A dynamic and emergent sector of the economy, the juice market in India has grown at a rapid pace in recent years dominated by the fruit drinks segment that currently accounts for the lion’s share of sales, followed by fruit juices and nectars. With newer brands and variants being introduced at frequent intervals, the growth has been truly dynamic. One of the interesting factors to be noticed is that the local juice corner shops in India have got a decent upgrade with more and more juice bars, and juice cafes opening up, marching towards entry into an organised market.
The growth in the domestic juice market has largely been the result of three main factors. These include the rising level of disposable income among Indian consumers, increased health and nutrition awareness among the current population and growing fruit imports into the country. Until now, the fresh juice segment in the country is largely unorganised and fragmented. The market size, measured by revenue, of the juice and smoothie bars industry, is 2.4 billion dollars in 2021.
Demand for non-carbonated drinks
At the same time, non-carbonated drinks are usually preferred by Indian consumers, which has in turn led to their dominance vis-à-vis carbonated ones. The increased preference for non-carbonated drinks has been fuelled by a rising level of awareness about health-related issues that have been particularly noticed among teenagers and young adults within the country. Some of these health-related issues are linked to obesity and heart problems. Out of this population segment, metropolitan consumers have displayed the maximum preference for non-carbonated drinks. But there is a common perception that fruit juices contain much less sugar than aerated drinks. Meanwhile, India has witnessed a recent surge in the imports of fruits and vegetables that have gone up by as much as 70 percent during the fiscal year ended March 2021. Fruit imports have risen at a fast pace, fueled by increasing demand for imported fruits by health-conscious consumers. This increased competition has again forced domestic fruit juice producers to raise their standards of quality.
Rise in juice consumption
In the end, all these combined factors have worked in favour of the overall juice market as evidenced by the approximately 40 percent increase in juice consumption. Apart, the fact that there is no particular age for the consumption of fruit drinks has also helped to significantly increase the consumer base for the industry’s products.
However, the Indian juice market faces a number of challenges that have proven to be an obstacle to further growth. Two of the primary challenges faced include the reluctant attitude displayed by domestic farmers towards fruit farming and the general unorganised nature of the market.
Moving toward the organised segment
According to Samrat Reddy, founder and managing director of Drunken Monkey, the decade of coffee from 2000 to 2010 saw the success of many coffee places in India, like CCD, Barista, Starbucks, and others. After coffee entered the organised sector, tea gradually gained popularity in India during the past ten years and now we have seen juice and smoothie revolution. “Over the last five years there has been a steep increase in businesses catering to a healthier lifestyle including the beverage industry. But the pandemic has accelerated the growth by leaps and bounds and made healthy foods a necessity now. The next big thing in the beverage industry will be the rise of smoothie culture which has already begun a few years ago,” he shared.
With India having one of the most rapidly advancing economies in the world, the real household disposable income within the country has more than doubled since 1985. This has led to a situation where consumers are able to afford costlier fruit juices that are in fact, costlier than non-packaged ones.
The emerging concept of juice bars in India and the recent trend of health awareness among the population have together contributed to making the consumption of juices much more popular than before in India. Every company is trying to introduce new and unique flavours in the market and they are also working on different strategies to make their products more popular. A number of companies are trying to capture the untapped segment of the market aimed at children. The rural market in India has huge growth potential in this regard.
The new age juice shops
When Yash Mehta, Rajan Patel, and Raj Jain came up with the idea of a fresh fruit juice centre in Ahmedabad, they knew they had to make their venture stand out. The trio drew inspiration from a concept in the United States where people could make their own fruit juices while burning a few calories. To put it like this, at their juice centre Greenobar, the quicker you cycle, the quicker your order is ready. The trio takes sustainability a few steps further. From the containers in which the juice is served to the t-shirts that the staff wears, the decor, and more, every aspect of Greenobar is as green as it might get.
Brands like P:YO, The Micro Juicery, Zust Juice, Crudo Juicery and Salad Bar have upped the game of the juice business in India. Australian retail chain Boost Juice Bars, which is present in India under the brand Joost Juice Bars, is tapping great numbers in India.
Talking about the brand's growth in India, Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice Bars Australia said “In India, there are challenges due to lack of infrastructure, cold chains and it takes time to build a supply chain. Through the past few years, we have now understood the market. If one looks at the demographics and the potential, I believe India could be one of our fastest growing markets, now that the foundation of the business has been established.”
The juice craze in India doesn’t look like its going to fade out in the near future, and local brands like Raw Pressery, Jucifix and JusDivine are reaping its benefits.