Chill out… ‘Juicy’ Wars Ahead!

Talking of Warfare, marketers in India are predicting that the price wars would move from the cola battlefield to another one …the Battlefield of Fruit and Fruit-based juices – a nascent market which is emerging as one of the most promising markets of the country, and an equally challenging one..!!

Have talked a lot about health-conscious Indian consumers and marketable elements for them; right from Fitness centers to fairness creams, from Skin healers to healthy food; from lotions to drinks - Health has become the buzz word lately. It was only a matter of time that marketers included this flavor in their marketing mix.

According to an article at TMCnet, Focus of the marketers has shifted towards health drinks, which is growing at almost 20-25% currently. So much so, that the industry experts are predicting a juice war in the market, based on price and variations.

Almost a year back, I had presented an analysis of the Fruit Juice market. Fortunately, most of the assessment and predictions of the market still hold valid. The key driving forces for the market remain to be product innovation, expanding market into niche segments and increased consumer preference for healthy foods – though each of them has entered into a more mature & developed phase.


Marketing initiatives being taken by the Brand Managers are oriented towards demand creation through increasing awareness and educating customers. It is imperative to venture tapping new markets and get new customers! They are also identifying new and innovative touch points, including gyms, BPOs, nigh clubs and other places where “health” and “fitness” are symbolized.

Lately, several niche segments are growing in the Indian markets. For instance, sports drinks (Red Bull & Gatorade), unheard of a few years back, now command an excellent growth potential within the country.

An interesting case study on Appy Fizz highlights the importance of visibility and promotions for the sale of a brand. To summarize, the drink, which started as a brand extension of Parle Agro’s Appy, was targeted specifically at the teenagers. Aggressive promotions, large number of consumption channels and high visibility entailed a well-executed strategy of the extension, overpowering its mother brand, in the market. The drink has positioned itself well between fruit juices and carbonated drinks.

However, Challenges which stood in the way of marketers a year back, continue to be the roadblocks of the market. Price continues to be the biggest bottleneck, since the soft drink market is very price-elastic. Not to forget the quality parameters and low awareness levels.

However, with so many hullabaloos over the quality and packaging against the cola majors (and the resulting controversies), quality has almost become an underlying assumption in the mindsets of the producers as well as the consumers. Therefore, reinforcing quality along with ensuring acceptable price points, and subsequently leveraging both of these using the health platform to promote your offerings…..is the language of the marketers today – some find the challenge exciting entailing new innovations, whereas some are still grappling with the market conditions.

Various strategies are being worked out in the market today.**
Be it entering into niche markets, interfacing with the corporates, introducing various price points to enter into tier-II cities and towns, introducing brand extensions and identifying more touch points – the fruit juice market has definitely become a much more dynamic and innovative market – with marketers willing to experiment anything to boost sales and create demand.
With new players emerging regularly and experimentation becoming the norm of the day, no wonder, analysts are predicting another price war in the market very soon….

In that case, maybe its time to get some working tips from Mr Hannibal again.
Fruit for thought? ;-)

[Statistics - AC Neilson estimates the overall non-carbonated beverage market to be Rs.615-crore in traditional & modern trade, out of which Rs 112 crore comprises fruit juices and Rs 503 crore for fruit-based drinks. Players in the market – Earlier posts]

**Fruit Juice market would be an ideal case to be studied based on the Ansoff Matrix. With all the 4 quadrants being worked upon – Market development, Market penetration, Product development and Market Diversification – different offerings are operating in different quadrants.
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