New Delhi: Will Boost be the secret recipe of the Rajasthan Royals in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament?
Consumer products maker GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare India Ltd (GSK) and the team, the winner of the first edition of the league, are hoping so.
The two are working together to develop an energy drink for the Indian market. The partnership advances their relationship from last year, when GSK’s malt-based drink Boost was one of the brand partners of the Jaipur franchise. GSK and Rajasthan Royals are now working on a co-branded drink, said a person close to the development.
“The energy drink is being exclusively formulated by Rajasthan Royals’ physiotherapist John Gloster for GSK,” said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the deal hasn’t been made public yet.
The partnership will attempt to ride on the popularity of cricket, IPL and the Rajasthan Royals.
GSK is one of the largest companies in the health food drinks market with products such as Horlicks, Viva, Maltova and Boost.
Mint was unable to ascertain if the proposed drink would be a limited edition issue—offered for the duration of a particular event and taken off store shelves afterwards.
“Boost is our energy drink partner since the beginning. Going forward, we are helping them to develop a new formulation...it is a strategic move,” said Raghu Iyer, chief marketing officer at Rajasthan Royals. “We are only providing them our expertise...the rest will be decided by GSK.”
A senior GSK executive declined to disclose if the new drink would be launched under the Boost name, but confirmed that the company was working with Rajasthan Royals’ coach and other players on the composition of the proposed energy drink. “However, we can’t share much details, as it is at a very nascent stage and the work has just begun,” said the executive, who didn’t want to be identified.
Boost was launched in India in 1975 and, according to the company’s website, the brand enjoys a 13% market share in the health food drinks segment across the country. In southern India, it commands a market-leading 24% share.
The malt-based food drink market is estimated to be worth an annual Rs1,500-2,000 crore, according to Anand Shah, an analyst at Mumbai-based Angel Broking Ltd.
Boost has always been associated with cricket and cricketers. All-rounder Kapil Dev, who as captain won the 1983 World Cup for India, was the first cricketer to endorse the brand in the 1980s, followed by Sachin Tendulkar in the 1990s. Since 2001, Virender Sehwag has been associated with the brand.
“The company is most likely to launch the new product under the Boost brand name as another variant as it is a strong name nationally,” said Shah of Angel Broking.
Many consumer product companies have launched limited editions of their brands in the past, especially to ride on the popularity of cricket.
PepsiCo Holdings India Ltd, for instance, launched a new and limited variant of its flagship cola Pepsi in 2003, called Blue Pepsi. The blue colour was chosen as a gesture of support to the Indian team, known as the Men in Blue after the colour of their cricket uniforms. The drink was withdrawn after the World Cup.
Likewise, it launched another variant, Pepsi Gold, to coincide with the World Cup in 2007. Branded as The World Cup Cola, the drink clocked healthy sales, said the company. “The basic idea behind these limited edition launches is that the variety-seeking consumer today craves for wider choices,” said Punita Lal, executive director (marketing) at PepsiCo Holdings India.