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Amul enters white health-food-drink market with Shakti

04-June-2004
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Amul enters white health-food-drink market with Shakti

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) forays into the white health-food-drink market with Amul Shakti, a white beverage. The Rs 1,400-crore health-food-drink market is dominated by Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare's brand Horlicks and Viva; Heinz's Complan, Nestle's Milo and Cadbury's Bournvita. The health food drink segment comprises white and brown categories.

"We believe that the market for health food drinks is a whopping 60,000 tonnes, and traditionally, the market for white beverages is much larger than for cocoa-based drinks. Since GCMMF focuses on milk-based products, it is natural for the company to enter markets like health food drinks," the General Manager-Marketing, Mr R.S. Sodhi, told Business Line.

GCMMF is eyeing 10 per cent volume share of the market within 90 days of launch and becoming the market leader in this category within three years. The plans appear ambitious since the white health food drink market, estimated to be at Rs 900 crore, is already saturated and kids (the main target consumers) prefer brown beverages that contain cocoa. Also, the health food drink industry, as a whole, appears to be facing a slowdown, with Nestle already making it clear that it was "reviewing" the performance of Milo.

GCMMF, which is already a milk market leader, has identified as a thrust area developing nourishment of the entire family through variants of milk foods on a continuous basis while maximising the returns on milk. What appears to have given GCMMF confidence in capturing a large slice of the market within the first three months is that besides launching the product at competitive prices, the company has taken care to retain industry averages when deciding retailer and wholesaler margins at 9.5 per cent and 5 per cent respectively on the landing price.

While the white drink finds a bigger market in South and East, the brown one makes its presence felt in North and West. Horlicks, by far the market leader in the white health food drink category, had to be relaunched last year with the new positioning as a drink for youth against the earlier thrust on convalescents, and other brands in the white drinks category also appear to be facing a tough market.

The Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare spokesperson could not be reached for comments.

Amul Shakti is being positioned as a milk food that has "real milk for real nourishment" and GCMMF says it will provide the brand mass media support to create consumer awareness.

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