Companies

Tata Global Beverages may bring in Activate as premium functional beverage brand

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on April 26, 2013 Published on April 26, 2013

Tata Global Beverages may consider the possibility of entering the category of functional beverages by introducing the Activate brand from its joint venture forged in 2010, with the US-based Activate, a performance beverage and bottled water firm.

Activate is a start-up beverage company that manufactures and distributes vitamin enhanced flavoured drinks through a unique cap dispensing technology and has presence in the West and Southwest US markets.

Reza Mirza, President, Activate, said: “The Tatas have been steadily increasing their investments in our company and today, its stake is slightly over 50 per cent. There have been talks of getting Activate to India and it is my dream to do so.’’

Nutrition-based drinks

Considering the lacunae in Tata Global Beverages’ (TGB) portfolio, in the area of functional beverages at the premium-end of the category, Activate could occupy that space in the future.

Already, TGB has ‘nutrition’ based beverages such as Tata Water Plus and Tata Gluco Plus at the mass end, through its joint venture with PepsiCo-NourishCo.

“We are already giving inputs for existing mass functional water brands like Tata Gluco Plus, which is being distributed through PepsiCo. There have been discussions with the management of TGB on Activate, and hopefully, they will soon take a decision about the brand in India,’’ added Mirza.

Elevate Himalayan

In fact, the Tatas have always been keen to enter the domain of functional water, considering it had forged a joint venture with the US beverage company Energy Brands, the maker of Glaceau vitamin water, and subsequently, sold off its stake to Coca-Cola.

It also has been attempting to elevate its premium mineral water brand called Himalayan, and plans extending it as flavoured and sparkling water. Mirza specifies, “Himalayan will get into flavoured water, while Activate is about being a functional beverage brand.’’

In the US, Activate is pegged at $1.99 and its USP (unique selling point) is its twist cap, which releases antioxidants and fresh vitamins into the bottle of water.

“We are in the process of rolling out Activate all over America, after doing extensive R&D on the brand. The twist cap technology has also been patented,” said Mirza.

“We are at a premium to Glaceau in the US, as it has been dropping prices and is priced at slightly less than a dollar today,’’ added Mirza.

On April 26, the Tata Group Innovation Forum declared Activate as one of the winners of Tata Innovista, an annual programme that identifies innovations.

> purvita@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 26, 2013
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