A Juicy Affair

Frooti gains market share as Parle Agro goes for a complete product and marketing overhaul

Nadia Chauhan is on a high with her beverage business brand - Frooti. Parle Agro’s iconic mango drink hadn’t changed much in the first 30 years of its existence. Chauhan, the joint managing director and chief marketing officer, swiftly brought an end to the status quo two years back. The first change involved giving the drink a brand new avatar in 2015 and the second, just happened last month when Frooti was presented anew with a dash of carbonation to it. 

The brand’s strategy to improve itself has been showing results in the market share trends. According to a report published by Kotak Institutional Equities on Varun Beverages, Frooti gained a decent 5% market share over CY15. That is, the brand’s market share increased from 19% to 24%—the revival comes after three years of decline. 

Chauhan’s strategy seems to be working. “While there may be several other factors, I can attribute the market share gain to Frooti’s relaunch two years ago and the revamp in our large-scale sales and distribution,” points out Chauhan. 

Typecast as a children’s drink for too long, Chauhan wanted to tap into a different demographics, focusing on young adults. The London-based agency Pentagram was selected for redesigning the logo, label and PET bottles. To roll out the new packaging, Sagmeister & Walsh was roped in. “They didn’t come with any brand baggage and that helped in recreating the brand identity. We managed to achieve top brand recall for the first time for Frooti,” elaborates Chauhan. During the same period, Parle kicked off a massive expansion in distribution. “We added 6-7 lakh outlets over the past couple of years,” claims Chauhan. 

The launch of Frooti Fizz also had a positive rub-off on the overall brand as well. “It is for the first time that a mango drink has been innovated at such a scale,” she says. “That is why we continue to have a double digit growth rate, far ahead of any of our competitors.” 

But even within the mango drinks category, competition is building up and we aren’t even referring to Maaza or Slice. The DS group has extended its disruptive Candy Pulse with Pulse Mango, while there are disruptors such as Paperboat. Chauhan, however, feels most brands falter on distribution. “You can check how many new drinks are launched every summer and how many continue after the summer. Success depends on the scale of distribution, which is very challenging,” says Chauhan.

For now, it seems that Parle Agro indeed has the upper hand.