Dabur Eyes New Categories For Fruit-based Beverages

New Delhi: | Updated: May 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
Dabur Foods Ltd is looking at offering new fruit-based beverages for two different consumer segments40-plus and teenagersby the year-end. The proposed plan represents the companys new marketing strategy to carve out niches in the fast growing and fiercely-competitive fruit juice market for the flagship Real brand.

Says company CEO Amit Burman: Teenagers are seen to be going for cola or aerated soft drinks. We have decided to address this segment of consumers with a new fruit-based, healthier beverage. Weve also noticed that the nutritional requirement for people above the age of 40 years is vastly different and we plan to address this segment too.

Earlier, Dabur Foods had launched Real Activ (without sugar) which was targeted at health-conscious, young executives.

Declining to share details on its new consumer study undertaken by Blackstone Market Facts, Mr Burman said the study which was completed a couple of months ago would help the company cater to the 40-plus and teenager segment in an effective way.

Blackstone was also engaged prior to the relaunch of Real Nature Fresh in a new, vibrant and international look to maximise drool appeal. The new design, which was rolled out in April 2003, is aimed at communicating the brands taste benefitReal tastes like eating a fruit.

Even as Dabur Foods readies to tap new segments, the company has plans to add two more flavours to the Real portfolio by September-October 2003. The company now has eight juice variants: orange, mango, pineapple, grape, guava, mixed fruit, tomato and litchi. Currently, orange and mango juices account for around 40 per cent of overall juice sales.

Dabur Foods, which has brands Real, Hommade, Lemoneez and Capsico, hopes to secure a growth of around 25 per cent this fiscal. In fiscal 2002-03, the company is said to have posted a turnover of Rs 68 crore, up from Rs 53 crore in 2001-02 (Reals turnover rose from Rs 48 crore in 2001-02 to around Rs 58 crore in 2002-03). Weve turned operationally profitable in fiscal 2002-03, discloses Mr Burman.

Dabur saw capacity utilisation at its Nepal-based plant, which is 15 km away from the Indian border, jump to between 75 per cent and 80 per cent in 2002-03, up from 60 per cent in 2001-02.

The plant can do 6,000 packs of 1 litre and 4,500 packs of 200-ml in an hour, says Mr Burman. Considering, weve one processing line and two packaging lines, the production can be optimised (thus even 200-ml line can be replaced by 1-litre packs). The existing capacity can meet rising demand for another two to three years.

Dabur Foods has also started its export drivehandled by parent company Dabur Indias export divisionin a small measure. Its not yet much to talk about, says Mr Burman. In fiscal 2002-03, we managed to send small consignments to Canada and Australia, besides our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Mr Burman holds that flavours like mango, litchi and guava have good export potential, as these juices are not easily available in the west (exotic for the westerners), and are much sought after by NRIs. The export business is said to be below Rs 1 crore.

Mr Burman ruled out any immediate plans to enter the retailing segment with exclusive company-managed properties. We would rather continue to develop linkages with major chains like Barista and Quickys to boost (out-of-home) consumption, says Mr Burman.

Dabur India is looking at 10-15 per cent increase of its distribution network of 150 distributors and 80,000 retailers.