- Regional drinks beverage brands, including Bovonto, Jayanti Cola, Sosyo, Runner and Kashmira, put together developed more than twice the pace of national players such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in 2019
Regional ready-to-drink beverage brands, including Bovonto, Jayanti Cola, Sosyo, Runner and Kashmira, put together developed more than twice the pace of national players such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in the 2019 calendar, two industry officials said citing data from research firm Nielsen.
According to the data, all the hundreds of local brands put together increased their value share in the Rs 20,000 plus non-alcoholic ready-to-drink retail beverage market to 24 percent last year, which is nearly half the size of Coca-Cola’s 49.9 percent share of an industry leader and well ahead of 19.6 percent of PepsiCo.
The Top four selling brands in India are- Sprite, Thums Up, Pepsi & Coca-Cola.
Hyper-localized flavors, trade push in smaller markets where Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are still under-penetrated, direct-to-commerce opportunities, lower prices for some products, and limited marketing overheads help regional brands gain market share amid the hyper-localization drive of two cola majors, a top official at a leading bottling company in the country said. “We have grown significantly over the previous year, following the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST),” said J Ramesh, Joint Managing Director of the Chennai-based Kalimark Group that makes Bovonto soft drinks.
“While we don’t have the budgetary resources of multinationals, growth indicates the potential of regional brands.” Currently only available in Tamil Nadu, the Bovonto brand is being extended to other South India markets, Ramesh said. A Coca-Cola India spokesperson has said the company is committed to increasing its portfolio. “We understand the variety of customers across the country and continue to focus on developing a consumer-centered portfolio, including national and hyperlocal catering,” he cited examples such as RimZim jeera drink and Minute Maid Colors.
The country’s top two aerated drinks manufacturer Thums Up and Sprite and their closest rival PepsiCo had set up specialist groups three years back to track regional brands and extend their scope to new markets and segments. A PepsiCo India spokesperson said the company’s beverage portfolio’s sales growth “is ahead of Nielsen’s industry growth level.” “We’re seeing a huge upswing in our business with all the portfolio brands showing really good momentum and increasing market confidence,” the individual said in an email returning to ET.
Coca-Cola’s share of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages— including bottled carbonated drinks, water, and flavored waters, sports drinks and juice drinks— rose by 0.5 percent year-on-year in 2019, while PepsiCo India’s share dropped by 2.2 percent. Combined regional brands increased by 1.2 percent over the year.
A spokesperson for Nielsen declined to check the figures “because of the consumer protection policies in place.” Soft drinks and flavored waters are currently taxed at 40 percent which includes a levy of 28 percent and an additional cessation of 12 percent.
Aerated soft drinks have been growing faster within the total beverages, riding on costs that are nearly a third that of juices. At about Rs 90, a one-liter pack of any packaged juice is priced, while a two-liter pack of any carbonated drink is priced at about Rs 70.
The Coca-Cola spokesperson said in his predictions that the company’s share increase in 2019 was “huge,” including retail and other key channels including hotels, travel, and college cafeterias.