VEEN India Evolving Fine Dining With Water
VEEN India Evolving Fine Dining With Water

Premium quality water is compulsory to complete a great meal. Indian restaurateurs and hotel owners in the fine dining business agree that today every customer is provided with the option of choosing regular or mineral water with their meal, and in most cases, they prefer mineral water. However, that’s only half the battle won. The larger hospitality sector of India is still years away from realizing the various health benefits and satisfaction that the healthiest possible water in the best possible packaging guarantees. 

Ganesh Iyer, Managing Partner - India & India Subcontinent, Zero Percent India, explains why.

Product, Packaging, Benefits

Known as the ‘Michelin Star’ water, VEEN frequents the top echelons of the hotel and restaurant sector in India. The brand has won multiple global accolades, the most important of them being certified as ‘Heavy Metal compliant’ by the USFDA Department. It’s also the go-to water for IPL franchises, Starbucks India, and Harrods, London. Additionally, the brand is also the proud recipient of the gold award for design at Fine Waters Tasting Competition, 2021. In fact, the VEEN India bottle is on display at Helsinki Design Museum, Finland! 

“For the Indian subcontinent, we bottle two types of water. VEEN Still (natural mineral water) is packaged in 660 ml (for two) and 330 ml (for one) bottles. The dimensions were decided to check water wastage as 660 ml is sufficient for consumption of two people. The second category is the carbonated VEEN classic mineral water,” says Iyer.

However, VEEN India is providing much more than the finest quality of drinkable water. The Finland-based brand has done extensive research on contamination-free water packaging systems and has actually gone the extra mile on hygiene maintenance. The brand uses Type II flint crystal clear glass bottles, which are used in pharmaceutical industries. 

“VEEN India is the only brand distributing mineral water in such glass packaging in the country since 2012. As soon as the Government of India banned single-use plastic, every hotel brand latched on to the next glass bottle available for use. Such glass contains high amounts of lead and chromium, which is as toxic as using plastic bottles. So, it’s a totally healthy experience that VEEN India provides,” explains Iyer. 

VEEN India Evolving Fine Dining With Water
Ganesh Iyer, Managing Partner, India & India Subcontinent, Zero Percent India

Sourcing the Cleanest Water 

Every mineral water brand relies on its unique product history. For VEEN, it’s the rare source of fine water that scores the brownie points. The brand sources its water from a remote spring water source in the Finnish Lapland to serve the European markets. For India, it’s the spring from the Khana Bharti River in Samse district, Bhutan. Completely void of human habitation, these pristine sources live up to the world-class standards of VEEN.

Generally, good mineral water sources are distributed as fine water and are known for their unique composition. For some, it’s the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) content in the water. For VEEN, it’s the high concentration of calcium and other minerals that have medicinal benefits for arthritis patients. Moreover, the source for the Indian subcontinent is termed the ‘last Shangri La’. Bhutan being a water-surplus, carbon-negative country aligns perfectly with VEEN’s larger objective of bringing the best quality water to the table.

Generating Awareness 

Celebrating 10 years of providing distinguished services to hotels, standalone restaurants, breweries, and high-end consumers, VEEN India has built its reputation for uncompromising quality of water, one B2B customer after the other. It actually boils down to the company’s ethics and purpose, which is one of the reasons why VEEN India has always focused on the hotel and beverage industry, instead of a B2C or a full-fledged D2C model.

“In this decade of operation, we have upheld the value of mineral water and generated niche awareness. Our business proposition is concept-driven and interests those who understand the importance of water in the experience-driven luxury hotel services,” says the water sommelier, adding that the brand has been enjoying the goodwill of premium consumers since 2013, way before the D2C wave.

Providing an alternative to the Bisphenol A- free (BPA) bottles with their own product design, VEEN India started off at a time when paying a premium for water was considered to be cost-prohibitive for many hotel players. It took years of sustained training programs for hoteliers, restaurateurs, bar and brewery managers, after which the brand drove home the point of fine mineral water, and contributed a sizable profit margin alongside food.  

Their predictions of glass packaging being the future in the hotel segment came true, and VEEN India enjoyed the first-mover advantage of being the only mineral water brand offering clinically proven glass packaging. The target audience for VEEN’s clientele were people who frequented fine dining experiences and understood how fine water complemented a grand experience, as opposed to any other form of regular water.
Today, Iyer is India’s only certified water sommelier and passes on his knowledge to hundreds of food and beverage managers, restaurant managers, bar managers and associates during his training sessions. 

“They learn the importance of mineral water, why the source from Bhutan matters, and the numerous benefits we are offering with the flint type II glass packaging. I certify them as water ambassadors for the respective restaurant and/or hotel. Throughout India, we have a team of 12-15 people in charge of countrywide awareness programs,” Iyer adds.  

Market Prediction

VEEN India is currently present in 45 cities and across 850+ hotels and restaurants in the country. This measures up to a total of 10-15% of the mammoth B2B potential and the brand has adequate capacity to fulfill the needs of the Indian subcontinent. 

In the future, VEEN India will explore multiple water sources in India, which must first qualify time-tested and proven parameters. Bangladesh, Colombo, and Maldives also feature in long-term expansion plans of VEEN, but the current goal is for the Indian hotel and beverage industry to grow with the exclusive offerings of rare, fresh, and healthy drinking water. 

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