The beverage, a combination of raspberry and blackcurrant flavours with a secret blend of 25 herbs and spices, will be manufactured at Iceberg’s production plants in the national capital and Bangalore.
It will initially be available in Tamil Nadu, where berry beverages have proved popular among consumers, before later being rolled out to other parts of the country.
“This is a proud moment for us and we are glad to be associated with this nostalgic product,” said Kishore Agarwal, managing director of Iceberg Foods, adding that the current hot spell of weather in India should benefit the launch.
With a portfolio that includes Kingfisher packaged drinking water, RC Cola and Capri-Sun, Iceberg is currently looking to expand its ready-to-drink beverages lines while venturing into new markets.
“We are positive that Vimto will be well received and help us augment our growth in the ready-to-drink sector,” said Agarwal.
Marnie Millard, chief executive of Vimto’s parent, said that India holds a very special place in the historyof her company, as it was one of the first international destinations for Vimto exports, in 1920.
“Fast forward almost 100 years, we’re excited to be opening this next chapter of the long-standing relationship between India and Vimto.”
Nichols admitted earlier this year that the Vimto brand was struggling to grow in Britain at a time when increased sugar awareness has been hurting soft drink sales.
It has, however, found sales success in overseas markets, particularly in the Middle East, where Vimto is widely consumed, especially by Muslims after fasting during Ramadan.
Reported export sales last year totalled £24.4m (US$35.2m), an increase of £400,000 despite shipping difficulties due to conflicts in the Middle East.
“Whilst the UK market remains challenging, our international business has continued to deliver good growth,” Nichols said at the time.
More stories from South Asia…
Government must ease logistics policies to aid India’s competitiveness
India could save up to US$50bn a year an be more competitive in global market if the proportion of GDP spent on warehousing and infrastructure were reduced from 14% to 9%, according to an Assocham study.
“With expected inflow of new investments owing to government’s thrust on promoting the domestic manufacturing sector, India’s cargo and logistics industry is likely to clock a compounded annual growth rate of about 16% over the next few years,” said the study, a collaboration between the industry representative body and Resurgent India, a knowledge firm.
“The ‘Make in India,’ campaign will see investments connect India to global production networks that would generate new business for logistics in the country, thereby making it an attractive location to do business as compared to other regions in the world,” it said.
“Growth in the logistics sector would imply improved service delivery and customer satisfaction, thereby leading to growth in exports of Indian goods and potential to create job opportunities.”
Yet the government must put new infrastructure in place bring down costs and keep pace with development in other countries, it cautioned.
“Appropriate policy changes and opening up capacity together with increase in speed for transportation of goods and services through rail, road, water and others is imperative for the growth of the cargo and logistics industry in India,” said DS Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.
“Transportation of bulk commodities through waterways can free up capacity for fast-moving goods, besides setting benchmarks and standards for industry will drive uniformity of warehouses, storage and transport equipment.”
To encourage infrastructure investment, cheap capital should be made available to logistics service providers, alton with longer credit periods, the study suggested.
“The government should create a uniform tax structure and do away with multiple checkpoints and documentation requirements which would lead to speedier delivery of cargo,” it said.
It also highlighted that passage of a new goods and services tax would further improve the logistics sector’s performance by bringing down distribution costs by up to 15%.
Regulator cracks down on illegal packaged drinking water manufacturers
India’s food regulator has directed state food safety officials to identify cases where packaged drinking water brands do not carry either the FSSAI or Bureau of Indian Standards’ certification marks, and take strict action in cases where the regulations are not met.
Recently, the authority issued an order to say that it had received reports from the BIS about violations packaged water manufacturers.
“It has been reported that a large number of companies are engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of packaged drinking water without FSSAI/BIS certification mark,” the order said.
“It has also been brought to notice by BIS that several complaints have been received on mushrooming growth of units in various states manufacturing and selling packaged drinking water without BIS certification.”
The the terms of the Food Safety and Standards Act, “No person shall manufacture, sell or exhibit for sale packaged drinking water and mineral water except under the Bureau of Indian Standards certification mark” and that state officials should act against violators.
“Further it is also requested to furnish all the details regarding the number of inspections undertaken, samples collected of the packaged drinking water and found contravening to the prescribed regulations under the Act and the subsequent action taken in the case,” the order added.
Meanwhile, according to industry sources, the order was welcomed by the industry. Indian Beverage Association sources say that strict action must be taken against the violators.
Arjuna Natural to launch amaranthus-based nitrate booster
Kerala-based extracts manufacturer Arjuna Natural will launch a new standardised nitrate sports nutrition ingredient this month that claims to help athletes work out harder for longer.
Oxystorm, made from an extract of amaranthus, delivers 9,000mg of nitrate per 100g—more than beetroot powder or beet juice—according to clinical research.
Offered as a powder, Oxystorm is highly water-soluble and has a neutral pH, the ingredient can be used in a range of applications including energy bars and sport drinks, the brand said.
Clinical research published in January in the journal Nutrition shows that a single oral dose of amaranthus extract can increase the levels of nitrate and nitrite in the body for at least eight hours. Such an increase can help improve the overall performance of people engaged in dynamic sports and other physical activities.
“There is a growing demand for nitrate for athletes in sports nutrition products, and Oxystorm fits well into this slot,” said Benny Antony, joint managing director of Arjuna.
“Simultaneously, it addresses hypertension and demonstrates several cardiovascular health benefits.”
Bacteria in the mouth convert nitrate to nitrite that is then circulated in the bloodstream. When low oxygen levels are available, nitrite is converted into nitric oxide, which is known to play a number of key roles in cardiovascular health and metabolic control.
Dietary nitrate supplementation increases plasma nitrite concentration and reduces resting blood pressure.
“Beetroot powder and beet juice have typically been used to support nitrite levels but they contain comparatively low levels of nitrate in a typical serving. Moreover, the nitrate amount can vary widely based on where and how the plants were harvested and processed,” added Antony.
“Oxystorm is a potent form of nitrate for sports nutrition applications. It’s standardised to 9-10% nitrate content. But almost important is what isn’t in Oxystorm: reducing sugars and oxalates. Many beet-based products contain relatively high amounts of inherent reducing sugars and oxalates.”
Godrej Nature’s Basket appoints new chief
Avani Davda will take over as managing director of Godrej Nature’s Basket, the speciality food chain chain, while her predecessor, Mohit Khattar, will take on a new group-level role at Godrej Group.
Tanya Dubash, executive director and chief brand officer, said: “Avani comes with a wealth of experience in retail, business strategy and brand building. I am positive that she will help scale the business to greater heights and wish her the very best in her new assignment.”
Earlier, Davda had previously been chief executive of Starbucks’ joint-venture with Tata, and at 33, the youngest person to occupy such a position at the Tata group when she assumed the role. In 2014, she was ranked thirteenth most innovative woman in food and drink by Fortune and Food & Wine.
Dubash added that Godrej group had created the role of head of retail strategy and branding for Khattar to move to, in line with the company’s “strategic approach to managing and synergising benefits” of the group’s retail potential. He will work across all Godrej’s businesses.
High temperatures cause lentil prices to double
Indian lentil prices have more than doubled over the last year, with reduced production volumes in the 2015-16 season contributing to a 117% year-on-year cost increase.
The country’s lentil production is set to be reduced by 18% this year, to 400,000 tonnes, according to Mintec, a commodities analyst.
This is due to extremely high temperatures across the major growing regions during the monsoon season which damaged the crop harvested between February and March.
As a result, Indian lentil imports, mainly from Canada, have increased. Between August 2015 and February 2016, India imported some 250,000 tonnes of lentils from Canada, up almost 50% compared to the same period last year.
Consumption is also forecast to rise slightly by 1% year on year, while ending stocks are expected to fall significantly by 88% this year.