Nestle India is eyeing the emerging market of fruit-based milk drinks in India, reports The Financial Express this week. Alongside, the company is also conducting extensive market research called 'Operation Som Ras' to study the untapped chilled dairy drinks segment and its possible business potential.
According to the report Nestle India, when contacted, admitted that it was studying the segment and evaluating possible new concepts.
''Nestle is a worldwide leader in chilled dairy and in India we're looking at this category from a long-term perspective,'' the Nestle spokesperson said and added "If consumer preference indicates a potential market, then fruit-based milk drinks could be a part of our portfolio in the future."
The report continues that sources indicate that if current activity is an indication, then one of the first products being given a close look is a mango-based milk drink packaged in tetrapaks under the operational name of Nestle Natural Fruit-n-Milk. The company is also believed to be looking at other flavours such as banana, strawberry and mango.
The product is likely to be targeted at children and is expected to take on its closest competitor Britannia's Milk Man.
Nestle recently entered new-low margin high volume-businesses like bottled water, dahi, UHT milk and most recently table butter. The company has also signed a strategic alliance with Nilgiris in the south for manufacture of all 'chilled' dairy items. Earlier while talking to The Financial Express, Nestle India's CMD Mr Carlo S Donati had said that the company had tied up with the Chennai-based dairy major Nilgiris Dairy Ltd for manufacture of all 'chilled products'.
Nestle's existing dairy products profile covers infant milk formulae -Lactogen, dairy whitener, milk powder and ghee-Everyday, sweetened condensed milk-Milkmaid, UHT milk-Pure Milk, curd-Dahi and butter-Nestle Butter.