Dabur India plans to launch a new fruit-based beverage brand later this year. The company, which is the market leader in the juice category with its brand Real, is expected to position the new brand in the hydration and refreshment space.

Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur India, told BusinessLine: “The mid- and low-priced segment in the juice and juice drink segment is witnessing high levels of growth. We want to participate in this growth as it is too large to ignore.

“We are looking to launch a new brand which will be priced about 30 per cent lower than our brand Real and will also have lower fruit pulp content. So it will be priced in the mid-range, somewhere between our existing range and the low-priced products available in the market.”

Different positioning

He further said the new brand will have a different consumer proposition and packaging.

“It will have more to do with hydration and refreshment than nourishment. We are looking at a limited launch in June this year and will test it in select markets to gain consumer insights. Once the tweaks are made, we will do a full-scale launch in 2019. At the same time, our core portfolio will continue to be the premium range under Real,” he added.

The company also believes the new juice drink could find more traction in rural markets. “While the new brand is not designed for rural markets, we believe it will definitely have greater traction in the rural markets compared to our existing brand Real, due to its pricing,” Duggal said.

Currently, Dabur India is seeing traction for Real in more affluent rural markets such as in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Overall, Dabur India is hoping to garner a double digit growth in the juices segment this year. “We are re-energising the overall Real portfolio. We are also looking to expand our coconut water business under the brand Real Activ,” he said.

The company is also working on low sugar variants for its juices, in line with the global trends. “Going forward, sugar is going to become a big issue and it will affect every food company. A lot of our future initiatives are directed towards low-sugar juice variants. Unlike other food segments, in our case, added sugar is relatively minor and in the case of our Real Activ portfolio, there is no added sugar,” he said.

“I feel the trend of lower sugar products will gain traction, once the regulator pushes the industry in that direction. Discussions have been on the new labelling norms. Once the regulator asks food companies to start flagging sugar content on their product packs, it will create more consumer awareness and the entire food industry will need to move in that direction,” Duggal added.