A new biscuit factory was established in Port Qasim and has started production from this fiscal year to expand the manufacturing of Cocomo and Novita while also creating space to add additional innovative lines in 2017 and 2018. The company is the third largest fastest growing biscuit player in Pakistan.

Established in 1988, the company in less than 30 years has expanded to a total of eight factories across Pakistan, manufacturing biscuits, snacks and chocolates.

Currently the company has over 4,000 personnel working in its factories and offices and is exporting to over 50 countries including the GCC region, Afghanistan, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the UK.

Mr Ismail said local brands are flourishing as they continuously innovate, advertise heavily, strengthen their distribution and improve product quality. When asked why prices of biscuits and chips are higher and weight of packets is reduced, he said the cost increases in this sector are either due to inflation which is generally around 6-10pc or due to the increase in prices of critical raw materials like sugar, flour and potatoes.

“The Pakistani market is quite price sensitive which means if an increase is made from Re1 to Rs2 it may mean your volumes decrease to one third although the increase may be just Re1. This has resulted in squeezed margins and emphasis on price points as all manufacturers try to make the products available at lower price points since these are accessible to a larger part of the population,” he explained.

Secondly, he said, the country has an active unorganised sector which always responds if any player increases prices. As a result, Pakistan is one of the most competitive markets in the world with regards to biscuits, candy and chips, he added.