*By Mohini Nitturkar
Beverages, defined as any fluid which is consumed by drinking are an integral part of human diet. Beverages are essential for growth, development as well for carrying out various physiological processes that are important for living a healthy life.
Chai or Tea is the first word that comes to mind when we speak about Indian Traditional Beverages; however, there are beverages other than tea that are consumed in India such as Filter Coffee, Lassi, thandai, aam panna, golgappa ka pani, flavored milk shakes (curcumin, mango etc.), and conventional fruit juices.
India mainly has three seasons – Summer, Monsoon and Winter and there are drinks for every climate. Be it to quench their thirst in summer or to keep them warm in winter – India has all types of beverages for each season. The Traditional beverages are made up of of spices and herbs, fruits with blends created with the health benefits of sourcing natural ingredients. For example – Aam Panna or Aamras is a fruit juice drink both made from mangoes, Jal-jeera is basically cumin water, Lassi is a yoghurt based drink either sweet or salted. The traditional beverages do not contain any harmful chemicals, preservatives in them and so are the healthiest drinks. The drinks provide a refreshing effect with health benefits.
Food And Beverage Industry in India –
India is the largest producer of many agricultural products. It is the largest producer of milk and dairy products contributing 23% to global milk production. India’s total horticulture production in 2021-22 is estimated to be nearly 300 mio tons. The Food and Beverage Industry generates 3% of India’s GDP and generates around 2/3rd of the total retail market in India. The current market size of Indian Food and Beverage Industry is nearly INR 4.5 Lakh Crore and shows great potential for higher profit
The Beverage sector in India is segmented into Organised and unorganised sector, with unorganised sector dominating the market. The Organised Indian Beverage market is dominated by soft drinks. The beverage Industry contributes a large share to the country’s economy. Tea and Coffee are the majorly consumed beverages in India; however, soft drink companies like Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo dominate the beverage market. Dairy related beverages, fruit juices, and healthy beverages contribute a major share in the traditional processed beverage sector. Some of the key players in the beverage sector are – Dabur India, Varun Beverages, Orient Beverage Limited, Red Bull India, Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd., PepsiCo India. The other dominant players in the ready-to-drink traditional beverage sector are Hector Beverages with its Paperboat brand products; Maiyas Beverages and Foods with its badam milk/cold filter coffee products and Hindustan Food and Beverages with its jeera masala drink.
Key Trends –
The potential of processed traditional foods remains untapped in India, with beverages being one of the key sectors.
- Expansion of Gourmet Brands –
With the rise in health consciousness and increasing middle class income, there is a growing demand for Nutritional food products. The gourmet market is expected to grow in categories like exotic sauces, olives, honey syrup, spreads, cereals, and beverages.
- Increasing demand for Packaged Foods –
Packaged food products are hygienic and People in India have become more hygiene conscious after the pandemic. This is true for beverages as well; Packaged beverages are more preferred than consuming unpacked beverages sold locally. The work from home trend has also created rise in demand for nutritional and thirst-quenching beverages.
- Growing Nutraceutical market –
The pandemic has affected many parts of the world and in India the demand for nutraceutical products has increased three-fold. Nutraceutical products are immunity boosting and immunity has become very important after the pandemic. For example – Shri Sadananda Gowda launched 8 Nutraceutical-immunity boosting products under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Priyojana (PMBJP) for sale through Janaushadhi Kendras.
- Rising opportunities in the Rural segment –
Nearly 70% of the Indian population lives in the rural areas, providing high opportunities for packaged food and beverage segment. Looking at demand, food processing companies are expanding their presence in these areas, by launching smaller pack sizes at low price points to attract consumers. For example – PepsiCo and Coca-Cola collaborated with Common Services Centres (CSC) to list their products on the Grameen e-Store to tap into rural demand and the increase in in-home consumption caused by the pandemic
- Rising demands of Alternatives to Carbonated beverages/Pepsi –
In India most people think consuming carbonated beverages/sodas damages health significantly. People in India consume Shikanji, fruit juices for refreshment and these products are very popular in the Indian market. Considering many start-up companies and even some key players are also focusing on alternatives to carbonated beverage/Pepsi. Brands like Lahori and Jain Shikanji are gaining popularity as they are consumed to feel refreshed.
As the health consciousness trends are increasing in the Indian market, The products in the beverage sector are expected to be in high demand in the next five years for example – Almond drink- which enhances health and maintains balance in body weight.
India is a highly under penetrated market for liquid refreshment beverages. The market is dominated by unbranded/local products which gives a large opportunity for key players to enter into this sector. India’s non-alcoholic beverage market is estimated to be INR 80,000 Crore in 2022. The market is expected to reach INR 1.5 trillion at a CAGR of 9% by 2030.
New Product Launches –
- Tata Consumer Products launched new Fruit based drinks under NourishCo in 2022. These fruit-based drinks resemble traditional fruit juices with flavors namely – Kala Khatta, mixed fruit chat and lemon pudina. The fruit-based drink market is majorly dominated by unbranded juices and ethnic drinks. Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) has launched products in this sector which cater to local tastes and is looking to expand its current portfolio of products in this sector. Tata Consumer Products has also launched premium instant coffee ‘Tata Coffee Grand Premium,’ a 100% coffee blend with flavor locked decoction crystals in Jan 2023. Tata Consumer Products aims to be a significant coffee player by giving quality offerings to grow its share in the India Coffee market.
- Coca-Cola launched Maaza’s new flavor – Aam Panna, which is a traditional beverage has unparalleled taste of authentic raw green mangoes and is made tastier with delicious Indian spices. The company aims to strengthen its commitment to Indian farmers, while also boosting the demand by five times for homegrown raw mangoes.
- Considering rising health issues and the growing demand for natural and traditional products to cure/maintain health, Krishna’s Herbal and Ayurveda, a renowned Ayurvedic brand in India has launched new range of herbal juices in November 2022. It provides solution to all health problems through Ayurveda.
- Traditional beverages or the traditional flavor of beverages have become the new cool in India as the demand keep rising. ‘Lahori’ brand which aims to make ‘Desi’ the new cool introduced the New ‘Lahori Zeera’ beverage in 2022. The other flavors launched before 2022 were – Kacha Aam, Nimboo, and Shikanji. The company observes the Indian ethnic beverage market as underserved and aims to become a prominent player in this sector.
- Jain Shikanji, which is a very popular and well-known brand in North India, won INR 40 lakh offer in Shark Tank India, in 2022. It has introduced traditional beverages in packaged form and is introducing traditional products into the Indian market. It is innovating and adding new recipes to its beverage menu and is aiming to expand its business.
Healthy Lifestyle, increase in disposable income, Social media awareness of our Traditional foods, Sustainability, Convenience are the growth propellers for traditional beverages in India. Many ingredients and Products that have been traditionally used in India have been adopted by western countries. The ingredients that are used in our traditional foods and beverages are very healthy and proven to be immunity boosting and reducing the risk of various diseases. The trend of increasing consumption of healthy products will definitely boost the Indian Traditional Beverage market and F1rst estimates that the Traditional beverage market is expected to grow annually by 6.5% by 2027.In the era of Start-ups and Innovation, Indian Traditional beverages, which have enormous potential, and are currently undiscovered can be brought into light and have a great possibility to become popular and improve the health status of Indian Population. People have already started to like Traditional beverages like Kokum, sherbets, fruit juices, Shikanji (Lemon Juice) in packaged form and for the younger generations these beverages are the New ‘Chill-pills’.
*A Research Analyst at F1rstMR and has worked on projects focusing on food ingredients. Her expertise includes vegetable proteins, dietary fibres, food flavours. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org