Friday, June 14, 2024

Successful Brand-Retailer Partnerships in Beverages

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The beverage category is highly elastic in nature and sensitive to changes in price, consumer preferences, and market dynamics. In this context, retail chains and supermarkets, serves as a pivotal channel for beverage brands aiming to enhance their market presence and reach consumers effectively.

One key strategy for beverage brands to leverage Modern Trade is through innovative partnership initiatives with retailers. This collaboration enables brands to explore novel ways of driving penetration and increasing sales. One such approach is the implementation of loyalty programs, which incentivize consumers to make repeat purchases by offering rewards, discounts, or exclusive offers. By partnering with retailers to integrate loyalty programs into their platforms, beverage brands can enhance customer engagement, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately drive sales volume.

Moreover, activations on digital platforms have emerged as a strategic tool for beverage brands to connect with consumers and amplify their brand presence in Modern Trade channels. Digital activations encompass various online initiatives, such as social media campaigns, influencer collaborations, and interactive content, aimed at engaging consumers and driving traffic to retail outlets. By leveraging digital platforms, beverage brands can effectively target and reach their desired audience segments, create buzz around new product launches or promotions, and ultimately drive footfall and sales in Modern Trade stores.

In essence, the partnership between beverage brands and Modern Trade retailers opens up avenues for innovation and collaboration, allowing brands to tap into the dynamic nature of the beverage market and adapt to evolving consumer preferences.

By implementing loyalty programs and leveraging digital activations, brands can enhance their visibility, engagement, and sales performance within the Modern Trade landscape, ultimately driving growth and success in the competitive beverage industry.

Here are some successful brand-retailer partnerships in the beverage category:

Coca-Cola and JioMart Partner held joint business planning in October 2021,deciding on a future-back strategy for the launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in India, a first in India. Over 90 days, they collaborated on a live stream launch, engaging 1.5 lakh JioMart merchants. The collaboration led to a 5X spike in Coca-Cola’s business across JioMart, with 5X growth in the cans portfolio.

Similarly, partnering with Le Marche boosted Schweppes sales, increasing average bill value by 3% and buyer penetration from 14% to 19%. This innovative approach created excitement and drove significant growth for both brands.

HUL partnered with MORE Retail to promote Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care (RLNC) amid rising immunity concerns post-COVID. Targeting south India, they launched thematic market activations during Pongal, featuring RLNC with jaggery. Objectives included increasing RLNC’s market share, encouraging up-trading, and attracting new consumers to premium tea. Results included deeper brand penetration, higher bill value, and sustainable growth, recruiting 26,000 new customers and retaining 34% afterward. RLNC’s contribution to the packaged tea category rose from 40% to 60% during the activation, stabilizing at 55% year-to-date. This success inspired other brands to launch similar “natural care” variants.

Dabur partnered with Reliance Retail to launch Real Fruit Masala Juice, addressing post-Covid health concerns and consumer needs for convenient, hygienic juice options. The collaboration led to the creation of a new masala juice sub-category in the nectars segment. Real Fruit Masala Juice became a blockbuster product, thanks to Reliance Retail’s effective retailing and merchandising strategy.

Marketed as an evening drink and for entertaining guests, the attractively priced product gained strong consumer uptake. Within a year and a half, Dabur sold over 2.4 million units, capturing a 15% share in the Real Juices category and achieving 4X sales growth. This success created a new sub-category within nectars, attracting new customers and dominating key parameters like average selling price and per store throughput.

In November 2019, ITC partnered with Reliance Retail to boost its B Natural juice brand. Despite setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the collaboration revived the declining juice category. B Natural retained fiber in its juice, establishing itself as a wholesome product. Reliance Retail managed the supply chain and retailing, positioning B Natural prominently in stores. This led to a significant increase in market share to 52% at Reliance Retail, acquiring 2.1 lakh new customers. By December 2022, B Natural became the top-selling juice brand at Reliance Retail, with over 8 lakh regular customers.

From a retail perspective, these brands have emerged as hot sellers, underscoring the potential for niche offerings to thrive in a competitive market landscape.

For both established brands and new entrants seeking to navigate the complexities of the beverage industry, the importance of innovation, differentiation, and consumer engagement in driving success and market growth of the category is essential.

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