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#stratalogues water wars
A strategic provocation around packaged drinking water
category in India. There are larger findings & implications relevant for Asia on the whole. But certain special provocations for Indian brands. What Bisleri can do is a provocation both for Bisleri and its competitors.
I think this is one of the most interesting categories looking at the future. However the stand alone players are going to have a tougher time, unless they build a strong, innovative & engaging brand. The cokes & the Pepsi's of the world can establish better trading terms with the retail, because of the multi-brand/larger portfolio = larger shelf space occupation.
The category is getting further split by government contracts taking a major chunk of the volumes (in terms of public transport terminals etc;), other retail is getting split-away by the alcohol brands (because of surrogate advertising needs). Example: Kingfisher water: both a surrogate and easy to market due to existing beverage distribution system in bars & pubs and alcohol retail.
There is an interesting development in the heartlands with "loose mineral water" growing as a category. It is both good & bad for the major packaged drinking water players. While it develops the category and gives it penetration and hence building the ladder for up-gradation, it also means a certain amount of trading down on occasions. Also the vast distribution of the 2-rupee pouch in snack-food places, mess.meal centres is something that the major players need to figure out how to tap into. Penetration here via 2-rupee sachets, could actually be a boon to increase penetration and distribution for their other beverages as well.
Something to think about & plan for carefully. Note: The role of social media is heavily under-utilised in this category. Digital & mobile is going to play a huge role in this category soon :).