Saturday, May 28, 2005

Pulp Fiction ..

Having spoken about the Industry and it’s Avant Garde, there are others also, who are expanding the pie, and demarking particular dimensions from it

Leh Berry
Compact International promoter D. K. Mittal was to meet the Director of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) one fine morning in Ladakh in connection with a tender for setting up some shelters for army personnel. During the meeting, the Director offered Mittal a drink made of an unheard of herb called seabuckthorn. A little sceptical at first, Mittal took several sips before gulping down the entire glass. And he asked for more. This chance encounter with the wonder plant seabuckthorn was the reason Ladakh Foods was set up as a separate company in 2002 to manufacture and sell seabuckthorn juice as Lehberry.
Hoping to break even in 4 years, the company commands a market share of approx 10%.
Ladakh foods enunciated an interesting brand history - Legends about the nutritive and energy-giving properties of the berry date back to ancient Greece, according to the InternationalSeabuckthorn Association. The association says that Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan used the fruit to improve the fitness and stamina of his armies. Closer to the present, Russian cosmonauts have used them in space to combat cosmic radiation and as an oxygen supplement.
This has also reflected in the Marketing Strategy of the seabuckthorn juicer, the only juice having a tie up with the defense canteens. Unfortunately, harping on medicinal properties is not what lured the consumers. Taste and thirst-quencher is what they look for in a juice, primarily. That’s why the juice failed initially. A relook at the brand portfolio for variants and diversification is imperative.

According to, Mother Dairy India Ltd (MDIL) relaunched its Rs 165-crore , fresh and frozen vegetable brand Safal, with focus on the juice market.
The company has launched packaged fruit juices under its flagship brand, Safal. Starting from Delhi, the product is scheduled for launched on a nation-wide scale in the months to come. The company says that having pioneered the marketing of fresh and frozen vegetable products backed by a modern produce handling and processing facility, Safal is now ready to take on the packaged fruit juices category.

According to Rajeev Bakshi, in an article in ET on 25th April, Juices is one category Pepsi is pushing hard and is one of its thrust areas. Though the sales are relatively low, the brand still manages to record a growth rate of around 45% to 50% every year. Over the next two years, this will become a big category, especially when one adds Tropicana, and other fruit-based juices like Slice and Mangola.
I read a nice analysis of the consumer mindset on juices, by Mr. M. G. Parmeshwaran on
“ Let me talk about the experiences of Tropicana orange juice in India. We did some very interesting mood and mind web studies to identify our challenges. India is a country where we don’t eat too much fruit and don’t drink anything out of a pack, since it is supposed to contain colours and additives. Moreover, Indian consumers prefer to drink sweet juices and Tropicana orange juice is not sweet but slightly sour. Thus, we had manifold problems on hand. We decided to carry the taste as the differentiating factor and called it ‘the taste of good health’. The taste of good health isn’t necessarily delicious. Go ahead and enjoy it. This worked wonders, and Tropicana is doing extremely well. This idea suited Indian consumers, who prefer things fresh. Thus, while carving out the strategy for Tropicana, we had to overcome a lot of cultural barriers. Nowhere else in the world is Tropicana marketed as ‘the taste of good health’.”
Variants of the brand - Tropicana Tropics Mango Nectar (from mango pulp sourced from India), Tropics Litchi and Tropics Guava.

The packaged mango juice market is estimated to be worth around Rs 400 crore annually, with Maaza claiming a 29% share, followed closely by Frooti (24%), PepsiCo’s Slice/Magnola (20%) and Dukes, among others.
The Mango flavour accounts for 60% of the total packaged juices market in India.

Launched in ’76 by Parle, Maaza was acquired by Coca Cola India in ’93
Coke is aggressively promoting its flagship mango drink has plans to push sales by at least 50% in ’05. This has entailed a massive packaging strategy with introduction of 1-litre glass bottles for home consumption, along with promoting its 125 ml, 200 ml-and 250 ml packs. Bulk of the mangoes comes from Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

According to a press release by Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola India’s Maaza, the country’s largest and favourite fruit drink with more than 30% market share, is back this summer with two new variants– Maaza Pineapple and Maaza Orange - in 125ml packaging (single serve) to tap the rapidly growing juice drink market in India. The Company has launched the pineapple and orange variants of the brand after extensive R&D and test-marketing of formulations, created especially to cater to the Indian palate and taste preferences.
The tetra-packs, popularly known as Chotu Maaza, are being promoted as a lunch accompaniment for school-going children and will be available with Donald Duck, and Pluto puzzles.

There are many new Entrants also in the market

Birla's New Juice, priced at double the price of the market (25/-) comes in a nicely packed tinned package, in 6 different flavors – Pineapple, Guava, Orange, Grape, Tomato and Mango.
It is manufactured and marketed by Allahabad Canning Co., Bamrauli. Not sure if the premium the manufacturer is charging is for the “Birla” tag or for the tin packing! The Canned juice company cannot compete with the rest of the market, since consumers would still go for Tetra packs at cheaper rates, than canned juice at double the cost! Juices are an impulse purchase most of the times, and entail low-cost environment.

According to the April issue of Brand Reporter, Godrej Industries’ food division relaunched its fruit juice brand XS. Priced at Rs 15 for 200 ml & Rs 65 for 1 litre, it comes in exotic flavours - Kiwi Kraze (Kiwi-Apple-Lemon), Berry Blast (Strawberry-Cherry-Black Currant) and Triple Tickle (Apricot-Peach-Apple).

Miruna Yo
Manufactured by B Natural ( Balan Natural Food Limited)
According to Domain-b the bangalore-based company launched butter-milk and low-fat yoghurt drink in tetra packs, at low-price points, under the brand name “B Natural” and “Miruna Yo”.

Juice Zone
Indian counterpart of US-based Juice Zone, which entered into an Indian Franchise last year.
According to the website, “Last year the brand also established its first master franchisee in India, with the licence awarded to a very prominent Indian company which has laid out plans to open over 100 Juice Zone franchises across the country over the next five years.” The company has 3 stores so far – 2 in Delhi and one in Gurgaon.

Adluri Foods tied up with the Australian firm - Berri Ltd. 2 years back. What began as a distribution arrangement for Berri's products in the state of Tamil Nadu alone has now grown into a complete marketing association for all the 4 southern states - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
Business Line says
“Taking advantage of the health consciousness pervading the market, Adluri Foods has introduced cranberry juice (something that the local brands also have done) and is testing a mixed vegetable juice and a cocktail of apple, carrot and orange in the market.”

This might not be an exhaustive list, per se, but then there is always scope for more. For instance, let me explicate this market as a field for research
Study of the juice market has been quite a favorite for the Researchers, not only nationally, but globally.
A research conducted by Mindbranch, which costs $350, says that one of the apprehensions of the consumer is the health content and preservatives & added flavors in the packed juices. The juice market definitely is younger to the drinks market, but big brother, beware. The kid is sure growing fast ! Whereas the drinks market grows at rought 20-25% every year, the juice market has recorded close to 40-50% annually.
Then, there is a research done on Fruit and Vegetable Juices
In case you want to compare facts, you can refer to a detailed study of the Soft Drinks market in India or try this link. For a specific study, the Asia-Pacific Region has also been researched on,

That’s it. Good enough? Then, lets move to the “Bad” guys then … next one coming up, literally !


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