Godrej Beverages and Foods is talking with Ahmedabad-based Sheelpe Enterprises to market its mineral water brand AAVA. AAVA, which is sourced from the Aravalli range, is retailed in Gujarat, Mumbai and Pune.
Godrej says it wants to take AAVA beyond western markets. Godrej is also negotiating with source suppliers for its own brand of fortified water.
A Mahendran, Director, Godrej Beverages & Foods says, "We are getting offers of source supply from the Himalayas and the foothills of the Himalayas. One or two sources are available from Kathmandu as well, one in Gujarat. Certainly we will look at entering value added water."
The bottled water industry in India is worth Rs1,000 crore and is growing at 40 per cent a year. By 2010, it's expected to reach about Rs5,000 crore with mineral water accounting for a third of that.
It's here that companies are parking their money. Market leader Bisleri will introduce its mountain water variant later this month. Seebuckthorn Indage, which makes Lee Berry Juice will launch spring water soon. Coca-Cola is also believed to be eyeing stake in Himalayan, a market leader in mineral water.
Analysts say this shift from packaged water to premium fortified water is a strategy to cope with shrinking margins and stiff competition. Water, it seems, might do more for Godrej than quench thirst.