New Delhi: Consumer product company Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd, which sells Frooti and Appy soft drinks, plans to soon add variety to their offerings by again expanding their range of fruit drinks.
“We are looking to bring a highly differentiated product to the market,” said Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer, Parle Agro.
Mumbai-based Parle Agro, which makes soft drinks, bottled water and confectionary, had in 2008 introduced a fruit drink brand called Saint. The brand was withdrawn some two years after launch.
Chauhan wants to take advantage of the 35% growth in India’s non-carbonated drinks market. The category, which includes fruit drinks, nectar and juices, is worth Rs.22,000 crore, according to industry lobby Assocham. The market is dominated by Dabur India Ltd’s Real juices, followed by PepsiCo’s Tropicana.
“Largely a mango-dominated market, this segment has opened up to fruit variants,” said Chauhan, daughter of Prakash Chauhan, chairman and managing director of the Parle group of companies. “Consumers are experimenting and ask for new stuff all the time.” Brand building and communicating with the consumer is key, analysts said.
“Saint juices were probably slightly ahead of time in terms of its branding and the concept, largely because the Indian market was still waking up to the juices phenomenon,” an analyst tracking the sector said on condition of anonymity. “So, while there was space for new players to come in, there wasn’t enough traction in the market. ”
“Generally, health as a food platform is a positive category to be in. Fruit juices come within this, which is also a growing space,” said Pinakiranjan Misra, partner, retail and consumer products, at Ernst and Young, a consultancy. “But for brands to make their presence felt, they need to adopt differentiated marketing and communication strategies in order to sustain competition.”
Challenges include raw material availability, dependence on imports for some fruits and managing the shelf life of seasonal products, Misra said.
Parle Agro shortly plans to sell its carbonated apple drink Appy Fizz in cans, Chauhan said.
Dabur India, which makes the Real brand of fruit drinks, declined to comment. It saw 25-28% growth in the snack food business, primarily driven by juices, in the quarter ended September. It has a 54% share of the fruit juice market.