Black alkaline water for detox: Indian firm sets sight on SEA after NZ, UAE entry
The product was first launched in India’s supermarkets, e-commerce, and food service channel last year.
Its most prominent feature is its black coloured water – a result of the unique formulation of over 70 minerals which are infused into the water. The drink, with a pH of about 8.5, claims to detox, hydrate and reduce the body’s acidity.
This month, the company will be selling its product into New Zealand and then the UAE via major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, as well as the firm’s website.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, founder and MD Aakash Vaghela said while e-commerce was the focus, the company would consider offline and the HoReCa channels once the volume had picked up.
“The UAE has always been our go-to list, it is just that we needed to spend more time for the product regulatory approval, we have just sent the shipment over and sales will commence three weeks later.
“In New Zealand, we have found a partner suitable to open the market with us,” he said.
On upcoming expansion, the company is seeking entry into South East Asian countries Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
“Hydration is very important in these countries and they are popular tourist destinations, which will allow us to introduce the drink to tourists.
“Travel has been restricted, but maybe 12 months down the road, when it resumes, we will be able to [target the tourist market].”
Despite the challenging business environment, he believes market expansion is feasible for the health and wellness segment.
“COVID-19 is surely challenging to businesses. But the crisis bought many opportunities for the health and wellness segment.”
The company will also be launching two new healthy beverages which it had spent about five months developing.
Strong online growth
Back in India, sales have started to pick up as the firm focused on the online subscription model amid a falling footfall.
Most are repeat customers from the middle-to-upper income urban population.
The alkaline drink could be taken as a replacement for normal drinking water, with not more than three bottles drank per day.
“Before COVID-19 lockdown, we made average sales of 14 lakhs (INR$1.4m, US$18k) per month from April last year to March this year. Last month, the sales had nearly tripled to 38 lakhs (INR$3.8m, US$50k).
“India had a 1.5-month lockdown and footfall in modern trade has been low since March to September, customers prefer to stay home and buy things online. As such, we started to focus on online sales and launched a subscription model since April,” he said.