Parle Agro bets on fizz to boost sales

Lalitha Srinivasan Posted online: Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : After re-entering the carbonated soft drinks segment in India after 20 years, Parle Agro is betting big on its new launch ‘Cafe Cuba’ to drive its sales growth in 2014. The company, which sells Frooti, expects Rs 1,000 crore sales from Cafe Cuba in the next 12-14 months.

“We posted a sales turnover of R2,200 crore in 2013 (calendar year). Our aim is to double our turnover to R5,000 crore with this development by 2015,” Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director of Parle Agro, told FE. The company is investing R150 crore to expand its manufacturing and distribution network this year.

At present, Frooti has a 80% market share in mango drinks, while Appy has a 65 % share in the apple drinks category. The company has a 4% market share (Hippo) in the branded snacks sector.

Chauhan said the company is already looking beyond Cafe Cuba and plans to launch more products in the carbonated drinks segment — both within the mainstream and new categories. Anticipating great global potential for the beverage, Parle Agro has plans to export it to West Asia, Europe, Africa and far-east Asia, besides the 50 countries it already exports to. Domestically, to market Cafe Cuba. the company has increased distribution from 10,000 outlets to 4.25 lakh — an increase of almost 400% .

Betting big on beverages, the company plans to achieve 30% growth for Frooti this year; 50% sales growth for Appy, besides scaling up manufacturing plants for its water brand Bailley.

The company also has plans to hike R&D spends by almost 30% to develop new beverages and snacks.

Chauhan said what really differentiates them from competitors is that they will not launch a product that already exists in the market. “One key factor that has always helped us tackle competition is our strategy to focus on innovative products in new categories. We hope to stand out with a new approach in our marketing and advertising,” Chauhan said.