New Delhi: Parle Agro Pvt Ltd has launched one of the biggest marketing campaigns pegged at Rs100 crore featuring actor Salman Khan to promote Appy Fizz, a fruit based fizzy drink brand that has seen increased competition during the past one year.

The ‘Feel the fizz’ marketing campaign is an attempt by the company to scale the Appy Fizz brand and thwart competition from multinationals like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola India and homegrown firms like Dabur and Bisleri International which have started boosting presence in the category.

“We aim to build Appy Fizz into an over 1, 000 crore brand in the next two years," said Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer, Parle Agro.

Appy Fizz, the company stated, is a 650 crore brand which has grown 100% over the last five years. Chauhan added that currently Appy Fizz is sold through seven lakh outlets across the country.

Launched in 2005 as a niche and premium product, Appy Fizz has been dominant in the fruit plus fizz category which has seen a lot of action lately. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged multinational carbonated beverage firms such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to mix natural fruit juice (at least 5%) in aerated beverages to help augment fruit sales of Indian farmers. Additionally, carbonated beverages have seen sluggish growth owing to increasing number of consumers opting for healthy drinks.

In March this year, PepsiCo India announced that it will launch a fruit juice drink with fizz under its Slice brand with flavours like jeera, apple, lemon, orange and clear lime. Coca-Cola India is also bringing fruit based version of its fizzy drink brands – Limca and Sprite. Bisleri International which launched Bisleri Pop, an aerated fruit-based drink last year, has rolled its big summer campaign featuring singer Mika Singh last month.

However, Chauhan said that the decision to appoint Salman Khan and the marketing push for Appy Fizz has nothing to do with competition. “We created the fruit plus fizz category ten years back and we continue to hold 99% market share," she said, adding that Khan will help to scale Appy Fizz further and will give it additional penetration in the country.

The company will be launching a smaller ‘pick me up’ 160ml PET bottle priced at Rs. 10 to further drive penetration.

The summer campaign, which is promoted across television, outdoor, cinema and on-ground, is a part of the company‘s strategy which is targeting Rs5,000 crore turnover by 2018.

Samit Sinha, brand expert and managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting said the campaign is clearly a move to grab a consumer mindshare in the fizzy category which is expected to see a lot of action from brands.

According to market research firm Euromonitor International, the non-cola carbonates market grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% between 2012 and 2017 as oppose to cola carbonates which grew at 8.3%.

“Moving forward, carbonates with juice content are expected to partially offset the slow growth in carbonates. With the introduction of new flavours by carbonated soft drinks companies, consumers are expected to indulge in consuming these soft drinks as they are cheaper than carbonates and are deemed healthier," said Devchandan Mallick, research analyst at Euromonitor International.

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