Soft drinks in India – Huge Potential Ahead According to the ‘Product Insights: Soft Drinks in India’ report, The global soft drinks market grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3. 45% from 2005 to 2009 and was valued at $494. 5 billion in 2009. New product launches in the global soft drinks market increased by 8. 59% in 2009. The US was the top country by retail sales as well as by number of new product launches, followed by Japan which ranked second in both categories.
Globally, India ranked 25th in terms of retail sales and 13th in terms of the number of new product launches in the soft drinks market in 2009. In spite of India’s huge population and the fact that around 47% of the population is composed of persons below 30 years of age, the per-capita consumption of soft drinks in India remains very low, at approximately at 5. 2 liters against the world average of nearly 85. 22 liters. Developed countries such as the US, Germany, Italy and Spain all have per-capita consumption in the range of 280-400 liters, showcasing the huge potential for market growth in India.
Coca-Cola remains the market leader in the carbonates category with a market share of more than 60% in the Indian market, followed by Pepsi with around 35%. In the bottled water category, Parle’s Bisleri and Kinley from Coca-Cola are the leading players. The packaged juices market in India continues to be dominated by Maaza and Frooti, followed by brands such as Slice, Tropicana and Real which have registered good growths in their market shares in the past few years.
Red Bull with its strong dominance of the energy drinks’ category, which is the largest segment in the functional drinks category, is the market leader in the functional drinks market. Considering the overall development of the Indian soft drinks market, a comparison can be drawn between various soft drink categories based on the major consumer segment for each category using age and economic status as the two judging criterion.
For instance, while carbonates are consumed by consumers from almost all economic segments and ages in the India, considering the various packaging sizes and price points for these products, segments such as energy drinks and sports drinks are mainly consumed in the age group of around 24 years who are on the higher side in terms of economic status, i. e. working executives and the affluent class. Based on these trends, a comparison chart can be drawn between the different soft drink categories in India as given below: 0 years Juices 40 years Carbonate Nutraceutic al Drinks Carbonate X-Axis: Consumer Economic Segment Y-Axis: Consumer Age Group Juices 24 years Carbonate 15 years Middle Working Executives/Upper Middle Class Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks Affluent Current Situation: According to the ‘Product Insights: Soft Drinks in India’ report from Datamonitor, With improving literacy rates, consumers have become increasingly aware of health and fitnessrelated issues. Additionally, due to greater disposable incomes, particularly in urban areas, consumers are seeking healthier beverages even if they are relatively more expensive, due to their positioning.
Raising awareness levels with regard to obesity and other weight related health issues in the last decade, especially amongst teenagers and young adults, has helped push sales of non-carbonates. Sales of noncarbonated drinks also got a boost from the pesticide controversy which led some consumers to switch loyalties from carbonates to juices, functional drinks etc. Products such as Juice are now fast becoming as an essential part of breakfast table with urban families. Leading beverage corporations such as Cocacola and PepsiCo have identified this trend and are adopting strategies to benefit from this development.
Previously, product strategy of these large corporations was largely Cola based; given that a large part of their product volumes would come from the carbonates segment. However, in the last few years, with the strong growth in the non-carbonate sector and tapering of growth within the cola segment companies such as PepsiCo have announced plans of moving towards a well diversified portfolio by increasing the volume share of other soft drink segments including juices, functional drinks and other products with health benefits etc.
This is evident from the strong marketing campaigns which preceded the launch of brands such as Tropicana and Minute Maid. Growing consumer awareness about the harmful effects of artificial ingredients in food and beverages has fueled the demand for ‘natural’ or ‘free from’ products over the last few years. According to Datamonitor’s latest consumer survey, 62% of respondents globally are influenced by the claims of ‘no artificial additives including colors, flavorings and preservatives’ when making food and beverage choices.
The survey further reveals that the ‘natural/organic’ claim influences the major proportion of consumers in developing countries like Brazil and China, and a significant proportion in developed economies like the US and the UK. In line with the trends as reflected in the report, several new brands such as Nimbooz, Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh, and Cocojal (from Jain Agro) have been launched in the past few years in the Indian market. These recent entrants have used the ‘natural’ claim to market their product with consumers, with products being modeled on traditional Indian drinks.
For instance, Nimbooz is based on the traditional lemon drink consumed in homes and the ads reflect the natural flavors and the ‘homemade like’ taste of the product. Product Launches/Marketing Strategies: As per the ‘Product Insights: Soft Drinks in India’ report from Datamonitor, US, followed by Japan were the top countries in terms of new product launches as well as by market value. India was ranked 13th by new product launches and 25th by market value. India had the third highest percentage growth (11%) in global soft drinks market in 2009 in terms of value.
The figure below depicts the top 10 countries based on number of new products launched in the soft drinks market in 2009. Figure 1: 2009 20% 18% 16% 14% 12% % contribution 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Top 10 countries based on number of new soft drinks product launches, Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Rank 5 Rank 6 Rank 7 Rank 8 Rank 9 Rank 10 US Japan China UK Germany Russia France Canada Italy Brazil Rank 13 India Source: Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics DATAMONITOR In addition to health related product launches, manufacturers are also using innovative marketing strategies to reach out to a larger consumer base.
For example, Real juices used Disney characters for the promotion of its fruit juices amongst school going kids. Booster Juice, an international company which manufactures smoothies has used an innovative marketing initiative by signing the only Indian ‘Ultraman’ athlete (Ultraman is a title conferred for completion of a combination of high endurance athletic events such as long-distance triathlon etc. ), Anu Vaidyanathan as its brand ambassador for its smoothies promoting the importance of nutrition and fitness through its brands.
Similarly, Dabur has signed Zaheer Khan, a leading Indian cricketer as the brand ambassador for its energy drink brand, Dabur Glucose. Coca-Cola in its recent Ad campaign used a traditional Indian art form, Warli to capture the mood of the festive season of Diwali. It also has several marketing initiatives such as offers of free home trips to participants from any part of the country etc. Considering that the soft drinks sector in India is seasonal and sales pick up a bit after during the festive season, most players in the market are actively campaigning to capture this demand.
On-Trade: Apart from the retail market, foodservice or on-trade sector appears to be another lucrative avenue for manufacturers to cash in on the growing demand for soft drinks in India. Segments such as carbonates, energy drinks, bottled water etc. already enjoy a high share from the on-trade segment. However, for categories such as juice, which is in its nascent stage in the country, the on-trade sector promises a huge potential for growth. The juice bar model is similar to the cafe outlets such as Barista and Coffee Day chains and these enterprises aim to replicate the success of the latter to provide a healthier alternative.
Figure consciousness being the latest fad, these juice bars appears to be the ideal place to visit after a grueling work-out at the gym for students and executives. This model is already a big hit in the western markets with players such as ‘Jamba Juice’ and ‘Smoothie King’ garnering good volumes in the US market. Currently, places with large footfalls such as shopping malls, office complexes and convention centers have juice bar joints in India. Apart from these, there are a few independent juice bar chains that are coming up in different parts of the country.
Retail outlets such as ‘Amorettos’ in Delhi, ‘HAS Juice bar’ in Mumbai and ‘Bloom Juices’ in Mohali and multinational chains such as ‘New Zealand Naturals’ fall under the juice bar category. Apart from offering the regular fresh fruit juices, these outlets also offer exotic options such as ‘Fresh Wheat Grass’, ‘Fat Free Smoothies’ and ayurvedic herb based natural fruit juices in their menu. The benefits with each of these different juices are clearly explained so that the customers have greater awareness about the ideal juices for themselves.
Similarly, other categories such as RTD teas, coffees etc. can be a hit with consumers in the on-trade sector. While the foodservice establishments offer the advantage of more information and hygienic conditions they are still far behind when it comes to price competition with the unorganized sector outlets such as road side juice shops. The price in these outlets as compared to the unorganized sector for a product like juice is higher by 3-4 times.
This becomes a critical factor for the success amongst the price conscious Indian consumers. This sector has to come up with initiatives which increase awareness levels amongst consumers regarding the health benefits etc. offered through their products in order to gain acceptance in the Indian market. – ENDS – This is based on Datamonitor’s analysis and inputs from Datamonitor’s latest report ‘Soft drinks in India. ’ For further information on this title, please contact Aartee Sundheep on +91 40 6672 9586 or [email protected] com.