CHENNAI: With growth in the Rs 22,000-crore carbonated soft drinks market taking a hit, PepsiCo India has been hedging risks by diversifying its beverage portfolio. As part of the strategy, the company is looking to make its portfolio “not only stronger, but healthier”.
The beverages and food major on Wednesday launched Mirinda Joosy, a fizzy drink containing orange fruit juice sourced from Indian farmers. Sweetened with Stevia and at 70 calories per serving (250 ml), Mirinda Joosy has 50 per cent reduced sugar than normal Mirinda. So far, the company had 17 innovations and all in the ‘low-sugar category’ across categories.
“This is in line with the company’s global mandate under which two-third of its beverage portfolio will contain less than 100 calories for every 355 ml of drink,” said Vipul Prakash, senior vice-president, beverage category, PepsiCo India. He added that going forward, consumers can expect more launches in the hydration and juices category from the company. Currently, PepsiCo’s low sugar category, which consists of seven brands, contributes less than 10 per cent of the overall sales.
Emphasising that the new variant will be available for consumers in Tamil Nadu, Prakash said, “Over the past few years, Tamil Nadu is on the forefront of our business and the biggest market for Mirinda as a brand bringing over Rs 1,000 crore in annual retail sales.” Prakash added that beverage categories such as hydration, juices, and dairy are growing at a much faster clip in the country. Once the prepotent category, carbonated or fizzy beverages now form 46 per cent of this market, growing at 5-6 per cent annually.
Elucidating the company’s plans to realise its resolve, he said, “It is a three-pronged approach -- reduce sugar content in existing products, introduce of lower/zero calorie beverages, and scaling up and expanding our alternate beverage portfolio.”
PepsiCo India in partnership with Citrus Processing India Ltd (CPIL) has invested in a citrus-processing unit at Nanded, Maharashtra. “Lack of processing facility in India is a concern and our partnership with CPIL will further enhance our sourcing of lemon/lime from Indian orchards,” Prakash added.