Chennai: In the short period time since launch, Minute Maid the orange fruit drink from Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited has notched 2 million units (400 ml and 1 litre packs) sales in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The company is upbeat about further growth.
Could the large volumes be attributed to curiosity sales that any brand experiences when launched with teaser ads and heavy media promotions? Responds Vikas Kochhar, regional manager (South) - Public Affairs and Communication, "We are seeing sustained repeat purchases. However, as the brand is continuously being rolled out across the key markets, it is difficult to project any figures on future volume levels."
The product is made at Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh with the orange pulp imported from Florida and the juice concentrate from Brazil.
According to him, the drink is targeted at young adults (20-34 years age group) and is getting good response from other segments as well-children and housewives. "For now, Minute Maid is being retailed through select outlets across the South Region and we are targeting to reach a base of 25,000 outlets in the three states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka."
For the company Minute Maid is the second fruit drink, the first being Maaza the mango drink. "The launch of Minute Maid is a two step initiative- towards fulfilling consumer needs and meeting their preferences, and an effort to extend Hindustan Coca-Cola's market leadership in the Indian juice drink market," remarks Kochhar.
According to him the overall Indian juice market is estimated to be approximately Rs 1,200 crore. "In volume terms, this is roughly equivalent to a 500 million case market that includes juices, nectars and fruit drinks etc. The packaged juice industry is however, just about 50 million cases."
At a time when competition has products in 200 ml Tetra Pak, Hindustan Coca-Cola decided to be different by launching the drink in 400 ml and one litre pet bottle priced Rs25 and Rs60 respectively. "Based on consumer research, we identified the 400 ml pet bottle as an optimal value proposition both from a serve and price point of view. The offering also reflects innovation in price point of Rs25 the lowest entry point for an orange based juice drink in India," Kochhar claims.
Kochhar does not rule out the possibility of 200 ml Tetra Pak in the near future. The pricing of the same will be interesting to note as at the market place the minimum price of such 200ml is Rs10.
While the entry price may be lower in this category when compared to 100 per cent fruit juice products available in the Rs70-90 pricing band, the price of Minute Maid that has a 12 per cent fruit juice and pulp content is quite steep.
Speaking about the product campaign strategy he says, "The 360-degree marketing communication plan involves organising road shows including extensive experiential sampling sessions in markets, offices, malls, and colleges, all backed by a range of exciting contests. Complimenting the on ground initiatives, TV commercials bringing out the "Refreshingly Orange, Surprisingly Pulpy" proposition of the Minute Maid brand would also be aired on all leading channels in the south. The entire brand campaign has been developed and executed by Leo Burnett."
When one looks at the brand's global website (www.minutemaid.com) tag lines `pulpy ornage' are not visible to the brand Minute Maid. Whereas in India, the drink having 12 per cent fruit juice and pulp content has tag words `pulpy orange' tagged to the main brand name.