Tata-Pepsi joint venture set to enter sparkling water business

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 20 2014, 06:20am hrs
NourishCo Beverages, a joint venture between Tata Global Beverages (TGBL) and PepsiCo India Holdings, will enter the sparkling water (carbonated) segment in the next few days. The new product will target the premium segment.

With the launch, the company will now compete with international and domestic sparkling water brands such as San Pellegrino (Italian), Perrier (Nestle), Coca-Cola India (Schweppes), Bisleri soda and Kingfisher among others. NourishCos product will be priced at Rs 50 (500 ml) and will soon be available in Mumbai and Delhi.

Its a homegrown sparkling natural mineral water which can be consumed directly. Global brands such as San Pellegrino and Perrier are currently imported, said Harsh K Rai, CEO & managing director of NourishCo Beverages. Parle Agro, which sells fruit drink Frooti, has extended the Bailey name, used for its packaged water business to soda two years ago.

With its experience and knowledge of working with Energy Brands in the US, Tata Global is now looking at many innovations in the beverages sector, said an industry analyst with a foreign brokerage firm in Mumbai.

In 2006, Tata Tea (now known as Tata Global) had acquired a 30% stake in US-based enhanced water maker Glaceau, with an investment of $677 million.

For its existing brands Himalayan Mineral Water, Tata Water Plus and Gluco Plus, the company is currently drawing up expansion plans in domestic as well as global markets. After launching its brand Himalayan Mineral Water in Singapore, NourishCo is taking it to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and South East Asian countries this year. We are in the process of doing consumer research in the Middle East. We have plans to take Himalayan international in due course of time. We strongly believe it has potential to be a global brand, said Rai.

With an increased focus on its research & development projects, NourishCo has built a pipeline of new products to drive the companys growth this year.

As part of its strategy, the company has extended the reach of its fortified water brand Tata Water Plus to Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh in the last two months. Initially, the company had introduced Tata Water Plus and Tata Gluco Plus in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. We will be introducing these brands in a phased manner starting from urban distribution then to rural markets, explained Rai.

After tying up with third party manufacturers in Gujarat and Uttar Pradhesh, NourishCo is in the process of rolling out its fortified water brands in these two states. For our fortified water brands, we have opted for third party manufacturing strategy. Our mineral water brand Himalayan is manufactured by Tata Global, according to Rai.

To promote these brands, the company plans to combine sampling activities and communication strategy. At present, NourishCos portfolio includes three products which straddle the top and bottom end of the pyramid in the Indian beverages sector. Its brands include, Tata Water Plus, Tata Tata Gluco Plus and Himalayan Natural Mineral Water.