With Indians taking to calorie-watching in a serious way, the demand for energy and sports drinks, also called ‘lifestyle drinks’, is slowly and steadily gaining fizz.
So much so that beverages giants Coca Cola, with its energy drink Burn, and PepsiCo with its Gatorade, are trying to muscle in on the $155-million nascent market, dominated hitherto by GSK, Heinz and Amway.
While energy drinks have been present in India for a few years now, the category of ‘alternative beverages’ is gaining ground on conventional beverages and carbonated drinks.
In fact, it is not just drinks but even water, like in the West, is being infused with vitamins. Beltek Canadian Water recently introduced Wild Water, a vitamin-enriched water, in various flavors. “In India it is a new category,” said Steve Verma, director, Beltek Canadian Water Ltd.
Conventional beverages cost R15 -20 per 100-150 ml bottle, while energy drinks start at R80-100 per 100-150 ml bottle. Despite the price tag, though, consumers are still opting for these new-age drinks and the market is expected to grow annually at 28-30% according to retail consultancy firm Technopak Advisory.
Providing choices to consumers holds the key to success, said experts and company executives.
“Energy drinks play an important functional role in consumers’ lives by vitalising the body and mind,” an executive at Red Bull, a leading energy drinks major in India, chanted.
“The attempt is to provide choices to consumers that satisfy their needs on all occasions,” a CocaCola executive added.
PepsiCo India’s spokesperson said the brand has been associated with marathon races, and has entered into partnerships with leading gyms in metros.