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Homegrown beverage firms are taking a cue from the shift international companies are making towards healthier options to cater to the changing tastes of consumers.
Players such as Parle Agro, Dabur, ITC, Manpasand Beverages, Hector Beverages (maker of Paper Boat) and Patanjali are all ramping up presence in the good-for-you beverage space.
The trend, say experts, is becoming pronounced as India’s largest organised beverage category — carbonated drinks, pegged at around Rs 14,000 crore in size — stagnates.
Seeing the slow pace of growth in carbonated drinks, multinationals such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have shifted focus to their ‘still beverage’, or non-carbonated, business.
For the Indian firms, however, the shift has come at the right time. While they do not operate in carbonated drinks, especially colas, the growing preference for good-for-you beverages augurs well for their business.
Dabur’s Chief Executive Officer Sunil Duggal, for instance, said his company would launch a second brand under its juices portfolio, currently led by its Real brand. The packaged juices market, estimated at Rs 2,000 crore in size, has been witnessing a double-digit growth in India. Brands such as Real, Tropicana (from PepsiCo) and B Natural (from ITC) almost always fly off the shelves at retail stores before other similar brands. All the companies are expanding their portfolios in the segment.
Duggal said, “While there are sub-brands such as Activ and Wellness under the Real portfolio, there is space for more in the juice portfolio.” Dabur’s new brand, currently in development stage, would be ready by the summer of 2018 and would complement Real. Parle Agro Managing Director Nadia Chauhan said her company was looking at entering new beverage spaces in the coming years. The firm launched a fizzy variant of its mango drink (Frooti) earlier this year. This is the second juice by the firm to have a fizzy variant. Appy Fizz, the variant of its apple juice, was launched over a decade ago. It is a key player in the fizz-in-juice space, an emerging category.
“Fizz-in-juice as a segment is gaining popularity as consumers seek innovative flavours. We were the first ones to look at this category with Appy Fizz, and now have Frooti Fizz. Our effort to identify new beverage trends will go on,” Chauhan said.
Manpasand Beverages, the makers of Mango Sip, also launched its fizz-in-juice range under Fruits Up a few quarters ago, and has since entered categories such as packaged water, packaged coconut water and energy drinks with Pure Sip, Coco Sip and Manpasand ORS, respectively. Founder and Chairman Dhirendra Singh said the company was now getting a new beverage to the market that has fruit, vegetable and honey in it.
“There is a growing acceptance for local flavours with the right health mix. That gives companies such as ours the confidence to launch these kinds of products,” said Singh.
This point was endorsed by Hector Beverages co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Neeraj Kakkar, whose company has built a portfolio of products on regional flavours such as aam panna, jal jeera and jamun and sells under the brand Paper Boat.
Kakkar said, “These are products that people have grown up on. It helps that the health quotient of these products have been established, increasing acceptance for them.”
Patanjali, too, is stepping up presence in the segment, having already launched 12 fruit flavours in a year.
Riding the health wave
- Dabur to launch a second brand under its juices portfolio, currently led by its Real brand
- Parle Agro looking at entering new beverage spaces after launching Frooti Fizz earlier this year
- Manpasand Beverages launched fizz-in-juice range under Fruits Up. To launch a new beverage that has fruit, vegetable and honey
- Hector Beverages has built a portfolio of products on regional flavours
- Patanjali, too, is stepping up presence, having launched 12 fruit flavours in a year