India iced tea innovation: Shark Tank-backed Beyond Water launches first RTD products with strong health focus

By Si Ying Thian

- Last updated on GMT

India's functional beverage company recently launched its first RTD product with a strong health focus © Beyond Water
India's functional beverage company recently launched its first RTD product with a strong health focus © Beyond Water

Related tags Rtd tea RTD Tea Healthier choice beverage low sugar functional beverage

India’s Beyond Water has launched its first ready-to-drink (RTD) iced tea in India, tapping on high-quality tea sourcing and consumers demand for healthier beverages.

The functional beverage company launched RTD iced tea, available in peach and lemon flavours, last month across India.

The 250ml bottled tea is made available via its website and the biggest online delivery apps such as Instamart, Blinkit and Zepto.

Product appeal

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​, co-founder Devang Singhania highlighted that its product uses single estate tea leaves – known for its higher quality – harvested and processed within two weeks and directly sourced from his family-owned estate, and it also comes with lower calorie and sugar levels.

Ingredient list for its RTD iced lemon tea © Beyond Water

The firm highlighted on its website that a classic iced tea comes with 30g sugar, while its product only contains 6g sugar.

Singhania explained that it launched with a low-sugar version and not a no-sugar version as local consumers are still more used to sweetened beverages although it is noticing an increasing preference towards healthy and clean beverages.

Beyond Water was started two years ago to provide healthy and clean beverages to the Indian market.

Its capital raise from the reality television show Shark Tank India led the firm to launch its first RTD product. Singhania pointed out that its RTD iced tea was relatively easier for consumers to understand compared to its other products, which are vitamin concentrates and cocktail mixers.

Pricing and distribution strategy

It has priced its product comparatively to some of the multinational tea giants dominating the RTD iced tea market in India, at 60 rupees per can.

“In India, price competitiveness is key. If a product is a little bit expensive, people may not be willing to spend too much of their wallet on a smaller brand to try new products. We’ve come to the strategy to price it at par with the available brands, and we found that people are more willing to try when it’s at par.”

“We want consumers to at least try what iced teas are and take a call for themselves. So, we’re going in as a mass premium brand.”

The pricing strategy in India is also justified by the market being less mature compared to its Asian counterparts like China and Japan.

Targeting younger consumers from 18 to 30 years, the firm has partnered with cloud kitchens and food delivery apps to RTD tea into their offerings, as well as to availing it in the airports of the major Indian cities. 

FoodNavigator-Asia​ had earlier published an analysis​ about innovating the tea category to appeal to younger consumers.

The firm is looking to enter mass-market retailers in India by 2024, and currently in talks with distributors from the Middle East and South East Asia to launch the product for export around the same period.

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