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Hamdard Enters Ready-To-Drink Segment With Rooh Afza Fusion

Delhi-based Hamdard Laboratories has launched its new product to connect with young consumers and grow its portfolio


Delhi-based Hamdard Laboratories, the maker of heritage rose-based cooling drink Rooh Afza, has entered the ready-to-drink beverage segment with Rooh Afza Fusion.

The new product is a blend of pure fruit juice with Rooh Afza and is available in a 200 ml pack priced at Rs 20. The launch is in line with the 100-year-old company's plan to overhaul its existing product portfolio to connect with young consumers.

Rooh Afza Fusion, which is being test-launched in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, is available in five flavours, including lemon, orange and mango. By the beginning of the next fiscal year it will be launched across India.

Rooh Afza is a flagship brand for Hamdard holding 45 per cent market share in the concentrated drink category.

Even as the category is seeing a slow growth rate of 3-4 per cent, Rooh Afza is the market leader and sells 2.5 crore bottles every year.

"It was crucial for us to become relevant to young consumers and extend to the ready-to-drink format in order to become a Rs 1,000 crore company in two years," said Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer of Hamdard.

Currently, Rooh Afza is available in an in-home consumption format, slightly tedious to make hence young consumers only drink it when at home.

The idea is to make Rooh Afza Fusion an aspirational product for young consumers, said Ali, adding that a pan-India launch is expected in March 2017.

The company, which has invested Rs 15 crore in the new product, will soon roll out a campaign created by advertising agency Rediffusion Y&R.

Hamdard is looking at hawking the product through 30,000 retail outlets in both states in the next one month. The product will also be available at paan shops that keep small refrigerators stocking fizzy drinks and other beverages, driving on-the-go consumption. Ali believes that venturing into the ready-to-drink category will help Hamdard connect with younger consumers.

Rooh Afza Fusion will compete with players such as Coca-Cola’s Mazaa and Minute Maid and PepsiCo’s Slice and Parle’s Frooti, which all fall in the juice drinks category that includes all still juice drinks made up of fresh juice or concentrate, not exceeding 24 per cent juice content.

However, it may also attract the attention of consumers who often sample packaged fruit juices available in the market including Dabur-owned Real and Real Activ, PepsiCo’s Tropicana, Hector Beverages’ Paperboat and Del Monte’s fruit juices.

Hamdard Laboratories, which makes Safi blood purifier and Cinkara tonic besides Rooh Afza, aims to cross Rs 1,000 crore in annual sales by March 2019 from Rs 610 crore in the year ended 31 March 2016. Its sales target for Rooh Afza is Rs 300 crore by March 2017. Safi is estimated to reach Rs 100 crore in sales by the end of this fiscal.

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Hamdard Laboratories Rooh Afza food and beverage retail

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