Bisleri gets ready to take on Tata water brand

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 04:57am hrs
In a bid to take on Tata Teas enhanced water brand, which is yet to be launched in the domestic market, FMCG major Parle Bisleri is gearing up to launch its enhanced water brand within two months.

Parle Bisleri is currently test marketing its new brand with different flavours in select markets across the country. We are setting up a new manufacturing facility for our enhanced water brands in Delhi. We will be fortifying our new launch with vitamins and minerals, said Bisleri International chairman Ramesh Chauhan.

Incidentally, Parle Bisleri will be the first FMCG major to enter the enhanced water segment in the Rs 2,400 crore packaged water business in India. On the other hand, Tata Tea Ltd (makers of Himalayan Water) is stepping up its research and development projects in rder to foray into this nascent segment. In a strategic move, Tata Tea is building its strategic capabilities to access a new distribution channel across the country for liquid products. Soon, we will witness a major tussle between Bisleri and Tata Tea in this segment. Other major players in the packaged water business are also eying the segment to woo health-conscious consumers, said an Mumbai-based analyst.

On Bisleris new initiative, Chauhan said the company is fine-tuning marketing plans. We are currently testing different flavours in Mumbai. We have selected four flavours to start with. Our flavoured water brand fortified with vitamins is developed at Bisleri International. The premium brand will be priced at around Rs 20, he added. With 60 % market share, Parle Bisleri currently leads the pack in the packaged water business in India. According to Sangeeta Talwar, executive director of Tata Tea Ltd, the companys research and development efforts in the enhanced water space is under way. We are building strategic capabilities to access a new distribution channel for our liquid products. This move will double our distribution foot print across the country as we roll out our liquid products in 2010, she added. Incidentally, PepsiCo India is also eying the enhanced water space to take on rivals in the packaged water business. We are looking the whole space of enhanced water sector in India. We have not taken any final decision on this matter till now, said Homi Battiwalla, business head, Juice & Juice Drinks, PepsiCo India.