Introduction population are aiming for a healthier lifestyle

Introduction

People are becoming more health conscious in the last decade
which had brought a significant change in the beverages market. New healthier
products have been launched in the global market and achieved a major market
share in the past few years.

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India has been quite popular for its finger-licking dishes
such as spicy curries, fried puris and sugary sweets. However with the changing
times people are making a transition to healthy living. Almost half of the
country’s population are aiming for a healthier lifestyle in the next three
years according to a survey by  market intelligence firm Mintel. Healthier
lifestyle secured the first position among the list of consumers’ goals and
aspirations for the coming years.

This changing behaviour in the developing countries such as
India is primarily because of the increase in the disposable income,
urbanisation, adoption of western lifestyle, advancing technologies, growth in
economy, rise in consumer awareness and better availability & convenience. (Rao,
2000; Shetty, 2002; Deshingkar et al., 2003; Vepa, 2004; KPMG, 2005; Kaushik,
2005; Kaur and Singh, 2007; Pingali, 2007).

Few years back, fresh fruit juices were provided by the
unorganized players in the market and no with the rise in the number of juice
bars offering healthy fresh fruit juices made from the exotic ingredients
doesn’t only provide instant energy but also help us savour the most unusual
flavours.  (https://www.telegraphindia.com/1110522/jsp/graphiti/story_14011347.jsp).
Local supermarkets are now being stocked with large quantity of fruit juices
along with an increasingly number of them opting for fresh juices as well.
Carbonated drinks, energy and sports drinks, fruit juices and juice based
drinks, probiotic drinks and bottled water are showing a significant growth in
India. Within this sector, the fruit juices and juice based drinks is growing
at the fastest pace. This category is growing at around 18-20 percent each year
as compared to the carbonated soft drinks which is growing at around 6-8
percent. The fruit juices are supposed to be rich in vitamins and minerals thus
creating a favourable perception in the mind of the health conscious consumers
and making fruit juices more favourable as compared to the carbonated soft
drinks.

According to research and analyst firm Frost and Sullivan,
the good growth in the Indian economy along with a strong aspiration for a
healthier lifestyle and the growing awareness and importance of functional
ingredients such as herbs, minerals, vitamins, omega fatty acids and probiotics
are giving a rise to the demand of fruit juices market.

Fruit Juice Industry
in India

India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world
1. With a production of 82.631 million tonnes in 2013, it lacks behind only
China, which has a fruit production of 154.364 million tonnes. 2. The total
market for fruit juices is 230 million litre which includes both packed and
freshly made fruit juices. The proportion of packed fruit juices is small at
just 3.4 Million litres just over 1% of market. According to an article by the
franchise india, the Indian fruit juice market is dominated by the unorganized
players (which comprise upto 75% market share) while the organized sector,
which comprises of all the juice parlors, cafes and the packaged juices makes
up the remaining 25%. 5. There is a lot of scope for further growth as India
inches towards achieving its optimum productivity. With a population of more
than 1.3 billion, there is huge untapped market potential in the juice industry
in India.

The Indian consumers have a traditional preference for fresh
fruits and vegetables. For them drinking juice is not a new concept. Street
juice vendors have been famous among the localities for years. Fruit juices
sold by these unorganized players are considered to be fresher and cheaper by
these consumers along with some of them perceiving it to be unhygienic.
According to a market research report by Euromonitor, titled ‘Juice in India’,
“Juice is expected to increase in both off-trade volume value at a CAGR of 17%
at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period, with sales set to rise to INR
27,250 crores in value and 4.1 billion litres in volume by 2021” 3. In 2016,
the fruit juice market in India was valued at INR 12,500 crores and 1.8 billion
litres by volume. Increasing consciousness for health and diet is undoubtedly
one of the main factor contributing to this phenomenal growth. As a matter of
fact, juice is nowadays no longer considered as a luxury for the middle class
consumers in the urban and semi urban areas as the population is becoming more
health conscious and are understanding the nutritional importance of fruits and
making them an important ingredient of their daily diet. This increase in the
consumer interest and the spending on the fruit juices has led to a considerable
interest in the fruit juice market.

Categorically, fruit juice industry can be divided into
three main categories: 1) Fruit drinks (which can contain a maximum of 30%
fruit concentration. It also accounts for nearly 60% of the market share) 2)
Fruit juices (having 100% fruit content with a market share of 30%) and 3)
Nectars (containing 25-90% fruit content and yet accounting for only 10%
market) 4. As the consumers are becoming more aware about the proportion of
fruit content in their drinks, they have started to prefer nectars and fruit
juices in comparison to fruit drinks. If we consider the sales data, we find
that orange in the 100% fruit juice category, apple in the nectars category and
mango in the fruit drinks segment emerged out as most favored flavors.

India has seen a rise in the number of juice outlets in the
last decade. Various chained branded outlets have sprung up in the recent past.
The most notable among these are HAS Juice bar, which has 13 juice outlets
spread across Mumbai 6, and is looking to expand outside as well, Joost Juice
bars, which is actually a spin-off of the global juice chain Boost juices, has
5 outlets across Delhi-NCR and is all set up for its expansion in Gujrat 7
and Juice Lounge which has 21 stores across India and has expanded globally to
Bahrain, Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Dubai and Qatar. 8. According to a recent
report by Euromonitor titled ‘Cafés/Bars in India’, the total number of
juice/smoothie bars in the country stands at 3896 in 2016 and this number is
increasing at the rate of 3.6 % annually. 9

The fruit juice market is rapidly increasing day by day and
for every fruit juice there is a certain amount of market share however the
real holding of the market share depends upon the identity of the product which
includes the price, brand, quantity, quality, availability, packaging, flavour,
etc.

Research Gap

Recently the fruit juice industry is growing in the country
and getting adapted to the Indian consumers’ requirements and needs. The
younger generations are a crucial part of this industry along with the other
age groups slowly joining in.

Saroj Hiremath and E.J.Jagtap (2011) have examined the
consumer behaviour and brand loyalty for tetra packed juices in Pune City,
Maharashtra, India in their study. Their study mainly focuses on the consumers’
awareness and buying behaviour of the packed fruit juices of different brands.

However, no such research literature is available on “fresh”
fruit juices preferences of consumers’ especially young consumers in India.
Keeping in view the Indian habits and changing preferences towards food
consumption, this study has its focus to understand the factors affecting the
perception of Indian youth, in the age group of 20-30 years, towards
consumption of fresh fruit juices as well as towards making choice of such
outlets. This article that is based on an exploratory study is an effort to ?ll
that gap in the literature in the context of India.

With the development and modernization of the beverages
retail chains mainly by the big players including Café Coffee Day and Starbucks
and the changes in the buying behaviour of the consumers, the retail market for
fresh fruit juices is growing by leaps and bounds. To make a mark in this
growing organized retail market in the country, corporate organizations are
entering this segment. These organizations have started investing large amounts
of money creating retail chains throughout the country. Given this situation of
the rising demand of the retail fruit juice chains, there is a need to  understand the consumer psychology and buying
behaviour for starting a fresh fruit juice retail market structure.

Objectives

The major objective for this study is to identify a
diversified set of preferences of consumers for the fresh fruit juice market
which could help in the better decision making by the retail chains emerging in
the organized fruit juice market. This analysis of the buying behaviour of the
youth consumers has a greater relevance for this emerging market of fresh fruit
juices because the consumers belonging to this age group are potentially the
main target group for the retail chain culture.

A number of studies have concluded that a thorough
understanding of the consumer perception of fresh fruit juices are important
factors for understanding the market orientation and successfully utilizing the
market opportunities. Thus the main purpose of this research paper is to
identify the various influencing factors affecting the buying decision of the
Indian youth consumers.

There has not been any study, which has covered these issues
(as discussed above), especially in Indian context. Essentially, the study
would attempt to answer the following specific research questions:

·        
To identify the factors affecting the choice of
(Indian youth) consumers for beverages.

·        
To study the consumption pattern towards fresh
fruit juices particularly with respect to the frequency of visits and choice of
organized and unorganized outlets. .

·        
To identify the important influencing factors
such as hygiene, nutritional value of fresh fruit juices, etc. on consumer
purchase decision.

·        
To estimate the willingness to pay for a glass
of juice in a branded outlet

Fruit juice and
consumer perception

Consumer perception varies according to the products and the
industry depending upon some salient characteristics. This study shows the consumer
preferences with respect to the fresh fruit juice industry.

Consumer buying behaviour is a generic term that explains
the consumer preferences, perception and choices for a particular product. This
behaviour reflects in the identity, acceptance and the marketing share of the
product. The response of the consumers and the buying pattern provides the
required data for the modification leading to the growth of the product in the
market. The objective of the study deals with the preferences and demands for
fresh fruit juices outlets and chain which can be found out from the consumers’
buying behaviour and parameters like choices, availability, convenience,
quality, price and delivery mode. The demand also depends upon some external
factors mainly seasonality, promotional activities, etc. We can say that the
consumer buying behaviour has been influenced by a number of cultural,
economic, psychological and lifestyle factors (Shaw et al., 1993; Brokaw and
Lakshman, 1995; Asp, 1999; Roux et al., 2000; Roslow et al., 2000; Roininen, 2001;
Choo et al., 2004; Ling et al., 2004; Ahlgren et al., 2004; Goyal and Singh,
2007; Nagla, 2007).

Fruit juice industry is a very fast growing industry in
world as well as in India especially in urban areas (small and large cities).
India, often considered to have lesser consumer awareness 11, 12 has also
started becoming conscious of healthy and low preservative drinks. There is an
ever increasing focus by marketers to understand the changing consumer
perceptions and needs in the industry. Consumers have now become more selective
in their choices and have started giving more importance to factors like
convenience, freshness and quality of the products (Quagrainie et al., 1998;
Acebro ´n et al., 2000). In addition, a rising consumer preference for shopping
convenience is promoting the growth of modern retailing in India, which in turn
requires greater ef?ciency, safety and quality standards in the supply chain
(Chengappa et al., 2005; Mukherjee and Patel, 2005; Umali-Deininger and Sur,
2007). Besides, consumers are now becoming more conscious in terms of
nutritional diet and hygiene issues and have started preferring quality food
intake (Ruth and Yeung, 2001; Rimal et al., 2001).

The local fresh fruit juice shops are more popular in the
tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India, where it is perceived that the fresh juice
is healthier than the packaged juice due to no preservatives (also identified
by this research). Another reason for their popularity is that the price of the
packaged juice is more expensive than the fresh juice. Becker 1965 etc
acknowledge that monetary price is not the only “sacrifice” consumers
make to buy the product. Consumer also incurs an implicit or explicit time,
search and psychic costs. Also, a price-perceived quality relationship is not
found to exist in general13.Therefore, for e.g.: it is not necessary that a
higher priced branded juice in a flashy branded bar will be perceived as better
quality one as compared to a local vendor by a consumer. There are other
factors at play which are contingent to the product. The uses of price as
quality indicator depends on consumer’s ability to detect quality variations,
price variation within the class of product, his price awareness among others.

The perceived value by the consumer is a major determinant
of the consumer purchase behaviour patterns (14,15,16). Past research has
considered price, quality, quantity and other factors to estimate the perceived
value by the consumers. However, the perceived value doesn’t necessarily imply
the success of a product as the consumer suffers from dissonance in his
attitude, perceived value as well as his consumption patterns.  Therefore,
consumer perception of price, value and quality are pivotal elements for
shopping behaviour and consumer choice but can’t be the sole determinants of
the product’s failure or success. Further, as noted by Zeithaml 1988, it is
important to understand that which type of cue-intrinsic or extrinsic-is more
important in signaling quality to the consumer.  Consumer depends more on
intrinsic values at the point of consumption especially in pre-purchase
situations when intrinsic attributes are search attributes(instead of
experience ones). Extrinsic attributes are preferred when intrinsic cues are
unavailable or their evaluation is difficult or more time consuming13.

With the changing times, we are witnessing a more educated
and aware consumer base in the fresh juice industry and thus it becomes very important
to visit the ground and understand the consumer perceptions about the fresh fruit
juice industry and its outlets along with the factors which influence or can
potentially influence the consumers’ purchase decisions.

 

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