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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

Maliban Lemon Puff: a Sri Lankan Success Story Abroad

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

I was invited for tea the other day with a Sikh family in a town in a London suburb and offered a few varieties of biscuits among a few other sweets. Much to my surprise, there was a familiar item among them that I spotted at the first glance – lemon puff biscuits made by Maliban, in Sri Lanka.

Having sensed my infectious delight, both at the sight and taste, the host lost no time in admitting that her entire family were on the same wave length as I was. “We got them from one of our local stores while on an offer and then the whole family just got addicted to it,” she said. “It is a never-to-miss part of our weekly shopping list ever since,” she continued.

As our conversation got extended along this particular culinary delight, I came to know that a lot of friends of my host too have started buying Maliban lemon puff, having tasted them while on offer in their local supermarkets. She asked me do my own ‘research’ in my local, Asian supermarkets and to check whether this particular biscuits were on sale.

When I carried out my impromptu research in our local supermarkets, much to my delight, there were piles of Maliban Lemon Puff on sale with its distinct, unique wrapper. The outlets in question are run by Sri Lankan Tamils, British-born Indians and Pakistanis.

The height of the heaps of Maliban lemon puffs reflects the demand and ever-growing popularity of this particular biscuits from its Sri Lankan manufacturer; a brief chat with the owners confirmed that the British, especially of Indian and Pakistani origin, love Maliban lemon puff.

The variety that I usually buy, judging by the information on the wrapper, seems to be aiming at the Middle Eastern market. The taste, however, is the same that we used to enjoy as little kids, often licking the biscuits with the creamy part while discarding the one without it.

Maliban Lemon Puff biscuits are a classic Sri Lankan biscuit, two flaky, crispy biscuit parts joined by a sweet lemon flavoured filling. Its lemony, sweet taste is so unique that a fan of Maliban product can easily identify it with his or her first bite into the biscuit.

With extending one of its most popular brands beyond the shores of Sri Lanka, Maliban, the venerable biscuit manufacturer has managed to implant the magic of attraction in the minds of Asian communities other than those of the Sri Lankans.

As Maliban proudly maintains the quality of the product, it will be successful in making the trend irreversible, as it has been doing in the local market in Sri Lanka for the past few decades.

If Maliban really wants to be a bit more ambitious, it can introduce some offers to major British supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose too, because there are plenty of the British who wants to see lemon puff making a comeback to their supermarkets on a significant scale.

As Maliban lemon puff rises through the confectionary firmament as a global brand, it inevitably creates a room below it for competitors to get a foothold, perhaps, exploiting the price front. If the company can keep this danger at bay by evolving in proportion to the emerging challenges, the day that Maliban lemon puff wears the global crown in its own realm may not be very far away.

- Asian Tribune -

Maliban Lemon Puff: a Sri Lankan Success Story Abroad
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