Gone are those days when India beverage market was all about ‘tea’. Until a decade back, tea was considered as commoners’ drink, and coffee was positioned as a drink for upper sophisticated class. Cola and other soft drinks were catered to youngsters.
Well, these are the notion belongs to yesterday. If we look at recent data, India maintains a market size for organic packaged food and beverages of US$54.6mn in 2017, which is 0.1% of global category sales.
Today, beverage market is bifurcated into various segments starting from whiskey, wine & cocktails to health drinks & powdered juices amongst others. The Indian beverage market is comprised with plenty of options & variants for alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic lovers catering all kinds of tastes & preferences. Owing to astonishing growth in this vertical, the start-up scene in this space has been mature drastically.
Let’s shed light on few promising startup stories which are redefining Indian beverage market
Started by Bharat Sethi, a serial entrepreneur who have built two successful ventures in past. In fact, he started his first business at the age of 16. Seeing the shift to coffee for many people around me, as their go-to beverage inspires Bharat to launch Rage Coffee. Speaking on same he said, “I wanted the idea to mature and I started collecting data, doing surveys and quickly established a growing demand for this gap. Having built consumer brands & online marketplaces from scratch over the last 8 years, I obviously wanted to get more data, understand my audience more and that’s when started talking to shoppers in retail outlets.” As of the brand is present in about 300 outlets locating at Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bangalore. As of now, the company has raised small investment from RannvijaySingha who’s joined the company as an early investor and brand evangelist.
The Good Life Company(TGL)
The Good Life Company is the fastest growing hot beverages startup in India. The inception of TGL Co. traces back to when TGL Co. co-founder Bhuman Dani, an MBA from INSEAD, walked into the East India Company store in London one day, little did he know that it would change his life. With no background in the world of speciality teas, this experience opened his mind to brews, blends and blades. But this appetiser only fuelled his thirst for more knowledge in this space. So he began his apprenticeship with Jane Pettigrew, one of the most renowned master blenders of tea in the world and learnt about teas, origins and influence of botanicals in creating the perfect blend.
At the same time, in another corner of the world, Shariq Ashraf, an MBA from Oxford University and a self-professed tea aficionado was inspired by another tea company. While travelling through Argentina, he came across “Tealosophy”. Its founder, Inés Berton, inspired Shariq with her enviable tea knowledge and he began to work towards bringing this spectacular range of speciality teas to India. They were creating the perfect business model, when these ‘brew-bros’ met at a Mumbai alumni event of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a leading global management consulting firm, where both had previously worked. Their shared love for tea and a passion to bring inspired brews to millions in India brought them together to create The Good Life Company or TGL Co. As of now, has raised a primary investment of INR 8.75 Cr. & secondary investment of 7.75 Cr. through strategic investors. In May 2019, thje company introduced 10 TGL products at more than 150 points of retail sales TGL products are also available at Foodhall outlets in India.
SipWise Beverages offers a range of juices to the millennials who might have wondered what if green tea became a juice or a healthy herb turned tasty. Founder Harish Mohan feels that there are huge opportunities for product category creators in India. Mohan got inspiration to launch SipWise while he was at Duke University where he got exposed to a range of functional beverages. This exposure made him realize humengous gap in the Indian market for beverages that could offer value beyond cola and fruit pulp based drinks. Mohan started SipWise with a vision to offer a health drink which is an amalgamation of age-old herbs and natural ingredients. With the support of R & D team based out of South India, his dream for Sipwise Beverages was born.As of now, the brand is available via modern trade channels including Nature’s Basket, Star Bazaar, Big Basket and Grofers, mainly in 4 cities-Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Goa.
Launched in June 2015, Epigamia has more than 21 different types of products and is available across 10,000 touch points, including modern trade chains like Reliance Fresh, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Future GroupFoodhall, Big Bazaar, and Hypercity. Ecommerce platforms, including Big Basket and Amazon. With this investment, Epigamia looks to scale pan-India and enter 50,000 stores in the coming years.This year Actor Deepika Padukone joined Epigamia a partner and strategic advisor. In an interaction Rohan Mirchandani highlighted, “We don’t peg ourselves to the strictly yogurt category only but rather see Epigamia as competing in the massive Snack market, estimated at >25,000 Cr across India.” He highlighted that his company could launch plant-based beverages in the future that would additional part of existing yougurts and smoothies.