ITC has publicly called out to rivals PepsiCo and Dabur with prominently displayed hoardings across markets, challenging both its rivals to “make Indian juices concentrate free”. The just-released outdoor ads, for ITC’s B Natural juices, announce: “We’re inviting Tropicana and Real to join us in abandoning concentrates. Will the competition join us, be there to see”.
The ads add that ‘this journey’ starts from April 9 — World Health Day. While Dabur leads the category with its Real brand, the other significant player is Tropicana. ITC is a relatively new entrant to the category and had debuted in juices in 2015 by acquiring B Natural. All three compete in the 2,000-crore-plus fruit juices and nectars category.
ITC foods divisional chief executive Hemant Malik said: “Most packaged fruit beverages in the market today are made from fruit concentrates, which are diluted with water during reconstitution.” He said ITC’s launch of the #Say No To Concentrate campaign is aimed at ‘changing the way fruit juices are made in India’. “We have extended personal invitations to industry stalwarts to join B’Natural’s pledge to make Indian fruit juices concentrate free,” Hemant said.
B Natural had launched the ‘concentrate free’ juice last year with 100% pomegranate juice, and the hotels and consumer goods company said it is now shifting its entire juices portfolio to the ‘not from concentrate’ range, by leveraging the agri-sourcing capabilities to source fresh fruits from Indian farmers. Dabur’s marketing head — foods Mayank Kumar said: “This is a gimmick aimed at spreading misinformation that fruit concentrates are unhealthy and not made from fruits, which is an utter lie.”
He said many of the variants of ITC BNatural available in the market are also made from fruit concentrates only. “The way ITC is depicting its juice, it seems that they are freshly extracted and packed for sale, which again is a complete lie. Their juices are also manufactured from fruit pulp that is extracted from fruits; heat processed for preservation and then stored at ambient/cold storages, and then packed in a Tetra Pak in a similar process as employed by every company.”