- Parle Agro’s Frooti has emerged the second most popular mango drink in India, outselling PepsiCo’s Slice in the last quarter, almost a decade after the multinational rival lost the position.
Parle Agro’s Frooti has emerged the second most popular mango drink in India, outselling PepsiCo’s Slice in the last quarter, almost a decade after the multinational rival lost the position.
Frooti had a 25.6 percent share in India’s Rs 6,300-crore mango drink category versus Slice’s 23.4 percent share in the quarter ended March, said industry insiders quoting data from researcher Nielsen. Coca-Cola’s Maaza has maintained the top spot with a share of 48 percent.
In one year Frooti improved its market share by 160 basis points, entirely from Slice.
Around two years ago Parle roped in actor Shah Rukh Khan as Frooti’s first-ever celebrity ambassador and concentrated more on PET bottles (polyethylene terephthalate bottles) as part of a campaign to attract children and adults alike. “The whole communication was planned to ensure that we strike a balance between maintaining our broad customer base for youngsters, but creating significant appeal among older consumers and then gaining greater market share,” said Nadia Chauhan, Joint Managing Director at Parle Agro.
The company, which first introduced tetra-pack in the country three decades ago, said it could build and convert a much larger consumer base for adults whose preference is PET.
According to sources, Frooti increased its sales last year by 12 percent, even though the growth rate in the category was only 1 percent. Launched by the Chauhan family in 1985, Frooti is credited with the country’s popularization of packaged mango drinks. Over the years, however, cola giants captured a bulk of the market, helped by their clout among general traders and much larger portfolios.
Three years ago, Parle Agro launched Frooti in Returnable Glass Bottles (RGB) to challenge Coca-Cola’s Maaza ‘s dominance, which obtains more than half of its sales through glass-bottled packs — primarily sold in hotels and restaurants where Frooti was not generally available.
“The focus of our new positioning and campaigns was on PET to expand the consumer base and expand this package portfolio,” he added.
RGB today accounts for 48 percent of category sales of mango drinks while PET has risen to 34 percent, Chauhan said. Change to packaging wasn’t Frooti’s only driver. The organization also changed its business strategy, which increased the productivity of its network by more than 40%.
Competition however gets tougher. Coca-Cola aims to transform Maaza into India’s first trillion-dollar juice brand, growing the market share of its range of non-carbonated beverages.
A year ago, manufacturers of the fourth largest mango drink brand Mango Sip, Manpasand Beverages, based in Vadodara, raised nearly Rs 400 crore through its initial public offering to increase distribution and modernize its facilities.
Experts say marketers need to innovate in the category of mango, as they appear averse to launching new flavors. “A single flavor contributes 80 percent of business in no other market across the globe, leading to price inflation and lower margins,” said Devendra Chawla, Group President, FMCG, and Potential Company brands.
“All big brands are fighting for the same pie while new-age brands such as Paper Boat are working towards expanding the categories. We have a very strong case for developing the market here, “Chawla said.
With a wide segment of Indian consumers moving from traditional cola beverages to non-cola carbonates, businesses are preparing to capture a share of the growing consumer-fuelled market.