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Consumer Behavior in health drink segment

In one of the article I did mention about brand position. I told that broader the
brand position spectrum more the competitors you will encompass in your
brand influence circle. I gave example of Johnson & Johnson. Moving further, I
refresh your memory with one HRM topic which I have used in brand
“Maslow’s Theory”- As per Maslow’s hierarchy an employee moves up in the
hierarchy with time. I extended this concept to consumer behavior but my logic
is just reverse.
A consumer is attached with a brand or new innovate product for self
actualization as the time passes and the product moves towards its generic
behavior the needs of consumer shift to basic requirement. In 1980s mineral
water was for NRIs and high profile people but what now; mineral water is
serving the mass as healthy water for safety requirement, no more a status
symbol. Same was the case with mobile phones. There are thousands of examples
to prove this.

(Maslow’s Hierarchy Source: Wikipedia)

The level at which a brand starts in the hierarchy depends upon the level of need
for the respective product. I support my argument with an example, In 1980s
branded milk was a symbol of esteem. Now in 2007 majority of households in
cities depend upon the Mother Dairy or Amul for their daily milk supply. The

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point here is that as the need of a product moves in the hierarchy so the
respective brands. A brand moves with time from top level (self actualization) to
lowest level (basic needs) of Maslow’s hierarchy. There might be many factors
that affect the movement from top level to the basic level. I quote a few;
Company pricing strategy, competitors in industry, distribution, disposable
income of consumers and life style.

According to literature, consumer behaviour is divided into three sub categories;

consumption behaviour, purchase behaviour and attitude perception.

The consumer behaviour differs with age-group and the lifestyle. A busy
professional life left no space for exercise so a drink which contains low calorific
value is a health drink. For kids health drink is a supplement with added
calcium, minerals and vitamins. Milk stands apart with its strongest brand
image. Encashment of Amul and mother dairy in milk segment is externally
pillared on availability (Place), brand position of being pasteurized (promotion,
product) and on price lesser then unbranded. Amul always portraits as a
provider of milk and advertise its supply from villages. Here comes the next sub
category of consumer behaviour, purchase behaviour. One can’t replace milk
with substitute (Don’t forget the blunder of Complain).In this case the buyer and
decision-maker is house wife. Amul has only branded the milk with a
competitive advantage of its distribution.

On the other hand non-carbonated drink segment though does not challenge the
health drink segment but indirectly competing with other health drinks. If we
speculate the total non-carbonated drink segment sequentially, fruit drink takes
60% market share, Juices with 30% and nector with the remaining 10% market
share constitute the total Rs 500 market of non-carbonated drink. The brands
chasing the market are Parle's Frooti, Godrej's Jumpin, Coca Cola's Maaza,
Pepsi's Tropicana, and Dabur's Real, Nastle's Milo, Soy milk from ProSoya and
branded fruit juices from Surya Foods among others. Now question comes why
it seems that they are competing in the health drink segment. The answer
derived from the origin of the product-“fruits”, rich in natural fibers and other
vitamins and minerals. The driver of demand lies in the consumption behaviour,
it is hard to carry a half eaten mango but a half consumed bottle of juice.
Secondly the branded juices come with preservatives and can go for a period of
time. Dabur is quite smart in reading the mind of consumer. The brand extension

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of Real in school-kid segment with two variants; Real Junior and Real School
Pack proved its propensity for the market. The brand position for former is fruit
juice with added calcium for 2-6 year old kids and later, Real School comes in a
package of three with orange, mango and mixed fruit. The target consumer
segment is professional ladies who have no time to make break fast or school
Tiffin’s for kids. If you will see the printed-advertisement, you will see Tiffin is
shown that has few pieces of bread and a Real tetrapack.

On the other hand what Parle is doing with Frooti, just price variants?
Kids are the most loyal consumers I ever seen on this earth☺ . They demand
Frooti straight away and if you will try to offer them another brand. They will
make your life miserable. Try it out!!

The discloser of strategy happens when Dabur targeting the buyer’s convenience
(mothers) and Parle cashes on its brand image among kids. Dabur does not want
to leave any loophole so going ahead to grab the loyalty of buyer (mothers) it has
started with innovative cuzines for packing a nutritive lunch for school going
kids. It reminds me of two lovers, one impresses the parents of the lady and
other just prove his faithfulness to her. I am not entirely wrong in this case as
some gals see the brand Image and never go on face value but market price. ☺

Jokes apart, Till now we have seen that health segment is not restricted to milk or
juices but the changing life style has given different means to it for different
people and at different time.
Moving to deliberately positioned health drinks which are categorized into
white and brown segment and as a whole forms Rs 1,100 crore health food
drinks (HFD) market. Despite the management strategy of GSKCH
(GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare) and Cadbury's attempts to activate the
category, the segment is flat as a growth curve. The strategic scenario is like
Cadbury's Bournvita leads the HFD market, followed by GSKCH , striving hard
to invade the market. The Horlicks, originally invented as a health drink for
army men and then commercialized for mass is repositioned as a fun drink.
GSKCH as usually like a challenger did not leave any stone unturned , more
recently it has launched its brown drink Boost in 100gm sachets as well in
Tetrapak as a ready-to-drink product. GSKCH's Horlicks and other brands like
Boost, Viva, Maltova, together have a 75 % share of the health food drinks

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market. Horlicks alone, as a white beverage, is believed to have an over 50 %
market share.

GSK, to stronger its position in the health drink market worked the way predicted. The brands were Viva, Maltova and Boost and key
parameter was packaging. Viva has been repositioned as a traditional family
health drink while Maltova has been repositioned as a tasty chocolate-based
drink for children. Boost has also been repositioned as an energy drink. They
have covered the major segments fall in different age group. GSK’s share in the
market is around Rs 1,000 crore from four brands, including Horlicks. Because of
the repositioning, Boost's share in the market has grown to 14 per cent from
around 12 per cent last year. Horlicks' share remains steady at around 54 per
cent, including all its variants.

While all segments of the beverage market are evolving, the growth seems to be
directed more towards healthy, light and low-calorie drinks, in particular organic
and fruit juice varieties. Nestlé’s Milo, however, being a brown drink faces direct
competition from Cadbury's Bournvita and GSKCH's Boost. The market has
marginally moved from the white malted beverages to the brown segment. The
latest to join the race is GCMMF, which has relaunched its health food drink
branded as Amul Shakti. --------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is one thing common in all the brand positions, Guess What?
These brands are not repeating the mistake of Complain who tried to challenge
the existence of milk. All these brands positioned as a supplement health drink.
Different companies have different assumptions to trap its consumer base. Some
believe in targeting mothers and some believe in targeting the consumers (kids)
directly. If you track the life of a human being since first month after his birth till
his death, you will a pattern in the change of consumption behaviour and
purchase decisions. Till the child is of 2 years, Cereal is the favorite brand of a
mother-a decision maker. Now the time comes for schooling where Horlicks,
Bournvita and Boost take up the preference of the decision maker (again the
mum) positioned as a supplement for growth. Dabur is trying to space in this
segment placing Real Junior and Real School with different variants of fruits.
Frooti is already there but with taste based position. So keeping milk apart now
the fight is between fruit juice and added supplements. Horlicks took height
issue as its benefit based brand position. On the other hand Dabur took attribute

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based position. Bournvita is smart enough to position on chocolate taste. It wider
the consumer segment for all age group (Who hates chocolate milk)

As the age increases and life style through friend circle infect one another, the
psyche takes a new shape. It is the time when the decision maker is the consumer
itself. The meanings change for a health drink. Now the health drink is one
which is low calorific and high as a social drink. No doubt some companies are
pushing beer and coffee as a health drink. For this age group inclination is higher
for carbonated drink. Diet Coke is a live example for it. Coffee at the branded
place like café coffee day, barista and McDonalds is also opted as a social drink.
A few sips of coffee with friends or partner is deriving the sales margins for this
segment. In this segment health drink takes lesser place as a separate entity.
Now its time for a professional who slog in long working hours. No time for
physical exercise, health is a precautive issue, less caloric intake and sufficient
minerals compose the requirement. Hygiene is at the apex of the priority list. .
Here comes the time for branded water with added minerals. Isn’t a health
drink?? Who says?
Companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Bisleri got “Health” as their brand
position for a color less and odourless product. Sooner the time will come for
vitamin and smart water.

This cycle goes till the age a person is in its professional life. In the age above 50
all the health drinks restricted to less calorie intake, high minerals and vitamins.

Have you ever thought why the force is working on health drinks not on health
The answer is consumption behaviour if one drinks 5 bottles of apple juice in a
day it would be thought as dieting but if one will eat snacks 5 times of same
calorific value as 5 bottle of apple juice, he will be rewarded as biggest eater. Ha
Ha Ha!! It’s all about psyche, away from reasoning.
In the next article will predict the possibility of brand reposition
and competitive situation of the market and will compare and contract the
brands as per the market realities.
Competition do negotiate, it’s another thing some are negotiated unconsciously.

Information Sources: || Times of India || Financial Times || Wikipedia

Copy Right© Protected 2007-2009,, Sylloge Corporation

All Rights Reserved by
Only to be used for academic purpose.