The pandemic has shifted the human consumption game towards a more wholesome and mindful way of living. Due to this shift, Third Culture Group, a privately-owned company based in Ylitorno in Finnish Lapland, launched Zero Percept Shop in India in the last quarter of 2021. The Zero Percent Shop has been created with the aim of becoming the 'go-to' platform for consumers seeking to adopt a mindful lifestyle.
The first of its kind, the shop focuses on a unique selection of curated food and beverage brands in the categories of 0 percent alcohol, 0 percent dairy, 0 percent pesticides, 0 percent sugar, 0 percent microplastic, 0 percent meat, and fine water to empower the mindful consumption movement by building awareness and making zero-percent brands easily accessible to people who want to consume more responsibly, whilst still enjoying themselves.
“We want to help consumers to drink less alcohol, consume less sugar, eat less meat, and make healthier, more organic dietary choices in order to lead happier lives,” Ganesh Iyer, Managing Director- Indian Subcontinent, Zero Percent India said.
Distribution Strategy for the Indian market
Zero Percent is primarily focusing on HoReCa with the 0 percent alcohol category, to begin with, since the Indian Entity (formerly known as VEEN Waters India) already has its dominance in HoReCa for over a decade now.
“We are also testing waters with the D2C model at a primary level to learn and understand the scope and challenges involved in the D2C model, and basis traction and response from the consumers, we will integrate the D2C model into our strategy for the Indian market. For now, as stated above, we will have our focus on HoReCa,” Iyer stated.
The company is open to exploring options with offline retain markets as well but this 0 percent alcohol category in India is quite nascent and on the other hand, it's flooded with cheap flavored, low cost, high calorie, and sugar-laden options. It, therefore, requires significant and consistent education and awareness not just for Zero Percent’s consumers (HoReCa) but also for the end customers. The brand believes that at this stage it needs to create enough experience-led activities in HoReCa that would enable it to seek out these products in the retail market.
In India, Zero Percent is focused only on the 0 percent alcohol category with 5-6 SKUs to begin with to understand and learn from consumer experience with regard to these brands. The 0 percent alcohol range in India consists of COAST, its Belgian Wheat Beer; Noughty, its Organic Sparkling Chardonnay; RUMISH and GINISH; and VEEN Nordic Mixers.
“Basis traction and learnings, we are open to launch more brands in this 0 percent alcohol category considering that we have close to 70 SKUs in our international markets,” Iyer asserted.
“Our target audience is consumers (irrespective of whether they are alcohol consumers or nonalcohol consumers) who are constantly seeking to have products which are promoted on the premise of low sugar, low cal, natural, vegan, plant-based, and organic,” he added.
In India, the brand is currently present in 18-20 cities including all the metro and Tier-I markets. Its growth plan is to create consumer experiences and make these brands accessible to consumers in 50 cities by end of this calendar year.
“We are on the lookout and open to raising funds since this is going to be a very crucial and interesting category (0 percent alcohol) considering the fact that India by and large still features amongst the low alcohol-consuming markets,” Iyer said.
“We would further look at technological enhancements once we are sufficiently equipped with ground data and consumption patterns on the ground from our consumers with regard to the portfolio that we have in hand. As and when we achieve adequacy, we would be open to technological enhancements to broaden and validate consumer experiences,” he concluded.
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