Hamdard enters ready-to-drink segment with Rooh Afza Fusion

Rooh Afza Fusion, which is being test-launched in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, is available in five flavours including lemon, orange and mango


A file photo of rose-based cooling drink Rooh Afza. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
A file photo of rose-based cooling drink Rooh Afza. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: Hamdard Laboratories, makers of heritage rose-based cooling drink Rooh Afza, has entered the ready-to-drink beverage segment with Rooh Afza Fusion, the company announced on Wednesday.

The new product is a blend of pure fruit juice with Rooh Afza and is available in a 200ml pack priced at Rs.20. The launch is in line with the 100-year-old company’s plan to overhaul its existing product portfolio to connect with young consumers.

Rooh Afza Fusion, which is being test-launched in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, is available in five flavours including lemon, orange and mango.

“Rooh Afza is a flagship brand for Hamdard holding 45% market share in the category. It was crucial for us to become relevant to young consumers and extend the format. Currently, Rooh Afza is available in an in-home consumption format, slightly tedious to make hence young consumers only drink it when at home. Therefore, we decided to extend the brand into the ready-to-drink format which will drive out-of-home consumption,” said Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer, Hamdard.

The idea is to make Rooh Afza Fusion an aspirational product for young consumers, said Ali, adding that a pan-India launch is expected in March 2017.

The company, which has invested Rs.15 crore in the new product, will soon roll out a campaign created by advertising agency Rediffusion Y&R.

Hamdard is looking at hawking the product through 30,000 retail outlets in both states in the next one month. The product will also be available at paan shops that keep small refrigerators stocking fizzy drinks and other beverages, driving on-the-go consumption.

Rooh Afza Fusion will compete with players such as Coca-Cola’s Mazaa and Minute Maid and PepsiCo’s Slice and Parle’s Frooti which all fall in the juice drinks category which includes all still juice drinks made up of fresh juice or concentrate, not exceeding 24% juice content.

However, it may also attract the attention of consumers who often sample packaged fruit juices available in the market including Dabur-owned Real and Real Activ, PepsiCo’s Tropicana, Hector Beverages’ Paperboat and Del Monte’s fruit juices.

Pragya Singh, vice-president of retail and consumer products at retail consultancy Technopak, believes that venturing into the ready-to-drink category will help Hamdard connect with younger consumers.

“Health and wellness is a good plank in the ready-to-drink segment with increasing number of consumers opting for health drinks. They can leverage this consumption pattern. There are both dairy and non-dairy brands such as Amul Lassi and Paperboat. While Rooh Afza is a differentiated product, they need to create differentiated marketing campaigns to capture consumer attention,” she added.

Hamdard Laboratories, which makes Safi blood purifier and Cinkara tonic besides Rooh Afza, is aiming to cross Rs 1,000 crore in annual sales by March 2019 from Rs.610 crore in the year ended 31 March 2016. Its sales target for Rooh Afza is Rs.300 crore by March 2017. Safi is estimated to reach Rs.100 crore in sales by the end of this fiscal year.

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