The new brand will begin operations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which together account for nearly 25 per cent of the national market.
With this, the company has expanded its dairy portfolio beyond ghood, pouch milk and the curd business.
The beverages market based on ready-to-drink milk in the country would be around Rs 25 billion, of which the retail business, which is being tracked by market intelligence firm Nielsen, would be Rs 10-11 billion, growing at 30-40 per cent a year. Tamil Nadu accounts a considerable share of this market.
The products are manufactured in a new integrated facility it has launched in Kapurthala, Punjab, with an investment of around Rs 9 billion. The manufacturing line for these products alone has seen an investment of around Rs 1 billion.
The firm said it was looking at expanding its manufacturing and warehousing base in Tamil Nadu. It has started operating an integrated consumer goods manufacturing and logistics facility at Pudukottai, near Trichy, in September, this year as part of the expansion.
"We are targeting young adults who are looking for a drink that could be based on milk, but with a different taste," said Hemant Malik, divisional chief executive, ITC Ltd's Food Division. The company said as part of its announced plans to invest Rs 12-13 billion in the Pudukottai facility, it started manufacturing biscuits and snacks in September and plans are to set up a warehousing facility here in two years.
The facility has been built as part of the company's commitment to the state government two years ago through the Global Investors Meet (GIM) to invest in the state. The integrated factory and the logistics facility are expected to come up in around 56 acres.
The idea was to set it up as an all-women production unit, and currently has around 700 women of the 1,000 workers in all. However, there has been a dearth of skilled labour from women to achieve this goal, said Malik.
"We are looking for some space to set up another unit to produce ghee in Tamil Nadu, though the location has not been finalised," said Malik.