India’s fav Chai Biscuit was launched as an answer to imported biscuits meant only for elite

Shivani Kava, Mar 28, 2021, 3:42 PM IST

Parle G is the name that brings nostalgic feelings. The memory of dunking Parle G biscuits in a hot cup of milk or tea and having it before it becomes all soggy is something most relatable to almost all Indians.

Even today, many people across the country wake up to a cup of tea and Parle-G every morning.

In the year 1929, Mohanlal Dayal of Chauhans, a Mumbai-based family of silk traders bought and refurbished a decrepit, old factory to manufacture confectionery.

Dayal, who was deeply influenced by the Swadeshi movement, sailed to Germany to learn the art of confectionery-making. He returned in 1929, armed with the required skills and machinery imported from Germany for Rs 60,000.

The small factory located between the villages of Irla and Parla in Mumbai employed 12 men with the family members serving in multiple capacities, managing the roles of engineers, managers, and confectionery makers.

It is said that the founders were so busy managing the factory that they forgot to name it, so with time Parle, the first Indian-owned confectionery brand in the country was named after its place of birth.

An orange candy was the first-ever Parle product, followed by other confectioneries and toffees. It was only ten years later that the company began making biscuits

At the beginning of World War II in 1939, Parle baked its first biscuits.

Biscuits were imported back then. They were expensive and meant for consumption by the elite classes. In order to change this notion, Parle products launched Parle Gluco as an affordable source of nourishment for the common masses.

Parle Gluco was made in India, for Indian palates and was accessible to every Indian. This biscuit became so popular that it was in great demand by the British Indian army during World War II.

Production of Parle Gluco biscuits was stopped for while as the country faced a severe shortage of wheat in 1947. Parle urged people through an ad to make do with barley biscuits till wheat supplies were restored to normal and as a mark of respect to those Indians who had sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their motherland.

As the company didn’t have a patent on Gluco word, they changed Parle Gluco to Parle G in 1982 which resulted in other companies taking advantage of the word Gluco or Glucose and started using it at the end of the name of their biscuits.

As a means to battle this situation, the company decided to create packaging unique to Parle G and patented its own packaging.

The packaging we see today, a yellowish wax-paper wrapper with the plump little girl imprinted on it along with the brand name and company’s logo, went on to reign the childhood of many people.

Today more than 400 million Parle biscuits are being produced daily and around 14,600 crore biscuit packets are sold every year.

It wouldn’t be wrong to claim that there is no replacement for Parle G as it is the only biscuit that has been consistent in taste since forever and is a perfect savoury with tea.

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