In 1929, Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan, who was a trader of silk, based in Mumbai, bought an old factory to manufacture confectionery, such as boiled sweets.
He was highly inspired by the Swadeshi movement, which promoted the production and use of Indian goods. Chauhan sailed to Germany to learn the art of ‘confectionery-making’. He returned in 1929, with required skills and high-tech machinery.
Chauhan’s small factory was situated between the villages, Irla and Parla, and employed just 12 men with the Chauhan family themselves serving multiple roles like engineers, managers, and confectionery makers.
The work at the factory used to be so hectic, that it is believed that founders forgot to name it. And within time, it came to be known as Parle.
Parle’s first product was an orange candy then they started making other confectioneries and toffees. It was only 10 years later in 1939 that the biscuit making operation began.
During the pre-independence, biscuits were only for elite classes. They were mostly imported and expensive.
To counter this trend, Parle launched ‘Parle Gluco’ which was an affordable biscuit meant for the consumption of common people. Since it was made in India, it was cheap and accessible.
It became quickly became very popular among Indians. It also became the British-Indian army’s go-to biscuits during World War II.
However, due to a severe shortage of wheat in 1947 and due to the partition, production of Parle Gluco biscuits had to stop for a while. At that time, Parle requested people to consume the biscuits made of barley, for they were just as healthy.
In 1960, Parle Company came face to face with the other competitors in the market. Many other companies began launching their glucose biscuits.
Britannia launched its first glucose biscuit named Glucose D.
The similar names confused many people and the sales got divided.
The Parle company decided to change its packaging to differentiate itself from the others. The ‘new packaging’ is what we see today.
A white and yellow striped plastic packet with the red Parle logo, and a photo of the famous Parle girl on it.
The biscuit brand was rechristened as Parle-G to distinguish itself from the horde of me-too glucose biscuit brands entering the market.
The ‘G’ stood for glucose, of course!
While a few identified the Parle G girl as Neerja Deshpande hailing from Nagpur captured by an artist, a few recognized her to be an unknown child artist.
The speculations were put to rest when Mayank Shah, Sr. Category Head at Parle Products denied all stories by making it public that the featured kid is just an imagination and an illustration by Everest creative Maganlal Daiya back in the 1960s.
Real or imaginary, the mascot has been an integral part of the Parle G advertising journey via every communication across mediums.
Parle-G is one of the world’s largest selling biscuit brand, coming in packs costing as little as Rs2. Parle Products makes their biscuits in 130 factories across the country. Parle Products makes around 400 million Parle-G biscuits every day.
It’s said that if one stacked all the Parle-G biscuits produced in a month on top of each other, the distance between the Earth and the moon would be covered
Every Indian has tasted the Parle g biscuits, even if it is just once. And they have all loved its taste. Over the years, the brand has beaten competition like no other.
There is no replacement for Parle G. The only biscuit that has been consistent in taste since forever. The perfect partner for our beloved Chai, Parle G!