With an annual consumption of more than 300 million litres (Source: Tetrapak India Study), fruit juice is not an alien concept for the Indian market. However, a very large part of the Indian consumer today feels alienated when fruit juice is packaged. Perhaps, that is why packaged juice accounts for only between 15% and 20% of the total juice consumption in India. Compared to the West, packaged fruit juice penetration, at just 4%, is still very low (Source: NRS 2005). Symbolised by the orange fruit, packaged juices and nectars are driven by fresh juice made at home and popularised by the street-side juice vendor. Dabur Foods Limited (DFL) has always taken an uncompromising stand on these consumer barriers and has consistently been thinking out of the box for the last nine years, with a resolve to innovate and evolve new products.
The Réal concept of sweetened juices grew from the insight that Indian consumers preferred juice sweetened – not bitter as is commonly available in the West. It innovated variants like Litchi and Guava and also introduced the latest packaging technologies in the Indian market. These innovations, driven through Réal and its sub-brands, have become accepted paradigms for the industry. Innovations, coupled with rising affluence and the justarrived consuming class have injected new life into this Rs. 300 crore (US$ 66.7 million) market – today growing at 40% per annum.
With an innovative range, Réal has driven the growth of the packaged fruit juice market in India. Along with its sub-brands, Réal commands a market share of more than 50% in the packaged juices and nectars market (Source: ACNielsen, December 2005), achieving for itself a position of an undoubted category leader. The most important achievement of Réal has been introducing the taste dimension into a category traditionally driven by health and dogood properties. With Réal, DFL was also able to segment the market early, thus effectively creating a differentiated niche in the no-added sugar juice category with its sub-brand, RéalActiv. The success of this variant was demonstrated in numbers, when Réal-Activ garnered two-thirds share in the no-added sugar juice category within six months of its re-launch in 2005 (Source: Tetrapak India). Today, Réal and its sub-brands retail across 100,000 retail outlets and 4000 food-services accounts, selling approximately 4.5 million packs every month to more than one million consumers. Testimony to Réal’s achievements has come from various quarters. While a host of brands – domestic and international – have entered this high growth market in the last few years, Réal continues to be the brand consumers trust the most. In this context, Réal won the Platinum award in the 9th Reader's Digest Trusted Brands
Survey in the Juice category, for the year 2006. A Platinum award means that Réal achieved a rating score of more than three times its nearest competitor. Since 2002, Réal has been consistently winning the award for the Highest Sales Growth achieved by a brand in a non-dairy product category, at the National Dairy and Beverage seminar - Innovation for Growth – organised by Tetrapak.
The introduction of Réal fruit juices and nectars was triggered by a personal unmet need of Amit Burman, the CEO of DFL who, on returning to India after working in the US, found the absence of packaged fruit juices frustrating. Traditionally, drinking fruit juices in urban India has been a social indulgence or consumed for seeking health benefits. DFL foresaw the imminent inflection point in this consumer behaviour, glimpses of which were already being witnessed in rapid urbanisation, growth in income and lifestyle changes. Also Dabur was in an ideal position to grow on the potential of the processed foods category. Its understanding of the Indian consumer, experience in managing natural foods and expertise in creating and marketing successful consumer brands was a rare mix that gave it...
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