Paper Boat to sail deeper into dairy-based beverages, ethnic snacks this summer

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018

Paper Boat thandai

The beverages group will tap into thandai in North, spiced buttermilk in South

After striking a different note for its ethnic drinks under the Paper Boat brand, Hector Beverages is now gearing up to scale up its presence in the dairy-based beverages segment, with thandai and spiced buttermilk.

The company had test-piloted thandai last year in Delhi-NCR. Thandai, a beverage closely associated with the festival of Holi in North India, is yet another attempt by the company to launch seasonal drinks to tap into “appointment drinking” consumption. In the past, it has launched sharbat during Ramzan and panakam during Ram Navami in the South.

“We saw very good response for thandai last year. So this year, we have significantly scaled it up. It will be available in modern trade outlets and other key retail outlets in Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for the Holi season (March),” said Parvesh Debuka, Marketing Head, Hector Beverages. To cater to consumers beyond North India, it has also exclusively tied up with Amazon to sell thandai, especially in multi-pack formats.

“We aim to make thandai our top-selling beverage in February and March. We are trying to create a new category of “ready-to-drink thandai,” Debuka said.

The drink is being made at the company’s Mysuru plant, where the firm has developed capabilities to make dairy-based beverages. Hector Beverages’ attempts to grow its portfolio by adding dairy-based beverages are not just limited to thandai. It has been trying its hand with spiced buttermilk, neer more, in Tamil Nadu.

Debuka said the company will now look to expand the distribution of its spiced buttermilk offering in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh this summer.

Ethnic snacks

On the company’s foray into ethnic snacks last month, he said: “We have been pleasantly surprised with the consumer response to our ethnic snacks offering — chikki. We are selling chikki in select markets, such as Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We are now looking at how we can scale this up.”

The company is likely to expand its ethnic snacks segment, too, with products such as aam papad.

Meanwhile, this summer, the company will launch one-litre packs of its beverages such as aam ras and aam panna. Paper Boat has largely been selling its drinks in single-serve 200 ml packs, and launched 500 ml packs late last year.

“Multi-serve packs will help us strengthen presence in modern trade stores and the e-commerce channel,” Debuka added.

Published on February 23, 2017

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