Tata Global to grow health drinks biz

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 17 2011, 08:31am hrs
After pulling out its fruit-drink Tion from domestic markets, Tata Global Beverages (TGBL) is gearing up to launch a slew of health beverages through its joint venture with PepsiCo India, NourishCo Beverages, this year. After seeing the response to its pilot project the launch of Lehar Gluco Plus in Maharashtra, the joint venture is planning to extend the brand to other markets within a year.

Sources say the range will comprise energy drinks and beverages fortified with vitamins. Tata will also use learnings from their earlier association with Energy Drinks, USA, for the roll out.

TGBL is also planning leverage upon NourishCos distribution network to promote its water brand Himalayan in domestic markets this financial year. In November 2010, NourishCo had entered into a brand licensing and a manufacturing agreement with the Tatas for marketing the latters Himalayan brand of mineral water.

At present, Tata Global and PepsiCo India are exploring various options across categories in the health and wellness sector in India. Incidentally, TGBLs rival, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has recently launched Lipton Ice tea on the lite refreshment platform with its strategic alliance with PepsiCo India.

On the rationale behind discontinuing Tion in India, Percy Siganporia, MD of Tata Global Beverages, said, Somehow, Tion did not meet our marketing matrix. So we decided to discontinue it. Our current focus is on launching health and wellness beverages with our JV partner PepsiCo.

In 2009, Tata Global Beverages (known as Tata Tea) had forayed into the fruit-based beverages sector with the launch of Tion a tea and fruit-based drink which was targeted at the youth. The company had launched the brand in key southern markets to start with. In April this year, Tion had 2% market share in the NCSD (non carbonated soft drinks) category in the south.

Recently, MindShare India, the flagship media agency of GroupM, part of WPP has won the media AOR (agency on record) duties for NourishCo, the JV between TGBL and PepsiCo India. MindShare India will now work with GroupMs experiential marketing wing Dialogue Factory to provide integrated communication programmes that specialises in customised consumer contact programme for its new client NourishCo. Dialogue Factory will be building NourishCo health and wellness beverages brands in both urban and rural market in India.

TGBL has volume leadership in the branded tea sector with a market share of 18.6%. To sustain its leadership in this sector, TGBL will be investing in television advertising for its flagship brands, Siganpoia said.