New Delhi: The two major fruit juice makers in India Tropicana and Dabur are going all out to tease Indian taste buds with ethnic flavours. PepsiCo terms these as flavours that are more relevant to Indians.
For Tropicana India is proving to be a good investment as according to top officials in the company, "India is among Tropicana's top ten markets which is continuously moving up having registered a strong double digit growth last year. But they did not reveal any numbers.
The company wants to ensure that the strong growth continues and also that the market expands further. To this end Tropicana has launched a sub-brand Tropicana Tropics and is introducing new flavours mango nectar, guava pulp and litchi juice under this brand. It may be recalled that Pepsi had launched mango and litchi flavours earlier under its fruit drink brand 'Slice' in returnable glass bottles.
The new variants are expected to come for around Rs 50/ litre as these come under the category of 'less than 20 percent fruit pulp' making them less pricey than Tropicana fruit juices all of which retail at above Rs 70/litre. Tropicana juices have 80 percent fruit pulp content.
At present Tropicana has about seven flavours in the market - apple, pineapple, orange, apple orange, grape and mixed fruit.
Tropicana is also looking at making India the sourcing hub for certain varieties of fruits mainly mango.
According to Graham Andrews marketing director, fruit beverages PepsiCo who was on a first visit to India recently, "India has emerged as an approved source for mango pulp within the Tropicana worldwide system, and the country can soon emerge as a major sourcing base for other exotic fruits for Tropicana's international market."
Pepsi is already exporting nearly 20,000 tonne of mango pulp and concentrate predominantly to west Asia and Europe from India. The company is now working on building the same capacities for other fruits like guava, pineapple, papaya pulp, grapes and pomegranate.
"We are also exploring the opportunities for exporting other fruit juices like guava and litchi which can become very popular in the Asian region where consumer preferences are similar to India," said Subroto Chattopadhyay, executive director, Pepsi Foods India.
Pepsi's international team of experts has been visiting farms and processing units to provide key technical inputs.
The company has identified two vendors - Clean Foods and Sunsip - as its 'strategic allies in Andhra Pradesh who have together set up four units in the state.
PepsiCo teamed up with Punjab Agri Export Corporation for a joint citrus cultivation project in 2003 in Punjab, which is expected to start producing results very soon. The company is now looking for a similar deal with pineapple farmers in Kerala. According to a PepsiCo India spokesperson, the company has begun trials of pineapples imported from Thailand and the Philippines in Kerala.
At present the company sources orange juice concentrates from Brazil but through the ongoing project, it is trying to develop a large grower base, which can produce high juice yielding oranges to match its requirements. "India produces 47 million tonne of fruits which provides us an exciting export opportunity within the Asia-Pacific region," added Chattopadhyay.
Dabur Foods is also going local with a vengeance with its fruit juices.
It is also aiming to expand its market by introducing juices with a lower price tag. The company has launched a new brand 'Coolers' in four variants - green mango, pomegranate, jamun, and water melon with one litre of Cooler priced at Rs 50. Coolers like Tropicana Tropics also contains only 20 per cent of fruit pulp against over 80 per cent in Real variants.
Dabur is also aiming at expanding its consumer base.
According to the company Coolers has been launched with an investment of Rs12 crore, into research into consumer needs and development of processing capabilities and parameters on the other.
Dabur's Real brand of fruit juices, has proved very successful contributing as much as 85 per cent to the company's Rs86 crore turnover last fiscal.