A so-called disruptor brand, RAW Pressery took on big packaged juices brands with its cold-pressed juices in 2013. Since then, the brand has ventured into other beverage formats as well. Anuj Rakyan talks about how RAW Pressery, which began as subscription programme in Mumbai, has found loyal consumers across India in conversation with BrandWagon’s Meghna Sharma. Edited excerpts:
What was the thought process behind launching RAW Pressery? How have consumers adopted the product?
The need gap we are addressing here is drinking clean. For too long, drinks have been considered as refreshments or indulgence. In India, we make a lot of our beverages — regional drinks and juices — at home. But the issue was that one could not find these on organised shelves. We are becoming a busier generation and as convenience becomes more important, we have been trying to shop for these items. But there has been a gap between what we expect and what we get. In simpler words, we are organising the domestic and the unorganised market for beverages, starting with juices. This is why RAW Pressery exists on a functional level. Keeping this in mind, our purpose is to change the way people consume drinks in their daily lives.
When we began, the concept we wanted for juices was much like milk — which is delivered to your doorstep and as a habit, is consumed fresh in the morning. We started with the home delivery model and went door to door to acquire consumers through subscription, followed by word of mouth and social media. When a problem gets solved by a product or a service, it obviously grows quickly. The success of a brand comes when people start relating to it. We often say that what began as an idea soon became a cult and today, it is becoming a culture.
The company has ventured into soups, smoothies, etc. How do you distinguish yourself in a market where various such products/brands already exist?
We have a mantra — all good, no bad. People do not want to listen to scientific stuff — why cold pressed juice is better, etc. So when we spoke about all the scientific stuff, no one was interested. Hence, we had to make it simple. We then went to people and told them that everything that is good for you is in this bottle; everything bad is outside. This became our way of describing the product, became our code and our philosophy. Every product we make will have the same code. The promise to the consumer is always going to be the same in whichever category we venture into.
We are a clean beverage brand and will stay within the beverage category for now. Juices will always be our priority but we want to create new products as well. Our soups are the first ready-to-consume variety in India. Yakult started a revolutionary product but we think we can give a superior product and therefore, have started a probiotic dairy range. Launching a ‘better’ bottled water brand is also in the pipeline.
Are you planning to expand RAW Pressery’s footprint in local and international markets?
Within India, we will soon enter cities like Indore, Bhubaneswar, Kozhikode, etc. Choosing new cities depends on demand and also on our ability to navigate our supply chain in a city. Therefore, it will be a staged process because we need to penetrate further in the current 15 cities we are present in. Outside of India, we did a pilot last year in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We also branched into Qatar. We think UAE and Middle East collectively are six times the size of the juice market in India; they are very promising markets. Post that, we will look at Southeast Asia.
Which platforms/mediums do you prefer to market the brand?
Our marketing is very different and that is because we are very consumer focussed. We talk to people, not market to them. It is more conversational. We do not think like other F&B companies. We think as people who are making a product for other people which is good for them; so we keep it simple, without any jargon. We believe in transparency and showing the consumer everything we do. We are a young company and are not scared of admitting our mistakes.
So whether we pick digital or any other medium, we build relationships with people because gaining trust is a big part of our marketing. As for the budget, it is different for different mediums. Maybe some year, we will spend on events to make people taste our products…then, experiential marketing becomes important.
Of all the money spent on marketing, about 25-30% is spent on digital media with 10-15% of that going towards social media. About 25-30% goes on annual outdoor campaigns, mostly to improve awareness in new cities; the rest is all BTL. We do not undertake any marketing activity which we cannot measure.
Since inception, what has been the year-on-year revenue growth?
We have grown 100% every year. Last year, we grew at 120% and this year we are looking at 110% y-o-y growth. The way we have structured our business is that all our costs become inversely proportional to sales.
Priced at a premium, do you see RAW Pressery making more appearances on an average household’s shopping list?
We want to cater to anyone who can drink and has access to a refrigerator since our product is perishable. In today’s India, people are very conscious about what they are going to consume. I don’t believe that yesterday’s India which was price conscious is what today’s India is all about. But I do believe that people want to save money but will spend it if you appeal to them. Remember how all of us ate white bread? Today most of us eat wheat or brown bread. I think that cold pressed juices will be that ‘brown bread’ soon!