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Squeeze story

It's a wild juice chase out there, drawing scores of participants. The Rs 650-crore fruit juice market is attracting new players like never before. As many as four new players have entered the market with their brand of juices and delivery formats.

At 40% clip, the juice market is the second fastest growing segment after bottled water. Surya Foods, the makers of Priyagold biscuits is all set to enter the fruit juice market with 'Freshgold'. Last week, ex-cola king, Ramesh Chauhan announced plans to launch a fruit juice brand - Alfa.

Besides Jayant Kochar, the former Lacoste chief who started a chain of fresh juice bars - Amorittos - over a year ago, is now pushing his 'Go Juice' concept of kiosks aimed to replace roadside juice vendors and in many cases, rope them in. Rasna is looking at a similar concept.

Along with Indian players, overseas majors are also taking note of the action. Canadian juice bar chain, Juice Zone, has made an entry through Delhi-based franchisee, Cogent Enterprises. Mr Orange Juicing Systems, which imports juicing units, has launched 20 franchised kiosks by investing Rs 20 crore, and plans to add 100 outlets by year-end.

This is the second wave in the Indian juice market, which has started even before the dust in the first wave, involving imported brands vying for Indian shop shelves, had settled down. The last few years have seen several foreign brands of packaged fruit juices such as, Leh Berry, Lacnor, Caprisome and Ceres entering India.

The oft-quoted reason for the boom is rising health consciousness. Fast-changing eating habits and proliferation of malls has added to the interest. Analysts estimate up to 50% carts in a mall carry juice packs, which has led many companies to believe that if packaged juices are on mall shelves, they stand a good chance of being picked up.


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