In the midst of a challenging year, Britannia relaunches its 40-year-old Milk Bikis formula, complete with retro packaging
When a biscuit becomes a meme, you know it has struck a chord. “There is a deep-rooted emotion of growing up with Milk Bikis — a feeling that this biscuit is a marker of childhood,” says Vinay Subramanyam, VP – marketing, Britannia Industries. He adds that he has been seeing memes floating around social media, connecting the biscuit to children from the ’80s and ’90s. Now adults, but still chasing the comfort of simpler times by dipping ‘bikkis’ into tea.
Vinay discusses the decision to cash in on this product’s emotional strength, particularly in Tamil Nadu, in the midst of a difficult year. The brand has relaunched its original packaging and recipe, as a limited edition named Milk Bikis Classic, in a nostalgic bid to attract customers eager for familiar comfort.
The focus of the launch is Tamil Nadu, a State where it boasts a 40-year-old legacy and a 95% market share. Which is why, foregoing decades of recipe updates and fortifications that the milk biscuit went through, the new launch features biscuits with the old taste — and familiar floral pattern — that children of the 1990s grew up with.
A ’90s child himself, Vinay is enthusiastic about the relaunch. “We just casually did a campaign to check how many people wanted to have classic Milk Bikis, and got more than one million responses. It was so humbling and encouraging to see the love and nostalgia people hold for this brand, 14 years after it went away from their lives,” he says.
Vinay adds, “Typically, innovations and brand moves like these are very internal decisions by the organisation. But here, the consumers decided this. That is what makes it special.”
Some of these consumers, he adds, are closer to the office than others: old, retired employees of Britannia, as well as distributors and retailers, have been calling to check on the classic packaging.
Vinay’s second source of excitement stems from his personal memories. “I have been handling this brand for six years, but I’ve been eating it for 36 years.” He then confesses, with a laugh, “I used to have tea when I was six or seven years old. I used to dump some eight or so biscuits into the same cup of tea. Many people would refuse to sit next to me when I did that, but it was my ritual.”
Milk Bikis Classic, priced at ₹10, is available in retail stores across the State for a short period.