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Amul launches Seltzer a healthy beverage with dairy and fruits

The company’s CMO Jayen Mehta talks about the new beverage, a daring carbonated cocktail of dairy products and fruit juice.

When life gives you lemons, (you) make lemonade. Simple theory. But if the lemons come in contact with milk by accident, then it will cause an uproar in most Indian households, simply because “doodh phat jayega”. Citrus fruits and milk just don’t mix.

Amul, however, doesn’t think so. Its latest offering ‘Tru Seltzer’ is India’s first carbonated dairy drink made up of milk solids, fruit juice and fizz.

But, Seltzer isn’t a new concoction. It dates back to the 1700s when medicine wasn’t advanced enough, naturally carbonated water found in springs was considered a cure-all. A spa in Germany bottled the water in clay jugs and sent it to various countries, the name seltzer in English stuck.

After hard riding sessions, cyclists would opt for milk seltzer… while milk has a lot of vitamins and electrolytes, and athletes needed to replenish lost electrolytes. But on its own, it was a little too thick.

Also read : Amul will invest 1000 Crores in dairy and 500 crores in edible oils etc in next two years

Amul’s Fruit range of products

Seltzer is an extension of Amul’s Tru range of fruit juices that hit the Indian market in February 2019. It marked the Gujarat-based leading diary cooperative’s entry into the country’s fruit juice market, which is worth around Rs 1,100 crore.

Available in four flavours – apple, litchi, mango and orange, you can buy the fruit juices in either a PET bottle or a tetra pack for Rs 10 (180 ml). As per Amul, Tru’s market share in the fruit juice market in the first quarter of its launch stood at 10 per cent.

Amul Tru Seltzer, however, is available in just two flavours, as of now – lemon and orange, and is priced at Rs 15 for a 200 ml PET bottle (a can version will be available soon). There are three more flavours in the pipeline – jeera, apple and cola.

Also read : Sarhad dairy to venture into Fruit Juices to be marketed by Amul

With Tru Seltzer, Amul makes its foray into the carbonated beverages category. But, this category is facing a tough time, as more and more consumers look for healthier alternatives (less sugar and additives) in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Jayen Mehta Speaks

Jayen Mehta, senior general manager, planning and marketing, GCMMF (Amul), tells afaqs! that they’ve made a carbonated drink that’s healthier and tastier.

He illustrated this point with Tru Seltzer’s upcoming cola flavour that “… will be without phosphoric acid and caffeine. You will get the taste of a good cola, but with real fruit juice, the goodness of milk solids and reduced amounts of sugar.”

A press note from Amul reiterated this point when it revealed that the lemon Seltzer contains five per cent real lime juice, no artificial colour and flavour, and just nine per cent added sugar. As compared to this, a leading (lemon) competitor has 12 per cent added sugar.

In the carbonated soft drinks market, Tru Seltzer will take on established giants, such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Mehta says that while this is one part of the positioning, the other aim was to bring out the taste and goodness of the product and make it more appealing to the masses.

Also read : Amul sets record by launching 1 product every 4th day in last trimester

On Tru Seltzer’s price (Rs 15 for 200 ml PET bottle), and considering that many brands are veering away from this price point, Mehta says, “Amul is value for money. So, we’ve tried to put together the best quality at an affordable price.”

Virtual launch conference

Amul has launched its newest offering first in Gujarat. Mehta tells us that there was a “virtual launch conference with all our distributors (more than 350).” A teaser was released in more than 30 websites across major cities of Gujarat a week before Tru Seltzer’s launch.

Amul says it has created an attractive communication and point of sale promotion strategy for Tru Seltzer. The advertising campaign, highlighting the product’s proposition ‘Dairy, Fruity, Fizzy’, will also be aired on TV and social media. The company has also rolled out an OOH campaign aimed to pique consumers’ interest in Gujarat.

On the neon LED lights, Mehta says that they’d “put up 20-30 signs at various Amul parlours and other locations…”

On the launch of Tru Seltzer in the rest of India, Mehta says, “These products are more intensive in distribution, so a state-wise launch is better.”

And, did COVID have an impact on the launch of Tru Seltzer? Says Mehta, “COVID, or no COVID, this was in the pipeline. In the last seven months, this will be our 40th launch… our innovation pipeline is on all the time.”

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