Food & Beverages

PepsiCo plans to unbottle the healthy stuff in Indian market


India being Asia’s third- largest economy is shying away from sugary fizz drinks and the good news is PepsiCo is ready with the healthy options to drink.

Bearing cut-throat competition with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo India had sold for decades fizzy beverages to Indian consumers. Its total share in beverage industry is 22.2 per cent. Due to rise in income and people being more health conscious, colas won’t be selling like hot cakes like before.

So the local companies of the New York-based maker of soft drinks and juices such as Pepsi, Mirinda, Tropicana, and Gatorade is rapidly expanding its product range of non-fizzy drinks. It is also reducing the sugar content in its products.

Vipul Prakash, vice-president for beverages at PepsiCo India, told “Among Indian consumers who always had carbonated soft drinks as their default option, choices are proliferating even as per capita consumption of beverages remains low.” According to a survey although consumption of fizzy drinks is yet to peak in the country, Indians consume 5.9 billion liters a year, which is about 1/20th of US consumption. Now the consumers are already shifting their preferences on to the juices, flavored water, dairy beverages, and value-added drinks.

Prakash added, “It’s like they’ve actually skipped the entire evolution and are asking for more choices.”

Over the period of last three years, PepsiCo India has already launched several products under its existing brands. Many of these products were under the hydration, low-calorie, and dairy categories: 7-Up Revive, Pepsi Black, Tropicana Essentials, Quaker Oats Milk dairy drinks, a stevia-based 7-Up, and the latest low-calorie vitamin water, Aquafina Vitamin Splash.

People of rural India that constitutes between 30% to 40% of sales of all fizzy beverages, continues to consume drink colas and sugary sodas, it is the urban Indian consumers’ preferences that are shifting towards healthier options.

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