Thirsting for a drink? Home-grown beverage maker Fresca Juices offers options aplenty

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Delhi-based Fresca Juices has a strong footprint in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and the brand is aiming to become a national player by 2022. Fresca, which clocked an annual turnover of Rs 41 crore last year, is eyeing Rs 100 crore by 2020.

In the year 2000, Akhil Gupta, 51, established Shri Bankey Behari Foods to cater to airlines’ growing demand for welcome drinks. He continued supplying juices to airlines for years, but by 2010 identified a demand-supply gap in the juices and packaged fruit drinks market. Soon after, he decided to enter the market with his own offering, Fresca Juices.

 Today, Fresca Juices has a strong presence in India’s northern states, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, among others. With the aim of suiting the pockets and needs of buyers, the brand offers 11 flavours in as many as 35 sizes, from 160 ml to 2 litres. The pricing is between Rs 10 and Rs 110. With a strong footprint across tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the home-grown fruit drink brand is competing with global players, including Pepsi and Coca Cola, and aims to become a national player by 2022.

Akhil, the Managing Director of Fresca Juices, says: “We offer drinks in a variety of flavours, including mango, fresh lime, litchi, apple, guava, shikanji, pomegranate, mango, aam panna and mix fruit.”

Fresca Juices has three manufacturing facilities, two in the industrial town of Sonepat, Haryana, and one in Greater Noida. With an aim to deliver on its tagline promise “Drink the fruit”, the brand has a six-member quality assurance team that follows stringent quality check procedures to ensure products at par with national food safety standards.

Locking horns with big players

According to a joint report ‘Indian Food & Beverage Sector’ by CII and Grant Thornton International, India’s total annual household consumption is likely to treble, making India the fifth largest consumer market by 2030. Food and beverage (F&B) is the largest segment of the consumption basket. More than half of the country’s 1.2 billion people are under the age of 30 years and this young population is expected to drive the growth of the country’s consumption led food and beverages sector.

Akhil Gupta, MD, Fresca Juices.
A report, The Packaged Juices Market in India by advisory firm Technopak states that Dabur is the market leader in the Indian packaged juices market with its brands Real and Real Activ. It accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total packaged juices market, and is followed by PepsiCo with an approximate 30 percent share. Other players include Parle, Fresh Gold and Godrej.

Frooti, Maaza, Minute Maid, Slice and Appy are some of the other brands popular among customers. Considering the high sales and growing demand of this segment, leading consumer food companies, including Indian conglomerate ITC, are also planning a foray into packaged juices.

Amid this continuing competition from food giants, Fresca Juices has maintained its niche in the market with its wide range of flavours, cost-effective offerings and robust presence in small cities.

However, Akhil says the established brands “have a well-organised and deep distribution network; we’re in the process of creating that.”

The road ahead

 The fruit drink brand clocked an annual turnover of Rs 41 crore last year and aims to achieve its target of Rs 100 crore by 2020. Backed by a family of businessmen, this popular brand has been bootstrapped since inception and is in no hurry to raise funds.

Akhil highlights that the company currently has enough internal accruals to sustain.

One of the main challenges for juice brands is the introduction of a new flavour for the question always remains: Will it win the hearts and taste buds of consumers? Luckily, all of Fresca Juices’ 11 flavours have been well received, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 markets.

Akhil attributes the market acceptance of the brand to its R&D team.

“Our R&D team is very well equipped and always on the lookout to innovate and introduce new flavours. The marketing team tries to identify a vacuum in the market. It takes us some time to finalise the launch of new flavours, to make sure that the new products have high acceptability,” Akhil shares.

Going ahead, Fresca Juices plans to expand its product portfolio by adding three new flavours – orange, mojito and jaljeera. With a strong presence in North and East India, Fresca Juices is keen to expand its footing pan-India by 2022. For this, the company is planning to set up new units in western, central and southern India. That’s not all. Fresca Juices also plans to move to international markets soon and launch its drinks in SAARC countries.

Let’s drink to that!

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