Compared to the Gen X and baby boomers, who were more calorie conscious, millennials prioritise eating right and healthy versus eating less. Thus, aerated beverage companies are witnessing flat to declining sales versus previous year (PY) in India, with sales falling almost 4% in the July-Sep 2016 quarter versus PY, and compare that to the same quarter in 2015, where their sales grew 4%. They saw another dip in sales in the Oct-Dec 2016 quarter, further impacted by demonetisation.
Global beverage manufacturers in India are currently either testing or introducing healthier variants. Companies are also setting calorie limits for their aerated drinks. Fruit-based juices and drinks saw a volume growth of 20.1% and value growth of 25.8% in 2015 over 2014, versus aerated drinks that grew only 8.4% by volume and 10.8% by value over the same period in India.
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Major brands launched new packs for the October 2016-January 2017 festive period, offering a variety of relatively healthier products with different price options, such as coconut water, beverages with over 5% natural fruit juice, etc. The Indian government is also contemplating a sin tax on sugary drinks at 40% to further discourage consumption.
The author, Rajat Wahi is partner & head — consumer, retail & agri sector, KPMG India