Parle Bisleri postpones launch of Alfaa

Mumbai, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
In a strategic move, FMCG major Parle Bisleri has postponed the launch of its mango fruit drink Alfaa to next year. Parle was expected to re-enter the Rs 1,250 crore fruit drinks market this June, 13 years after Ramesh Chauhan, chairman of Parle Bisleri International, sold his soft-drinks business (Thums Up, Limca and Maaza) to Coca-Cola India.

The sell-out bound him for 10 years from competing with Coke in the same line of business.

But ever since Chauhans non-compete agreement with Coke expired in 2003, Parle Bisleri has been working on an ambitious project to relaunch its beverages business in India. The company has now shelved its original plans to re-enter this overcrowded category.

As for the rationale behind the companys shift in strategy, Ramesh Chauhan, said, This year, we opted to foray into the spring water segment with the launch of Bisleri Mountain Water. As we have to invest more than Rs 100 crore for this project, we have adjourned the launch of Alfaa to 2007.

Industry analysts point out that Parle Bisleri has now altered its original gameplan after seeing its arch rivals Coke and PepsiCo foray into the enhanced water sector.

Parle Bisleri is now strengthening its leadership position in the packaged water business on a priority basis.