The innovation bug has well & truly bitten the alcobev industry in terms of labels, packaging and bottling. In the changed scenario, the aspirational consumer wants to flirt with new brands, says industry veteran, Raju Vaziraney, Advisor – Brima Sagar

There has been a metamorphosis and revolution in packaging & label standards in the recent past. According to industry veteran Raju Vaziraney, Advisor, Brima Sagar, four factors have been responsible for this. One, the consumers are now fully exposed to ‘best in class’ packaging world over due to social media; two, Indian consumers are aspirational &young and are prepared to spend more for best packaged products; three, disposable income of consumers are increasing, and last but not the least, all world class brands are now available in Indian shelves, thereby making it imperative for the industry to not only compete with them but also offer better appealing packs & labels. Giving a deeper understanding of the innovation bug that has bitten the alcobev industry with regard to presentation, Raju says: “Innovation & speed is the name of the game in brand play, in India. The Indian consumers want something new all the time. He or she is prepared to try out new ideas and brand promise.” The speed with which ideas are executed on ground interms of making the innovative brands available, make the consumers try them out. It would be appropriate to mention that consumers want to flirt with new brands and switch their preferences once they get functional & emotional benefits of new brands, he goes on to add. On the difficulties that brands face, he says it is quite difficult to use technology on labels, cartons & bottles because the Indian consumers want value for money while new technology costs a lot. “Hence it is a challenge for us to offer new technology used products at affordable price. Moreover, the fatality or rejection rate of new designs is quite high. In a ‘dark environment’ on advertising it is very difficult to reach consumers with brand attributes.”

Case studies

When asked to share some case studies of Indian brands, Raju shares: “The newest idea is that of Amrut’s Amalgam Malt. The consumers want their malt and they want it at an affordable price with best liquid.”He says it is a well-known fact Amrut’s Single Malts are loved globally making the malts amongst the most sought after in travel retail as well. Picking up this brilliant quality benchmark Amrut’s made an Amalgam of Single malts inter alia using its top-seller Amrut Indian Fusion Single malt. This brand, he points out has delighted the Indian consumers. Similar is the case with Friends Rum packaged in unique shaped bottles in all SKUs. The label design and color scheme are very attractive. Raju further reveals that his company is willing to spend more to make the brands contemporary. With regards to packaging standards of Indian companies as compared with foreign brands, Rajuis quick to point out: “India is fast evolving both in packaging & product quality standards. Hence Indian companies are making extra efforts to offer better ‘winning concepts. Consumers’ tastes and preferences are fast changing and hence labels & packaging standards are fast improving, he adds.
Talking about the challenges, he says Indian label & packaging standards are fast becoming world class. The challenge is to keep the cost of goods in check so as to offer value for money to brands Talking about his projection for the coming five years, he says,“I feel there will be great design ideas coming in the next five years . The consumers want better & better brand promise all the time. They want to feel proud in drinking new idea brands.”

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