment to the Rs 12,000-crore biscuit market is small, the segment is growing at 20-25 per cent a year. In this category, high prices are the only deterrent--- a 100-gm Nutribic digestive pack costs Rs 20, while a 250-gm pack costs Rs 50. The diabetic variant costs more---a 75-gm pack is priced at Rs 25 and a 150-gm pack costs at Rs 50.

Regular 100-gm biscuit packs are priced at Rs 10-15.

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