Lactaris India, part of the French Lactaris Group, has entered the Indian yogurt category with the launch of the Raki Turbo Yogurt Drink in Chennai. The company claimed that this was the first such drink in India.
“On-the-go” drinks are served in mango and strawberry flavors.Thicker than that Lassie Rahul Kumar, managing director of Lactalis India, said at a virtual press conference that the presence of protein and fruit would pack it into an open pouch and cost Rs. 15. He added that this drink contains all the benefits of all-natural premium French quality yogurt. The drink will be available in Bangalore, followed by a gradual release in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and northern and western India by January 2022, he said.
According to Kumar, yogurt drinks with snacks are targeted at young Indians who are “on the go.” The total market size of yogurt is about 500 billion rupees, and the company expects 20% market penetration.
In India, fermented dairy products have always been part of daily food intake. However, yogurt is relatively new and is largely restricted to a niche audience living in big cities.
“We want to use Lactel Turbo Yogurt drinks to bring the goodness of yogurt to a discerning audience in a snackable drink format,” Kumar said. In countries like France, yogurt is part of the breakfast, but in India it’s consumed all day, he added.
Raki Turbo Yogurt Drinks are manufactured at the Tilmara Milk Factory in Mermal Vatur near Chennai. Lactalis acquired Thirumala in 2014.
On Lactel’s trip to India, Kumar said UHT milk was launched in October 2020 and yogurt is being drunk today. He said the company will launch fruit yogurt in October and Greek yogurt in January 2022.
Lactalis India has been involved in the Indian dairy industry for over 7 years with the acquisition of Thirumala Milk in South India in 2014, Anik Milk in North India in 2016 and Prabhat Dairy in West India in 2019.
“India is a very strategic market and we will continue to consider acquisitions to expand our footprint and market share,” Kumar said.
Last year, the company reported sales of 4,000 chlores and expected growth of 5-6% this year. He added that the capital investment will be around Rs 5 billion, including Rs 1.5 billion spent on the yogurt beverage factory in Mermal Batur.