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Mango season is here: A look at drinks whose fortunes were made by the king of fruit

Prachi Gupta

The season of the most loved fruit in India (probably in the world as well) is around the corner as summer hits. With the demand for cool drinks and beverages set to see an uprise soon and with the ongoing IPL season, TV sets will soon be flooded with advertisements of various brands vying to get a spot in your fridge and the lion s share of the market. Mango-based fruit juices are best-positioned to win the market and are going to stay.

India is home to many brands which cater to only the mango juice market and there is a good reason for that. Mango juices in India should not be seen as a juice flavour, it is a category in itself. Maaza, Slice, Frooti etc. are the dominants in this segment and the taste of mango is deeply rooted in the Indian hearts and taste buds, TRA s founder and CEO Chandramouli N told Financial Express Online.

Indians drink over 100 crore litres of mango fruit juices alone, and this figure has constantly risen, data from Euromonitor International, a market research provider, showed. But fruit juice is not the only form in which India consumes this king of fruit. Mango-based liquid concentrates, 100% juice and nectars have their markets as well. Last year 2018, off-trade sales of nectars in India were at over 450 lakh litres.

Coca-Cola Ltd, PepsiCo and Parle Agro Ltd are the leading manufacturers in the juice drinks category (which have up to 24% fruit). Dabur, ITC and PepsiCo lead the manufacturing in 100% fruit juice and nectars category, Euromonitor International data showed.

Mango drinks are here to stay and there are several reasons for it. Mango is the lowest-common-denominator drink in packaged form, along with a highest-common denominator taste run. Mango is a taste that cannot be replaced by drinks of the snazzy kind, be it Ayurvedic, detox or whatever else, veteran brand expert Harish Bijoor told Financial Express Online.

Going ahead, the mango drinks market may further heat up and branch out into sub-segments, Harish Bijoor said with regard to the evolution of mango juice. More action could be expected as the market develops to get choosy by the origin of fruit, he said.

Origin specific mango drinks are not here in the Indian market as yet. Imagine a Kanpur mango versus a Malnad mango drinks battling one another As of now, there are niche variants that speak of Alphonso mango drink, and possibly a dominant Alphonso blend, Harish Bijoor added.

There are other brands as well which have mango fruit juices in India. Real, RAW pressery, Minute Maid have their own variants in mango juices such as RAW s Aamras.

India s mango love, however, should not be mistaken for gullibility. There have been instances where innovation cost manufacturers. One such instance is Gowardhan s milk-mixed mango juice which failed miserably, Chandramouli N told Financial Express Online.

Recently, Amul also forayed in fruit juice market, with Mango being one of the four flavours that it has launched. Just like Gowardhan s offering, Amul s Tru juice is also a milk-fruit juice blend. However, the verdict is not yet out on Amul s Tru juice.