Sunday 29 November, 2020

Demand for healthy noted: WIBISCO expands in COVID-19 with Licias

WIBISCO proud of the reception to the launch.

WIBISCO proud of the reception to the launch.

Contraction and pivot have been the bywords of businesses since COVID-19 and expanding its product offerings in this last quarter of 2020, Barbados' West India Biscuit Companty Limited (WIBISCO) is not only choosing to pivot but to grow.

Licias is a new on-the-go snack cracker that comes in three flavours.

Rain did not stop the recent traffic-blocking launch of this new brand. With sampling and a slew of brand ambassadors showing off on social media since receiving their Licias packages, according to Brand Manager Lisa Boxill, "the excitement around this snack has been growing and we expect the same level of excitement as we introduce the product to our various export markets."

One of the first to get her hands on Licias, Brand Ambassador Mahalia Cummins told Loop that she has no clear winning flavour yet. Of the multi-grain, buttery blend and lightly salted, she is actually split between two flavours currently. With a laugh, she said, "I can’t choose between the multigrain and the lightly salted Licias! Multigrain is delicious all by itself while being extra nutritious while the lightly salted just goes so well with any topping."

Considering the economic climate and operating in these post-COVID-19 times, Boxill explained in an interview with Loop Business why WIBISCO took this step.

"As our consumers and the economic environment change, our mandate is to continue to adapt but look for new ways to develop and grow. We, therefore, cannot remain still nor complacent despite our 110 years in business. We have an obligation to serve our consumers and customers.

"We recognized that there has been a change in consumption trends as persons are eating more on the go, so a ready-to-eat option is in demand. We have also seen an increase in demand for savoury and healthier options."

Boxill admitted that as is the case for many others in the market, WIBISCO had to pivot in this pandemic. "Licias snack crackers was earmarked for launch earlier this year but was delayed as a result of the onset of the pandemic. The pandemic will be with us for some time yet, but we must still continue to provide our consumers with tastier, affordable, baked products they have come to expect from WIBISCO. We believe it is our responsibility to continue providing options that are relevant to our consumers and do our part to feed the nation.

"Stopping everything was not an option. Yes, we took a pause just like everyone else but now we are learning how to adapt to the 'new normal' which has forced us to find new and creative ways of operating, including the way we launch our new products."

Asked why they still pushed to launch before the new year with all that happened in 2020, she said, "We are particularly thrilled to launch the Licias brand at this time as the WIBISCO family recently celebrated our 110th anniversary on October 12, and we feel a sense of pride as we in Barbados prepare to celebrate 54 years of Independence."

Boxill told Loop Business, the hope from here now with this brand is that it will grow in popularity amongst the young demographic and become a global product, not only sold in Barbados but that’s there’s a good footprint and distribution in the Caribbean and beyond."

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