With people turning more health conscious, the non-carbonated beverage segment has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting businesses at the moment. For some time now, manufacturers have experimented with some of the formulation and taste issues, offering the consumers better tasting, more healthful alternatives. Evolving from drinks containing a hint of herbs or vitamins, beverages have become an important delivery vehicle for efficacious amounts of nutritional ingredients. Beverages are unusual products in that everyone expects to try new varieties, even from established brands.
While all segments of the beverage market are evolving, the growth seems to be directed more towards healthy, light and low-calorie drinks, in particular organic and fruit juice varieties.
The Rs 500 crore non-carbonated beverage market in the country is composed of fruit drinks, nectar and juices. While the fruit drink segment is estimated at Rs 250-300 crore (branded and packaged), the juice market is valued at Rs 150 crore and the nectar is a small category of about Rs 35-50 crore. And the popular brands vying for a share in the sector are Parle's Frooti, Godrej's Jumpin, Coca Cola's Maaza, Pepsi's Tropicana, and Dabur's Real, Nastle's Milo, Soy milk from ProSoya and branded fruit juices from Surya Foods among others.
The Rs 1,100 crore health food drinks (HFD) market, classified into two categories of white and brown segments, has remained stagnant for the last several years despite GSKCH (GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare) and Cadbury's attempts to activate the category. While Cadbury's Bourvita has been at the forefront of the HFD market, GSKCH has also been active. Apart from repositioning its Horlicks brand from health drink to a fun drink, GSKCH more recently has launched its brown drink Boost in 100gm sachets as well in Tetrapak as a ready-to-drink product. GSKCH's Horlicks and other brands like Boost, Viva, Maltova, together have a 75 % share of the health food drinks market. Horlicks alone, as a white beverage, is believed to have an over 50 % market share.
Nestle's Milo, however, being a brown drink faces direct competition from Cadbury's Bournvita and GSKCH's Boost. The market has marginally moved from the white malted beverages to the brown segment. The latest to join the race is GCMMF, which has relaunched its health food drink branded as Amul Shakti.
What follows is an overview of the latest product offerings from different beverage companies.
Parle's Frooti No 1 fruit drink
Frooti from Parle Agro is the largest distributed fruit drink with 85 % market share in India. It reaches more than 10 lakh retail outlets in up to class C towns through more than 1,500 distributors and wholesalers directly and indirectly. India's first real fruit drink in Tetrapak is available in three delicious varieties - mango, orange and pineapple - Frooti Mango from premium Indian mangoes, Frooti Orange from chilled imported orange concentrate from Brazil and Frooti Pineapple made from ripe juicy pineapple.
The company's another revenue earning brand includes Bisleri water. The Bisleri brand of mineral water is being made available across the country. It has a market share of 40 %.
Dabur's Real fruit juice in 9 flavours
Dabur's flagship brand Real fruit juice is a market leader in the packaged fruit juice category. Real was launched in 1996 and the brand has carved out a niche for itself by claiming to be the only fruit juice in packaged form that is 100 % preservative free. Real with a market share of 55 % offers to its consumers the largest range of 9 juices that comprise orange, mango, pineapple, mixed fruit, grape, guava, tomato, litchi and cranberry.
Real Junior, available in 125 ml packs, targets children below six years. It has two favourite flavours of mango and apple enriched with calcium. Real Activ, a 100 % fruit juice with no added sugar, gives the goodness of fruits without adding extra calories. Today, it is the preferred juice drink for the health and fitness conscious young adults. Real Activ is available in orange, apple, and orange-carrot variants. Real Activ orange carrot juice, India's first packaged fruit + vegetable juice, is a combination of juicy oranges and sweet carrots.
Coolers, a fruit-based beverage, offers traditional 'cooling' recipes in a ready-to-drink format. It is available in three variants - Aam panna, pomegranate (anar) and watermelon Real juices are offered in hygienic double seal spill proof caps in Tetrapak packaging. Once packed, the 6-layer Tetrapak carton helps retain the freshness of the juice for a longer period of time, thus maintaining the taste and nutrition of the juice. The fruits that go into the juices are sourced from the best sources across the world, the company claims.
Dabur Food produces around 50 million litres of juice annually through its state-of-the-art facility at Birganj, Nepal. In August 2004, the company commissioned a multi fruit processing facility in Siliguri, in West Bengal, set up by Pasadensa Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dabur Foods Ltd. Spread over 11 acres and geared to process 150 tonnes of fruit per day, it has the capacity to produce 192 tonnes of pulp/concentrate. The plant procures fruits worth Rs 6 crore from West Bengal, North-East, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It has the highest capacity utilization by processing pineapple, litchi, guava, mango and grape round the year.
Godrej's Jumpin & Soyfit in several flavours
The Foods Division of Godrej Industries produces and markets fruit drinks, fruit nectar and Sofit Soymilk. The Jumpin range of fruit drinks come in flavours such as maqngo, apple, pineapple, litchi and orange. They are packaged in hygienic and aseptic Tetrapak that assures top quality. Ice-cold Jumpin can be enjoyed straight or mixed in a punch or a cocktail. They are available in packs of 200 ml.
Godrej Xs fruit juice is packed with extra tang and extra fun.
Xs range of fruit nectar has more fruits making it thick and tasty. Also the vitamins and carbohydrates present in it provide extra energy for a fit and healthy living. Available in orange, mango, litchi and pineapple flavours, Xs come in Tetrapaks of 200 ml and 1000 ml.
Godrej has launched Sofit Soymilk for the health conscious. Sofit Soymilk made from carefully selected soybeans, is a valuable source of proteins and vitamins. Being low in saturated fat and cholesterol free, is becoming a popular drink. Available in mango, apple, malt and plain flavours, Sofit is sold in Tetrapaks of 200 ml and 1000 ml. The 1000 ml pack is priced at Rs 50. Sofit is made by mixing soymilk with real fruit pulp, to give all the health benefits of soy to the consumers with the refreshing taste of fruits, claims the company. Soymilk is free of lactose which is present in cow/buffalo milk. The company is in the process of launching more health products.
Nestle's Milo with 'badam shakti'
Nestle is relaunching its chocolate health food drink Milo by re-energising it with 'badam shakti'. According to company sources, Milo is all set to get a new lease of life with a new packaging, formulation and a distinct positioning. Currently, Milo is available in a SKU of 500gm priced at Rs 96. In the past, Nestle had exited from categories like packaged water business and discontinued a few of its brands, including Nescafe Choc Café and Milkmaid dessert mixes, due to their poor performance.
By giving Milo a new distinct local positioning