Hec­tor Bev­er­ages trims losses as con­sumers shift to health­ier drinks

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - PRIYANKA PANI

Hec­tor Bev­er­ages, the man­u­fac­turer of Pa­per Boat brand of juices, wit­nessed 66 per cent growth in rev­enues and nar­row­ing of losses for the fi­nan­cial year 2018 as con­sumers shied away from aer­ated and car­bon­ated sug­ary soft drinks.

The Se­quoiabacked com­pany posted rev­enue of ₹123 crore dur­ing FY18 com­pared to ₹74 crore in the year ago pe­riod. Its losses dur­ing the fis­cal came down by 21 per cent to ₹61 crore com­pared with the ₹78-crore loss in the pre­vi­ous fis­cal, ac­cord­ing to fi­nan­cial data sourced from busi­ness in­tel­li­gence plat­form Tofler.

The com­pany, founded by Neeraj Biyani and Neeraj Kakkar, has been rapidly grow­ing the fruit juice mar­ket in the coun­try by ca­ter­ing to the dif­fer­ent and diver­si­fied lo­cal tastes of con­sumers. The com­pany, which en­tered the mar­ket with an en­ergy drink Tzinga in 2010, shifted its fo­cus and piv­oted it­self as a juice and eth­nic drink brand on the back of ris­ing aware­ness among the con­sumers about the disad­van­tages of car­bon­ated drinks.

Eth­nic tastes

Pa­per Boat has been able to cre­ate a niche for it­self by mak­ing drinks such as but­ter­milk for South In­dian con­sumers to thandai for the Hindi-speak­ing con­sumers along with di­a­betic-friendly ja­mun juice. The com­pany man­u­fac­tures about nine flavours of juices in­clud­ing sug­ar­cane, co­conut, mango, guava and pome­gran­ate. The over­all juice mar­ket in In­dia is at ₹1,500 crore and is grow­ing at a faster rate, ac­cord­ing to con­sult­ing firm Technopak.

In­dus­try ex­perts are of the view that the seg­ment is likely to get a fur­ther boost fol­low­ing a pro­posal from the gov­ern­ment ask­ing all drink com­pa­nies in the coun­try to have at least two per cent of fruit con­tent in their drinks to im­prove the nu­tri­tional value of the drinks and pro­duc­tiv­ity of farm­ers.

Chang­ing con­sumer pref­er­ence around fizzy drinks in In­dia has forced bev­er­age ma­jors such as Pep­siCo and Coca-Cola to to launch more health-based drinks in the In­dian mar­ket.

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