PepsiCo India set to uncork the ‘good for you’ range

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018

SHIVAKUMAR, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India

Eyes premium variants to break the price barrier

Beverage and snacks major PepsiCo is hoping to break the price barrier with some of its premium products for the Indian market. It has been introducing new variants as well as premium products through the year to spur growth, at a time when the FMCG sector has been battling weak rural demand.

Said PepsiCo India Chairman and CEO D Shivakumar: “Aspirations and high quality products are something Indians are tapping into. This is opening up a huge potential in the premium segment in every category. With premium innovations, we are trying to break price barriers. Innovation is one way to unlock price points but at the same time premium products need to have accessible price points.”

Test marketing stage

“This year we have focused on putting out innovative products in the market, in order to spur growth and to keep our brands ticking. And our brands are doing well,” he told BusinessLine.

Among the new launches are Revive (under the 7UP brand), which is being test-marketed in Tamil Naidu and Kerala, Tropicana Slice Alphonso variant, Lay’s MAXX, Kurkure Butter Masti and Quaker Oats Plus.

“All these are in the test marketing stage, and, based on the results, we will roll them out across the country,” he added.

Asked if the company will also launch more low- and zero-calorie beverages, he said: “Our Chairman Indra Nooyi has labelled this as the ‘better for you, good for you and fun for you’ range and I think the proportion of this ‘good for you’ range will significantly increase over the next five years in India.”

The company believes the recent approval for the use of natural sweeteners such as stevia will aid innovation in this area.

E-commerce boom

Shivakumar believes FMCG companies will need to think differently to tap into the e-commerce potential because of low price points and high distribution costs.

“FMCG companies can look at pushing multi-packs or multiple flavoured packs through the online channel. It will also be an important test-marketing platform for FMCG companies,” he added.

On the issue of product approval for non-standardised products, he said: “Industry bodies have got together and believe that the route forward is the ingredient approval system, not the product approval system. We as an industry have great faith in the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).

“At the end of the day, we have to work together because whatever we do, consumer safety is paramount.”

Published on November 24, 2015

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