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Flavoured Water Can Potentially Take The Indian Beverage Industry By Storm

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Flavoured water is the new phenomenon that is likely to take the Indian beverage industry by storm. It is expected to serve as a refreshing alternative to sodas, colas, juices and other sweetened beverages.

The concept is not new. We have historical evidences that Indian Maharajas drank water with Indian Herbs to stay healthy and fit. Water processing units now are busy exploring ways to add as much Indian herbs as possible into our daily dose of drinking water not only to diversify their business but also to add value to their struggling bottled water industry.

Adding herbs to drinking water has been in vogue in many parts of our country. In Kerala, in most of the hotels jeera water is being served even today. It is the effortless way to stay healthy.

Potentially Flavoured water can promote a healthy lifestyle as the flavours make people consume more water, which will make them healthy. Our country has a rich herbal treasure like vettiver, athimathuram, vallarai, ginger, seeragam, brahmi, tulasi, nimbu, pudina, orange, amla, narangi, hibiscus, samandhi, jasmine, etc., meaning consumers get a variety of flavours to choose from.

Definition of flavoured water
Definitions and Standard proposed by International Herbal Water Foundation (IHWF).

Flavored Water – Beverage – Non Alcoholic.
“Flavored Water” shall mean *Purified water containing Natural Flavours or Nature identical Flavouring Substances not more than 0.02 ~0.05% derived from extracts of **Herbs, Fruits or parts of Plant origin, flavor concentrates in minute traces, singly or in combination. It contains No color, no more of flavor No sweeteners no Carbonated gas no calories. It gives Calories: 0, Total fat 0g, Saturated fat 0g, Trans fat 0g, Total carbs 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 0g

“Sweetened Flavored Water” shall mean *Purified water containing Natural Flavours or Nature identical Flavouring Substances not more than 0.02 ~0.05% derived from extracts of **Herbs, Fruits or parts of Plant origin, flavor concentrates in minute traces, singly or in combination with added artificial sweeteners permitted under PFA Rules, 1955.

*Purified Water = Purified Water Means water that conforms to standards prescribed for Packaged Drinking Water under PFA Rules, 1955 and as per IS-14543. It undergoes multi-stage filtration like sand filtration , carbon filtration, RO purification, Ozonisation, UV treatment Etc. It is free from Microbiological / Chemical contamination, Radioactive residues and Pesticide Residues for quality and standards set by Government of India for industries like soft drink, Beverage, Brewery, fruit juice, Milk and food processing industry, where water require more hygiene as per PFA Rules, 1955.

Herbs are plants of botanical origin and names conforming to Wealth of India or glossary of Indian medicinal plant or similar publication of NISCON (National Institute of Scientific Communication,) and common herbs Defined by Department of AYUSH.

“Herbs extracted Water” shall mean *Purified water with added herbs singly or in combination distilled & packed It shall contain Natural Color of Herbs, (Eg:) Natural sweetness of herbs, Natural Aroma of Herbs,

“Herbal water” shall mean *Purified water added with herbal Concentrates obtained singly or in combination. It shall contain Natural Color of Herbs, ( Eg:) Natural sweetness of herbs, Natural Aroma of Herbs.

Flavoured water – Industry perspective
Though flavoured water was introduced in 2004, it is not widely available now. There has not been a coordinated effort from processing units, distributors and other retailers. We can say that flavoured water is still going through the initial resistance as every new innovation had to undergo before being accepted. During the initial research, expectedly, flavoured water has received tremendous response among the Indian consumers. It is a welcome addition to quench the thirst of every Indian consumer.

Indian flavours are receiving world wide acceptance and liking now. For example, Maaza and Frooti, which use Indian mango flavours. The product received worldwide acceptance for its taste and flavor. We also get pizzas, burger, pickles, papads, chips served with Indian spices and Indian flavours. Even many multinational companies have started using Indian flavours in their products.

Without much debate, we can conclude that in India, with Indian flavours, flavored water will certainly be widely accepted. Availability of more flavours will provide more choice to the consumers, which in turn will open a new market for water processing units and shop keepers, resulting in increased business, profits and finally wide consumer acceptance and satisfaction. .

Additionally flavored water will make consumers consume more water. Drinking more water will naturally bring them health benefits.

Flavoured water – business perspective
By nature, humans prefer sweet-tasting liquid. So, we are naturally inclined to drink something that tastes better than the tasteless water. By gut feel we can ascertain that flavoured water has a huge market as far as India is concerned. When packaged well and offered at right price, this is sure to explode.

Despite the steep increase in consumption and demand, purified water industry is not growing as quickly as it potentially can. Water processing units had to manage mounting operational cost, unprecedented competition from unauthorised players, stiff competition from purification gadgets and pressing regulatory constraints. Flavoured water comes as a blessing in disguise. It is the much needed diversification that water processing units are eagerly waiting for. It is the ready-to-grab option that they can explore and prosper.

Many units have understood that it makes complete business & economic sense to produce flavoured water as they have a very narrow scope for growth & prosperity in their existing packaged drinking water business. A fact supported by growing number of water processing units venturing into producing flavoured water in India.

IHWF – The force behind flavoured water revolution in India
To integrate the flavoured water processing units and to guide them on processing, regulatory and other issues, INTERNATIONAL HERBAL WATER FOUNDATION (IHWF), a non-profit organization formed by experts from bottled water industry works over time. The foundation aims at developing, implementing and monitoring quality & hygiene standards for Flavored Water and offers technological assistance and other resources.

The foundation is the single point source for all flavoured water enthusiasts, be it for knowledge sharing or for operational guidance or for regulatory consultation, the foundation readily serves the need.

IHWF is a very competent organization having eminent scientists, water analysts, manufacturers. lawyers and retired government officials to offer assistance & guidance whenever required. IHWF has also commissioned research to include more Indian flavours so that consumers get variety of flavours to taste and relish.

The organization has developed a proposed draft standard for flavoured water, which was sent to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The proposed standard is being reviewed by the technical committee set up by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India. IHWF is hopeful that it would be approved and enforced as a standard for flavoured water processing.

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Friday, November 24, 2:39 pm

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