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The Non-Alcoholic Beverages Market in India - Emerging Scenario
Monday, 02 December, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Yogesh Singh
The consuetude of people keeps changing with passage of time and it gets more refined and sophisticated as well. There is no denial that beverage preferences and drinking habits have also witnessed this phase in our country.

India is a land where myriads of beverages are preferred and prepared, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic. In an era where alcoholic beverages are gaining popularity; non-alcoholic beverages have maintained its liking and popularity, have even revived their status and have compelled almost everyone to have a significant penchant for it.

The non-alcoholic beverages in India have a vast congregation in the configuration of stimulating, refreshing, and nourishing beverages, apart from bottled water. Stimulating beverages comprise of tea and coffee, nourishing drinks comprise of fruit juices, shakes, malted drink and so on; and refreshing beverages consist of squashes, sherbets, syrups and so on.

It would be quite an encouraging fact as per the report of “Drink Technology India Fair” which has stated that India has been holding the share of 10% globally in consumption of non-alcoholic beverages. Even with less population than China, India has emerged as market leader with even high potential than it has and this has been an inspiring and motivating challenge for global market leaders to grip the market with products in India.

India boasts of tea among all the non-alcoholic beverages all across the globe for its love and desire towards tea drinking character. Tea drinking is not an activity but it has transformed into a passion. It has created a fixed time for its consumption among all tea consumers and that too on a regular basis; right from the start of the day, leading to various other tea consuming patterns. Serving tea to guests serves as a purpose of welcoming guests wholeheartedly and has become a means of socialising.

According to Goldstein Research Analysis, the forecast of India packaged non-alcoholic beverages market is expected to grow at the rate of 16.2% (CAGR) in the year period 2016-2024. In spite of this, the market is anticipated to reach US$20.4 billion by the end of 2024 as there is heavy inclination towards the trading of packaged drinks.

Second-largest producer of tea in the world, India is the world’s largest consumer of tea with around 30% of the total global output (As per Assocham report). The former Planning Commission (renamed as Niti Aayog) was in the view of announcing tea as the “National Drink” of our country in year 2013. With such huge production of tea in India, the most surprising fact is that 80% of the total production of tea is consumed in Indian market itself. This depicts the overwhelming love of tea among Indian citizens. Undoubtedly, tea is the king of non-alcoholic beverages in India.

Herbal tea trend is the latest concept sweeping entire consumer segment. People usually add cardamom, holy basil, black pepper, cinnamon, liquorice, mint, fennel, and ginger as per their taste preference. Herbal teas gain heavy consumption during winter season in all parts of the country. There have been many outlets that are primarily based on tea like Chaayos. Few outlets like Chaayos claim that they sell around more than 80,000 types of tea tastes, which seems impossible.

The love for coffee among Indians is no less and is flourishing or can say penetrating the Indian market day by day. The production of coffee in southern parts of India is on the increase gradually and this trend shows that in coming years, India may be one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. Coffee drinkers are very specific and they are adamant preferring it over other drinks in India. As per the last decade, the coffee demand in Indian market has reached around 40% and this apparently indicates the coffee culture in India. If we go by the forecast, India’s per capita coffee consumption stands for 0.03 kg for year 2019.

Most of the coffee consumption is in southern states like Tamil Nadu (60%) and Karnataka (25%). It is gradually flourishing in northern areas of India as well. The corporate people in the north are the ones who prefer it most in northern India. The various varieties of coffee are cherished by coffee lovers and there are many outlets like Barista and Cafe Coffee Day, which have generated huge business and love for coffee all across the land. Nowadays, green coffee is the new fashion statement among obese people and is loved by health-conscious people.

The people, who wish to avoid from the habits of caffeine addicted, usually prefer juice in their diet or habit. Fresh fruit juices have also been the common drink preferred by health-conscious people. As per the report of Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), the growth rate of juice market in India is more than 18% consistently and even forecasted its growth to be more than 15% in coming few years; according to India Juice Market Outlook, 2021.

In recent years, there has been a tremendous shift of consumer preferences from aerated drinks to packaged fruit juices. Packaged fruit juices market is enlarging by and large. Consumers nowadays have unbelievable inclination towards health proposition and they are thinking and selecting options which are good for their health. No doubt, packaged fruit juice is a better choice in any circumstances than aerated drinks. The higher income growth of consumers has motivated them to expose themselves to all variants of fruit juices and then decide their preferences for future consumption. Everyone is willing to experiment and explore the market and then satiate the taste buds.

Nourishing Drinks
Apart from this, the kids are fed with nourishing drinks like Boost, Horlicks, Complan, Bournvita, Powervita, Pediasure and Protinex. The market for such health drinks also has great and enormous share in non-alcoholic beverages. Mother gets a feeling of satisfaction when they feed their child with such health drinks added in milk. Generally, tea and coffee are drinks which are not served to kids even in their teenage, but later in their adulthood. In teenage period, milk is the most consumed beverage all across India.

So, without exaggeration, India is a land of varied non-alcoholic beverages which comprise of tea, coffee, fruit juices and nourishing drinks like milk added with malted products, apart from lemonade, coconut milk and so on. All drinks have created niche in the market and have generated tremendous demands and acceptability among Indian consumers and that too with utter sense of delight and inclination. The coming years would witness the flourishing of its business as well.

(The author is senior faculty (culinary arts) at Institute of Hotel Management, Kurukshetra. He can be contacted at
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