By Vinay Umarji
Taking on the cola giants in tier 2 and 3 towns of the country, Vadodara-based Manpasand Beverages is set to foray into aerated drinks by summer of 2013. To be launched in three flavours, the drinks will be branded as 'Cola Sip', 'Lime Sip' and 'Orange Sip'.
Manpasand has so far been present in ready-to-serve fruit juice market with its flagship brand 'Mango Sip' - a contemporary of Maaza, Slice and Frooti, apart from 'FONS' guava, lichee and apple fruit drinks. Earlier in 2012, Manpasand had roped in BM Vyas, former managing director of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), better known as 'Amul', as a director.
While the company is yet to fix the pricing for the aerated drinks, it has been learnt that the same could be in the range of Rs 8-10 for 200 ml PET bottle. The aerated drinks will be launched in PET bottles of 200 ml, 600 ml and 2 litres.
"It has been some time since we have decided to focus on the non-metros and tier 2 & 3 towns of the country for our ready-to-serve fruit juice products. However, every tier 2 and 3 towns that we went demanded cola drinks as well. Hence, we have decided to launch aerated drinks for these markets," said Dhirendra Singh, chairman of Manpasand Beverages, which currently manufactures 96 per cent mango fruit drink and four per cent of guava, lichee and apple combined.
This apart, Manpasand is also ramping up its current mango, guava, lichee and apple drinks manufacturing capacity at Varanasi and Savli (Vadodara) plants. From the current 10 million cases (one case = 27 bottles) per annum, the capacity is being expanded to 30 million cases per annum at an investment of Rs 100 crore. Of the total capacity, 60 per cent is located at the Varanasi plant while the rest is at Savli plant in Vadodara.
According to Singh, from a presence in 12 states, the company is now looking at an expansion to 20 states across the country. "We are now also going to the district and tehsil levels in these 20 states unlike earlier. The combined expansion in capacity and distribution will help us double our turnover from estimated Rs 300 crore for 2012-13 to Rs 600 crore in 2013-14," Singh added.