Coca-Cola India has recently brought its billion dollar brand Fuze Tea to India. The drink is a fusion of tea with fruit flavours and other natural ingredients. In India, Fuze Tea will initially be launched in lemon and peach flavours. Targetted at the SEC A plus urban population, a segment that traverses boundaries, is on-the-move and seeks wider product choices, the drink will be launched across the top 30 cities in the country including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
The new product will be available in 250 ml PET bottles at a price of Rs 30. Initially, it will be available only in select outlets across modern and traditional trade with the intent to build preference and anticipation for it. Fuze Tea will also be available in some quick-service restaurant chains and online retail channels.
But, will it achieve this feat in India as well? In October 2013, Parle Agro had announced its re-entry into the carbonated soft drinks category with Café Cuba, a coffee-based beverage. The company was confident that the product would do well. However, its expectations were not met despite a high-decibel promotional campaign.
We at afaqs! spoke to some industry experts to find out if the Indian market/palate is ready for such hybrid drinks yet.
Co-founder, Chaayos Café
The success of the brand will however depend on the kind of product. It has to connect with the consumer at the concept level. You cannot take a product that worked in some other country, use it as it is and expect the Indian consumer to become a fan. The offering must be something that customers fundamentally understand.
COO, Costa Coffee India
Consumerism is the mantra today. Every restaurant or coffee shop is now offering an alternative to fizzy drinks. But, fizzy drinks still clearly hold the fort in the cold drinks category and tea and coffee is an integral part of our daily routine.
The consumption of such hybrid drinks will mostly be occasion-based as people have moved from the regular 'sweet lime soda'. Though hybrid drinks like lemon and peach iced teas are strong favourites with our consumers, other fruit flavours available in more developed markets globally are yet to be explored in the Indian market.
Brand guru and CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants
Brands can expect a good response because the Indian consumer has evolved and likes fusion brands in food and beverage, taste and clothes. The consumers may look at it as a viable alternative, though not over and above fizzy drinks or tea and coffee.
All these initiatives will help organise the industry like refrigeration did.
CEO and chief brand strategist, Brands of Desire
Fuze will see a limited launch in India initially and the Indian consumer might just give it a thumbs up as Indians are traditionally tea drinkers and may lap up the modern drink, which is of assured quality and has a larger shelf life as compared to hot tea or iced tea prepared real time in cafes.
Interestingly, Fuze will also compete with its own portfolio of fizzy drinks but as long as the money goes in the same kitty, it's good for Coca Cola, which is trying hard to transform its image for health-conscious consumers globally.