Can DS Group’s masala Piyoz ‘Catch’ up to Rasna?

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Home grown brands in the country have been wrestling out the MNCs across sectors and giving them a tough time. Wagh Bakri tea, Ghari detergent, Vi-John, DS Group, Mankind Pharma are a few such names. Adding heat to this war, DS Group’s catch brand has launched a powdered beverage ‘Piyoz’ in Indian flavors like Khatta Meetha Aam Panna, Chatpata Jaljeera, Sadaa Bahaar Nimbu Pani, Tingling Orange, Fresh Watermelon, Refreshing Rose, which offer a complete variety of tasty summer chillers for all age groups.

Powdered beverages segment
According to industry sources powdered beverages market is pegged at about Rs 500 crore (excluding glucose) and the key players in the industry include Rasna, Kraft Foods’ Tang and Coca Cola’s Fanta Fun taste, other than Catch.

Experts feel that with more players’ especially the MNCs jumping in this space the category is once again seeing increased consumer interest and rising numbers. Bhavna Sood, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, DS Group shares, “All research findings indicate a trend where the consumer is slowly shifting towards powdered beverages for reasons of ‘affordability’ in semi-urban and rural areas and ‘convenience’ in the urban areas.  Furthermore, there is global upsurge in the powdered beverage category with major players driving the market.”

Experts feel increasing focus on health has led consumers to look for options beyond carbonated drinks and powdered drinks emerge as a tastier option for such consumers.

Positioning strategy
Piyoz has positioned itself as a non carbonated, healthy option to the fizzy drinks that promises refreshing experience to consumers to re-energize and rejuvenate anywhere anytime. The company states that the brand’s core of positioning is ‘Make Water Interesting’ with the pillars being convenience, affordability, quality and flavours for everyone. The tagline of the brand emphasises on the same as it goes: ‘Saada Pani Mat Pilao…, Catch Piyoz Toh Milao!’

Anand Jaiswal, Professor Marketing, IIM Ahmadabad

Anand Jaiswal, Professor Marketing, IIM Ahmadabad

Experts feel that the positioning of health and Indian flavours may work very well for the brand since Indian flavours like aam panna, jaljeera etc. always have the strong health connotations. Anand Kumar Jaiswal, Professor Marketing, IIM Ahemdabad, says, “Indian flavours in drinks are mostly considered healthy so health and Indianess seems a right combination for the brand which may give it an edge over bigger players in the market. However, my only concern is that given the nature of the product (powdered beverage) how much credibility will be there on the health platform.”

So experts are of the view that establishing the product on the health platform may be a bit challenging considering the nature of the product. However, if the brand focuses more on the refreshing, convenience and affordability angle, it may be easier for it to win consumers.

The name of the brand (Piyoz) will help it to play the Indianness card and connect stronger with consumers especially in semi-urban and rural areas.

Pocketing growth with trials

Since the product is in the launch phase Catch is focusing a lot on pushing trials for ‘Piyoz’ and for that it has launched small pocket sachets, that offer consumers convenience and value-for-money.

Distribution wise the product is focusing on a pan India presence with availability in both neighbourhood grocery stores to modern retail outlets. The sachets are priced competitively starting at Rs 3 for one serving, Rs 5 for 2 servings and Rs 30 for 11 servings.

Driving home the point
Demographically, Piyoz is targeting 18-45 Years Males and Females, SEC ABC. These are consumers who actively seek a balance between affordability & aspirations.  On the other hand, its communication plan is focused on 18-35 Years Males and Females SEC ABC.

As far brand communication is concerned the brand is following an integrated approach and mix of ATL & BTL activities for deeper penetration in semi-urban and rural markets. The ATL campaign of the brand, which includes television and radio media, is about to break in two to three weeks time. The brand will have fair mix of regional and national channels on TV.

But, BTL activities have played the most important role in the brand’s launch. Road shows and mall activations have been the key activities that Catch has focused on along with sampling through magazines and van operation to create buzz and awareness about the product. The core objective of its BTL plan is to induce trial to maximum number of customers & retailers. Sampling of Catch Piyoz is being done pan India through branded vans & Rocket Man (mobile vending Unit) to create excitement amongst the target audience.

The company spokesperson commented, “Many consumers taste the product at the vans and they like it so much that a lot of on the spot sales are happening through these mobile vans.”

Competing against big fish
But going forward, the journey may not be easy for Catch Piyoz as the powdered beverage market has many big fish including homegrown brand Rasna, which dominates the category. Not to forget brands from multinational companies like Tang (from Kraft Foods) and Fanta Fun Taste (from Coca-Cola). So what will give Piyoz an edge over these players? The company spokesperson Sood feels, “The brand objective of Piyoz is to own the Mix ‘n’ Drink category by providing exotic flavor drinks through innovative, low unit price products offering affordability and convenience to a large Indian population. The product differentiators that will ensure success are Indian ethnic drinks with masala ingredients, which give a distinctive, refreshing taste. These are unique variants not offered by the MNCs operating in this space”.

The Indian flavours and price certainly give the brand an edge over the other players. As IIM Ahemdabad’s Jaiswal says, “Homegrown brands always have the advantage of understanding the market better and knowing the local palate. But in the end, everything boils down to how well one is able to market one’s product vis-a-vis competition and how well are you able to connect with your consumers.”




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Abhinav Mohapatra

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