Bengali desserts have an identity of their own; you won't see anything like them elsewhere. These sweets — known as Mishti and including varieties of Rosogolla, Sandesh, and Mishti Doi — enjoy cult status in every Bengali household. Clearly, the Bengalis from Eastern India sure know a great deal about making sweets.

Anand Bazaar Patrika (ABP) launched the Cadbury Mishti Shera Shristi campaign to introduce chocolate as a dessert to sweets-loving Bengali adults.

After an earlier successful all-India campaign, Kuch Meetha Ho JaayeMondelez India’s Cadbury Dairy Milk, faced a challenge: penetration in the West Bengal market.

The national campaign message, “Adults too can enjoy chocolate as much as kids,” resonated with most of the country. Most audience segments throughout India responded with enthusiasm and adoration for the brand. But loyalty to the Mishti is strong, and traditional Bengalis were less responsive to the campaign.

Mondelez India first teamed up with ABP in 2012 to look for a long-term solution for the issue. The goal was for Cadbury to become relevant to the customer without trying to be a direct replacement of traditional Bengali sweets.

When other Cadbury campaigns failed to resonate with the West Bengali audience, Mondelez and ABP teamed up to create and promote innovative products that incorporate Cadbury ingredients into traditional Bengali sweets.
When other Cadbury campaigns failed to resonate with the West Bengali audience, Mondelez and ABP teamed up to create and promote innovative products that incorporate Cadbury ingredients into traditional Bengali sweets.

The ABP team’s idea was simple, feasible, yet revolutionary: If we can’t replace the sweet, let us be the sweet! From this original thought, Cadbury Mishti Shera Srishti was formulated to popularise innovative adaptations of traditional Bengali sweets, using Cadbury Dairy Milk as a key ingredient.

Each year, the ABP team picked topical themes, tied in with local sweet shops, and organised state-level campaigns to reach out to the audiences. With elections, marriage, football, and cricket as themes, we conducted Chocochef Challenge Cadbury Mishti cooking competitions across the state of West Bengal. With each passing year, the excitement and participation grew exponentially.

In 2017, we took Chocochef to a whole new level. The competition was between various paras (localities) within the state. With more 30 paras participating, 1,600 recipes poured in. Celebrities campaigned for each para. The entire state of West Bengal was involved, curious and excited to find out who the next winner would be.

Chocochef Challenge participants create Mishti-inspired recipes that incorporate Cadbury Dairy Milk as an ingredient.
Chocochef Challenge participants create Mishti-inspired recipes that incorporate Cadbury Dairy Milk as an ingredient.

To support the campaign, we produced print, television, radio, and outdoor communication with popular Bengali celebrities being the face of the campaign. The final competition round was held in a popular mall, where 50 semi-finalists fought it out in a cook-off. Eventually, three Chocochefs were chosen by culinary experts over a span of two days.

Our campaign has increased category relevance for Cadbury in West Bengal, so much that sweet shops now stock Cadbury Mishti all year round. And the Bengali customer is more than happy with more and better sweet varieties on offer.