One thing Covid has changed for consumers of today, especially the younger generation, is making them aware and ever more conscious about their health and inclined towards a healthy lifestyle. Besides naturally derived, balanced and nutritious food, a rising number of consumers are reaching out for beverages that do more than just quench their thirst and this is driving a forceful demand for functional beverages to meet their needs. And this growing trend of healthier, enhanced drinks has created this new opportunity for brands or start-ups to develop products that nourish as well as refresh and hydrate. One such start-up that strives to provide perfection in a cold, fizzy, and flavorful bottle is Ginger Rage. The D2C brand strongly believes in the importance of gut health and how it impacts the human body.
According to GlobeNewswire, the global probiotic drinks market is expected to reach US$ 23.9 billion in 2028 growing at a CAGR of 6.3 percent.
The increasing geriatric population and rising prevalence of gut health-related disorders, as well as various cardiovascular and chronic diseases, diabetes, etc., have positively impacted sales of probiotic drinks.
Pranay Mehra, Founder, Ginger Rage, avers, “Probiotic drinks are a part of the functional beverages, which can help in improving the health conditions of the gut by maintaining the balance of the intestine. Probiotic-rich food and beverages have existed in the Indian market for a long time but due to lack of awareness and knowledge, these products never came into the limelight. The consumption has increased over the years as companies started to use social media platforms to promote the health benefits of probiotics and importance of gut health.”
Pranay Mehra is a Hospitality Management student at The Indian School of Hospitality, an aspiring entrepreneur, and the founder of Ginger Rage. He launched this D2C brand in the year 2020.
What’s on Offer?
Today, many beverages companies are extending their product portfolio to add a line of functional beverages, which includes probiotic drinks. These functional food and beverages options are a trending food habit all over the world. While the market share in the category is mainly occupied by the developed markets, developing nations like India isn’t too far behind either, with most Indian household now keeping these immunity-boosting drinks at their disposal. The dairy-based probiotic drinks segment is the leading segment in the probiotic market, followed by the fruit-based probiotic drinks segment.
Probiotics are present in commonly used fermented foods such as yogurt, soy sauce, pickles, kefir, sourdough bread, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and several types of cheeses. These beverages are also enriched with nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein.
“Our product mix at Ginger Rage includes Probiotic Ginger Rage which is low calories cocktail mixer and is gut-friendly and immunity booster; Kombucha by Ginger Rage is made with our homemade scoby, Elixir of life. These are retailed on our online retail store, available on Instagram @gingerrage.in and all our orders come from different social media platforms and word of mouth. We heavily rely on social media platforms in order to reach our target consumers and to create awareness about our brand, as also like the importance of gut health,” maintains Pranay Mehra.
Furthermore, the start-up ensures that it reaches and connects with its customer base directly and that it works and operates in a more transparent manner and so, the D2C business model was the way to go for Pranay Mehra.
“D2C is growing in India currently as the young entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises prefer this model the most as it is more convenient for young brands to reach out to the consumers directly and also helps in building relationships. We are using this to build our brand, create awareness and a customer base before we expand and enter the local market,” maintains Pranay Mehra.
The Back-End Intricacies
Even as brands in the segment are eagerly entering the probiotics category with a separate line of probiotic drinks added to their portfolio when developing new probiotic drinks, one problem companies mostly run into is finding a substantial strain that can withstand their manufacturing processes. Bacillus subtilis is often a compatible solution because the microorganism’s tough outer shell allows it to withstand harsh processing, and is compatible with beverages ranging from juices to alternative kinds of milk. Bacillus subtilis is a probiotic which promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, offering the additional health benefits that today’s consumers seek out in functional beverages. Ginger Rage sources all its ingredients directly from the farmers in Punjab and manufactures its product range at its facility in Ludhiana where all the beverages are fermented naturally.
The Way Forward
With time, the definition of innovation is changing and while it only meant renovating the packaging and tactical marketing campaigns when ready-to-drink brands used to talk about innovation, the focus has now shifted towards redesigning the beverage itself. In fact, according to market research, millennial consumers are even willing to spend extra cash to receive these better-quality nutritional refreshments.
“Ginger Rage aims to become a leader in the non-alcoholic beverage space in India, our daily operations are limited to Ludhiana, Punjab as of now and we plan to expand our operations by entering into the Delhi-NCR market. We are also planning to collaborate with bartenders and beverage companies to build professional relationships and create awareness about the brand. In terms of product assortment, we already have a wide range of products so we don't plan to expand that as of now. Furthermore, we are planning to launch our website by the end of September,” concludes Pranay Mehra.