Nilgai half-heartedly compromises with the price of Cocofly
Nilgai half-heartedly compromises with the price of Cocofly

Nilgai is planning to breakdown the price wall with Cocofly at Rs 20. It ditched Tetrapak packs for a bottle that allows for more sizes. Health benefits are explained pictorially on the pack. The lower price point, the company claims, has excited many, particularly airlines. Though some marketing consultants believe it needs to lower the price further for Cocofly to become truly mass.

Co-founder and CEO Abhay Jaiswal went to the Indian Railways where he was told Cocofly would only sell in AC First Class. "I was consistently told that if you want to build a huge business, you are creating a cap at Rs 35. And I'm not being uncharitable, I have great respect for Paper Boat, but I have named it the 'Paper Boat Problem'."

Manpasand launched its coconut drink, CocoSip in May 2016, a month after Cocofly. Others in the Rs 100 crore packaged coconut water market in India are Dabur's Real Activ and Cocojal, among other smaller branded and unbranded players.

Jaiswal said, "There are a few labels, I don't even call them brands. For instance, Dabur has launched it as a flavor within Real Activ. Cocojal is a family-owned business. Everybody sells it in bad packaging and in a commoditised way. The branding and customer aspiration created in the West is not present here."

The biggest marketing challenge for Cocofly, however, will be to avoid commoditisation, perhaps by adding other natural flavours, according to Jessie Paul, founder of Paul Writer Strategic Advisory: "This will allow them to distinguish from the competitors and build taste-based loyalty. Without this differentiation any marketing investment undertaken by them will only grow the overall market without creating a lock-in for Cocofly."

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