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Uncle Chipps launches Rs 2-crore Millennium Offer to woo kids 

Lalitha Srinivasan  
Mumbai, January 19: Tattoos, key chains, stickers, toys and mystery gifts.Cashing in on the new millennium fever, Uncle Chipps Limited has recentlyintroduced a new promotion called the `Millennium Offer'. Says VC Beri,executive director, Uncle Chipps Limited: ``By January 24, we will introducethis promotional offer at all our retail outlets across the country. Inexchange of six empty packs of Uncle Chipps, you get a `Hot Wheel Car'(Mattel) worth around Rs 45.''

Currently, the company has 700,000 retail outlets across the nation.In the new millennium, the company has also plans to foray into theconventional foods market in India, informs Beri. To announce its`Millennium Offer', the company will be launching a nationwide advertisingcampaign on January 22, 2000. ``We have earmarked Rs 2 crore for theadspend. With this promotion, we hope to achieve a 30 per cent increase inour annual sales,'' adds Beri.

According to Beri, the campaign will include press advertisements andtelevision commercials. ``Also, we have plans to put up mega posters andhoardings at our retail outlets. Our product is targeted at a wide range ofaudience: from an eight month old baby to an eighty year old man,'' addsBeri. `Uncle Chipps khao, car le jao,' recommends child star Farhan Dasturin press ads and posters that are created by Contract Advertising.

In addition to mass media advertising, the company has plans to showaudio-visual slides at 1,000 cinema halls across the nation from January 22,2000.

The potato chips market in India is estimated at 20,000 tonne out of whichthe branded segment accounts for about 6000 tonne. The Rs 130-crore brandedpotato chips market is today witnessing a pitched battle between two primeplayers: Pepsi Food's Lays and Uncle Chipps. In a bid to boost sales boththe players are now offering freebies to woo the youth. ``Currently, weenjoy a 65 per cent market share in the total market,'' claims Beri.

Since its inception in 1985, the company has launched over nine flavours inthe Indian wafers market. Last month, the company has added yet anotherflavor to its existing range by launching `Sambar Masala'. To promote thenew product, the company will shortly be hosting `taste trials' at bigstores across the country.

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