April , 2017
Indian consumers opt for cooling, nutritive drinks for summers
00:00 am

Varsha Singh



The Indian consumers are waking up to the concept of healthy, cooling beverages during the summer season. With the temperature soaring up every year, the demand for cool and nutritive drinks is going high. The market is slowly shifting from carbonated soft drinks to healthier options. Brands are experimenting with attractive flavours and packaging, specifically focusing on the summer market. With the rise in the standard of living, people are becoming more conscious about what they drink during summers and hence they are moving from soft drinks to healthier options in beverages.

Brands focusing on nutritive drinks this summer

According to a KPMG report, while carbonates grew in  India at 12.8% CAGR from 2010-15, the juice segment grew at 27.3% CAGR over the same period. Not only in big cities but juice-based drinks are growing in small towns and rural markets as well. The juices category is expected to clock a CAGR of 17.6% between 2017 and 2021.

In 2016, the demand for soft drinks fell and both Pepsi and Coca-Cola saw a decline in numbers. Pepsi saw its revenue drop from `7,682 crore in FY15 to `6,626 crore in FY16, its lowest since March 2013. Even Hindustan Coca-Cola
Beverages, which is the largest bottling partner of the  Coca-Cola Company in India, saw its profit fall from
`214 crore in FY15 to `173 crore in FY16 as per reports from  Tofler. The current scenario has led to the growth of the juice category at around 15% y-o-y.

Seeing the demand both PepsiCo. and Coca-Cola have come up with different flavours of nutritive drinks just for the summer season. Coca-Cola India launched Aquarius, a non- carbonated energy drink, one which not only quenches thirst, but is also fortified with minerals. During 2015-16, it came up with Fuze Tea, a fusion of tea with fruit flavours and coconut water, Zico. In the last few years, the company has invested in juice drinks such as Maaza and Minute Maid. It also came out with a milk-based beverage called Vio. Sugar-free drinks such as Coke Zero and Sprite Zero were also introduced, besides launching a “juice with fizz” drink called Fanta Green Mango, which has 10.4 % fruit content, in 2016.

PepsiCo.’s Tropicana is a major hit in the fruit juice market. Tropicana aims to continue driving local sourcing with juices like mosambi, guava and pomegranate with its Delights range for summer. PepsiCo. India launched 7UP Revive in 2016 which is similar to Coca-Cola’s Aquarius. It also came up with Nimbooz, mainly focusing on the summer market. 

Food retail companies are coming up with different flavours and items aimed at different age groups. Dabur India has recently launched traditional drinks under the brand Hajmola Yoodley that just like Hajmola comprises of traditional Indian herbs, spices, and edible salt and is sold in doy packs (sealed flexible plastic bags designed to stand upright) with colourful graphics. Dabur India has different products positioned for different segments — Real Fruit Juice for mothers and children, Real Activ Juice for adults, and it has targeted the 40+ age group with its Amla and Jamun juice under its Real Wellnezz range. It has also launched the Real Volo last year aimed at the teenagers. According to Nielsen data, Dabur’s Real recently trounced PepsiCo.’s Tropicana market share by 5% by gaining 2.5% in the fruit juice  category. With `1,000 crore in retail sales, Real is the single largest brand for Dabur.

Brands like Del Monte and Paper Boat too have come up with homemade flavours to beat the Indian heat. Del Monte, an international brand has pineapple, orange, mango, guava, and green apple based fruit drinks. On the other hand, Paper Boat, a Indian brand from Bangalore-based Hector Beverages is gaining huge popularity amongst Indian consumers with its innovative traditional flavours of Aam Panna (raw mango), Jamun Kala Khatta (Indian black berry), Kokum (a berry belonging to the mangosteen family), Anar (pomegranate), Chilli Guava (guava), Neer More (curd-based) and Thandai (milk-based) dominating the market for summer. While all these flavours are available in 250 ml doy packs, the company recently launched Aamras and Anar in 500 ml tetra carton packs too. Paper Boat has two manufacturing facilities-one at Manesar near Gurgaon and the other at Mysuru near Bengaluru and its products are available in 70,000-100,000 outlets. The company also comes out with seasonal products. Cadbury India, part of US-based Kraft Foods, has launched Tang Mango, a drink that pitches its nutritional value.

The brainchild of yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Patanjali, too, has come up with different flavours of beverages for the summer season. Apart from Patanjali thandai, the brand has fruit juices in flavours of mango, orange, guava, litchi, apple, pineapple, and mixed fruit juices. A Patanjali store owner in a small town in West Bengal said, “ Patanjali’s fruit juices are doing well this summer and in the month of March we have sold 4-5 cartons of fruit juices. Parents specifically are more inclined towards buying healthy fruit juices of Patanjali for their kids.” India Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL) is of the view that the growing appeal of Ayurvedic and ‘natural’ products, along with factors like low price and nationalistic appeal will help Patanjali achieve sales of `20,000 crore by FY20.

Milk-based flavoured beverages are a big hit

Milk-based beverages are also capturing the market with Amul actively pushing its milk-based Kool range like Amul Kool café flavoured milk, Milk N Coffee flavoured milk, Badam Milk shake, Kesar Flavoured milk, Rose flavoured milk etc. With the onset of summer, Mother Dairy reported a 20% increase in March sales. The brand has a variety of flavoured beverages like lassi, chach, milkshakes and smoothies among others and is planning to launch sugar-free and cheese cake ice-cream for this summer.  Danone, Europe’s largest yogurt maker, has tried to cater to the Indian consumers by launching its flavoured yoghurt, lassi, and mishti doi. Nestlé India has re-launched Milo as a ready-to-drink with less than 10 grams of added sugar per serve in a 180 ml pack.

Flavoured milk, lassi, and butter milk are the main product segments under dairy beverages. Odisha-based Milk Mantra has a wide array of products including milk, buttermilk, curd, and milkshakes under the Milky Moo brand as these products are quite popular during the summer season.

Restaurants and cafes bringing in innovative drinks to attract customers

As summer sizzles, restaurants and cafes are trying to  attract their customers by offering innovative drinks. Karan Tanna, Co-founder​Yellow Tie Hospitality Franchise  Management LLP, informed BE, “The consumption of  beverages as a whole increases by more than 40% in restaurants during summer. For the same reason, we at Genuine Broaster Chicken are introducing special coolers and freak shakes. All kinds of beverages especially refreshing  beverages like mojitos, ice teas etc. see a lot of traction during summers.”

Taking about the increase in beverage consumption during this season, he added, “Beverages form 8 % to 10% of our total sales during winters, whereas in summers this ratio goes up to 14% to 16%.”

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