In 1863, the Perrier saga began; bubbles taken from a French spring were bottled, ready to satisfy people’s thirst. In 1898, Dr. Louis Perrier became the owner of the spring, which would later take his illustrious name. The iconic green bottle is recognised around the world as the number one carbonated water. Based in Mumbai, Hindustan Liquids is the sole exclusive importers of Perrier and supplies it across India to hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes. In an exclusive Chandni Kohli Dhall, chief marketing officer, Hindustan Liquids – Perrier, India speaks about the Covid-19 impact on the carbonated water market, HoReCa’s contribution to sales and the new distribution channels the company is looking to build presence in India
How has Covid-19 impacted the carbonated bottled water market, globally and in India? Does the brand have a strong supply chain in place to deal with lockdown restrictions?
Covid-19 has had an impact on the industry but as I see it Carbonated water is an acquired taste, so people who drink Carbonated water day in day out are going to continue drinking it. Hence it becomes a daily drinking water which can be consumed 24×7.
People can’t do without water, and as a brand we have to make sure we supply to the needs of our consumers. Hindustan Liquids has a very strong supply-chain and we ensure that the safety measures are in place while doing so. We work round the clock to ensure there are no delays from our end. This is why even during the lockdown we have managed to make sure the supplies to the modern trade and e-commerce don’t get affected.
Perrier is known for its nutrients and in these immunity-boosting times, this is a huge advantage. Comments.
Consumers are increasingly concerned on improving immune function – a very large percent are inclined towards purchasing beverages and foods with immune-health benefit.
Perrier is definitely a healthy alternative drink in comparison to CSD’s and other artificially flavoured drinks available in the market. Health has become a priority for most consumers and hence they are shifting their choices from sugary or artificially sweetened beverages to naturally carbonated water. This is definitely a huge advantage for the brand.
The versatility of the product, helps it to be used with immune healthy ingredients like lemon or any citrus fruits which makes it easy for the consumer to get fresh dose of Vitamin C as well directly by having it with Perrier.
How much does the HoReCa sector contribute to sales of Perrier in India?
Perrier is available widely in most restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes. Naturally, HoReCa channels do contribute a huge amount of our volumes and sales but slowly with the shift in these times, we have seen retail and e-commerce also picking up very well. Of course it can’t fill the gap of HoReCa, but we are slowly getting there.
Therefore, keeping the pandemic situation aside, maximum sales come from HoReCa consumption, followed by retail and then e-commerce.
New distribution channels/formats?
Currently, Perrier is easily available at all our HoReCa partners, in all leading retail stores like Food Hall, 24×7, Natures Basket, Amazon, and etc. and we continue exploring more e-commerce platforms to expand.
Keeping the Covid-19 situation in mind, we plan to grow the distribution channel through the new age delivery apps and e-commerce platforms. It’s amazing how we are able to order anything and everything at home now and that’s exactly our aim. Anyone and everyone should be able to order Perrier from home anywhere.
Perrier also has a presence in all major airports India as Hindustan Liquids has secured an exclusive contract with TFS in the Carbonated water category.
Which regions in India contribute the most to revenues? Are Tier 2 and 3 cities growing markets for Perrier?
Carbonated water market has huge potential in India. We have seen an ever rising growth since our launch in 2015. Consumers are more aware of carbonated water and the brands available in the market.
Metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore are the biggest markets for Perrier. But I have to say, with the increase in use of data and lessening of communication gap due to the rise of usage of social media platforms, tier 2 and 3 cities are showing immense potential. Though, it is a complete different target audience but we do see growth in sales from these cities.
India market is still a nascent market for mineral water…is it mature enough for evolving to carbonated water?
India is one of the most promising markets in the world. It’s developing fast and it’s a constantly growing market. People are exploring different kinds of water other than mineral water and I don’t think it makes the carbonated water industry a nascent market in 2020 with so much awareness around.
In the last 3 years, there has been a huge growth in terms of new brands entering the water market industry and types of water scouting India. Local as well as international brands are all to be seen here and very easily available. India also has huge potential since it has a very large whiskey culture and the mixology culture Is growing rapidly with the number of bars and restaurants that are ever increasing.
The market is expected to reach Rs 403 billion by the end of 2023, from its current value of Rs 160 billion, expanding at an annual compound growth rate of 20.75 per cent from 2018. So the industry is definitely evolving I would say.
Future footprint for the brand in India?
The Indian market is economically strong and is growing at a rapid pace. Perrier is not only the number 1 carbonated water in the world but its’ also number 1 in India. Currently, our market share in India is about 85 per cent in the imported carbonated water segment.
Our plan is to expand operations in the Indian market by reaching out to a wider audience through added associations and collaborations. We also have specific campaigns planned over the year with multiple activations to look forward to.
Our initial strategy was to start with on ground events and activations as we want our consumers to feel the brand but keeping the current situation in mind, we plan to expand our reach and operations with our digital platforms in India in the upcoming months.
As a brand that is 150-year old, Perrier is seen as a drink that can be consumed anytime and anywhere. It is a very versatile drink which With Perrier Anytime we are focusing to market and position Perrier as a beverage that can be consumed 24×7.