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NEW DELHI: Packaged consumer goods company Parle Agro, that sells Frooti and Bailey water, on Thursday said it will spend 40-45 crore in marketing its new malt flavoured fruit drink B-Fizz after the covid-19 induced lockdown wiped out peak summer sales for the country’s top beverage makers.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been appointed the national brand ambassador, while Jr. NTR has been roped as the brand ambassador for markets in the south for the B-Fizz brand that has been rolled out in over 2,000 cities across the country.

Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer, Parle Agro said with the recent phase of the unlock, out-of-home consumption has come back “strongly". “Today we are towards the last possible phases of the unlock and out of home consumption has sort of picked up in a very big way. That's really where the growth momentum is also getting triggered and it will continue to lead the business especially for the beverage industry," she said.

India’s top beverage companies saw their sales dwindle after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown late March. Beverage companies draw significant sales from outdoor consumption, but with restrictions on movement and closure of restaurants, bars and cinemas, business took a hit.

Chauhan, however, said the company’s distribution has now been restored. “So, all retail outlets which were shut are all active and distribution has come back to complete 100%. That can only happen if out-of-home consumption is back," she said.

B-Fizz is a category extension of the 6,500 crore company’s sparkling fruit-based beverage brand Appy Fizz.

As of 2019, the fruit-based beverage industry in India was estimated at Rs11,000 crore. Of this, mango-based drinks occupy 80% share. With the launch of B-Fizz, Parle Agro plans to scale up its fruit-plus-fizzy drinks category to 10,000 crore over the next decade.

The campaign for the new product will be aired across Indian Premier League on Disney+Hotstar and YouTube. With several brands speaking up against advertising on certain news channels spreading fake news and hate content, Parle Agro, too, is reviewing its media mix and remains “conscious" of the kind of channels it partners with, Chauhan said. As a result, the new B-Fizz campaign will not air on select news channels, said Chauhan, declining to name them.

"We've been conscious to partner with channels that follow certain basic guidelines. Some we have decided not to partner with this time," she said.

Parle Products--Parle-G biscuits--too has taken a stand against airing fresh campaigns on news channels that it does not deem fit for its brands.

On Thursday, television monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) said it will pause publishing of weekly data for news channels for the next 8-12 weeks following the TRP tampering case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suneera Tandon

Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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