INDIA – Indian multinational conglomerate company, Reliance, has affirmed its existence in the FMCG sector through the acquisition of the home-grown soft drink brand Campa from Delhi-based Pure Drinks Group.

After the approval of the deal which is estimated to be around Rs 22 crore by the country’s competition watchdogs, Reliance Retail Ventures said it will introduce the newly acquired business to the general trade and local markets around Diwali.

Campa drink which is currently bottled by Jallan Food products has dominated the Indian market for about 15 years in the absence of foreign competition after the likes of Coca-Cola were asked to leave in 1977.

After the return of foreign corporations to the soft drink market in the 1990s, the popularity of Campa Cola declined and its operations were scaled down as it could not sustain the competition.

At the moment, the retail arm of Reliance group has already introduced its three variants including its iconic cola flavor, orange, and lemon at its selected stores.

Earlier this week, addressing the shareholders in the annual general meeting, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) director Isha Ambani said the company will launch its FMCG goods business.

As part of its expansion drive in the FMCG segment, Reliance is already in talks with several makers, which would be announced subsequently once the deals are finalized.

The Indian FMCG market is estimated to be over USD 100 billion and is largely dominated by big firms such as HUL, Reckitt, P&G, Nestle, and home-grown companies like Dabur, Emami, and Marico while the soft drink market is dominated by the American cola majors Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo.

The Indian soft drink market which is under non-alcoholic beverages is divided into two distinct segments, carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.

The carbonated drink includes cola and non-cola drinks. The cola segment claims a share of 62%, while the non-cola segment includes soda, clear lime, cloudy lime, and drinks with orange and mango flavors.

According to a report from market research firm Research and Markets, the Indian carbonated beverages market segment was valued at Rs 13,460 crore in FY 2020 and is expected to reach a value of Rs 34,964 crore by FY27.

A report by economic policy think tank ICRIER notes that India, the second most populated country in the world, has the potential to become a non-alcoholic beverage hub, given its endowments of raw materials, labor, and policy support for encouraging food processing in the country.

The report adds that bottled water and carbonated soft drinks still account for the bulk of the non-alcoholic beverages sector while the market for juices, energy drinks, tea, milk, coffee-based beverages, and organic drinks is expanding.

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