Traditional beverages include Aam Panna and Aamras (both made from mangoes), Jal-Jeera (literally translating to cumin water from Hindi) which is a beverage also used in Pani Puris, and Kashmiri Khawah – a tea made from a spice mix for cold regions. Milk-based drinks include tea, commonly known as chai; while coffee is also popular. Lassi (a yogurt-based drink either sweet or salted) or buttermilk among other variants. Nutrient-balancing milk drinks also have an important place in the beverage market in India. Brands such as Bournvita, Boost, Complan, and Horlicks were household names.
Among a myriad traditional alcoholic drinks, Bhaang and Kallu or toddy seemed to be popular. The former is made from buttermilk and cannabis and is commonly consumed during the festival of Holi, primarily in the northern regions. Toddy is tapped from coconut trees. Indigenous alcohol of this variety from different parts of the country make up the country liquor segment of India’s alcohol market.
With economic growth, increasing urbanization and the ease of travelling worldwide, Indians have the choice to cater to their changing consumption patterns. This has led to carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages acquiring a significant share of the market across the country. Not surprisingly, urban areas held a larger share compared to rural India. This segment was expected to grow exponentially and diversify to include a fusion of drinks in the years to come. Furthermore, the convenience of being ready-to-drink and easily available works in favor of the big players including Pepsi (supplied by Varun Beverages), Coca-Cola, Parle Agro, and Dabur.