Have you ever heard the name of an energy drink Tzinga? Am sure, you will take time to recollect. It’s neither the Red Bull nor any international brand with global market share. This Indian energy drink brand’s parent company is called Hector Beverages, after Hector of Troy from Greek mythology, who walked out to battle Achilles, considered a superior fighter. But how can a local brand stands in front of Red Bull? Last year, RedBull posted $5.2 billion in sales and about $800 million in profits, growing 11 per cent during one of the worst slowdowns in global history. In India, Red Bull is the undisputed champ, accounting for about 80 per cent of sales in a Rs 350-500-crore energy drink market that is growing at about 25 per cent annually, according to industry experts.
But, within merely two years of opening a factory and launching the product, Tzinga is a ubiquitous presence in the fridges of kirana stores in urban India, churning out about a million of its utilitarian pouches a month from its Gurgaon factory. It supplies about 45,000 outlets in 45 cities across 22 states. Kakkar says Tzinga is a clear leader in markets such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa and the Northeast, but lags Red Bull in Pune and Mumbai. Tzinga has a clear edge in pricing: Rs 25 for a funky, 200-ml pouch, against Rs 85-100 charged by the competition. Moreover, it’s packaging is flexible and much cheaper than the cans.
The real edge of the brand came with it’s local understanding of the ‘need’. The need of mass India (which constitutes 97% of Indian population) and their natural expectation from an energy drink. When Red Bull is targeting merely 3% pf population with it’s glam stunt oriented ‘ Red Bull gives you wings’ Tzinga is waving towards the rest!
The priority of life for ‘Indians’ and ‘Bharatiyas’ (2 psychographic segments that covers 97% of youth population in India) are to ‘study well’ and build a ‘great career’. The education is not only necessary to uplift the economic status but also to gain better social status and peers. A family’s second largest spent go’s to ‘education’ immediately after food. So, Tzinga, is portraying their energy drink as energizer to remain ‘charged’ while at study (late night, as usual). Unlike Red Bull, Tzinga doesn’t want to appear ‘cool’.
Here’s the ad:
Recently, a few energy drink companies in the US were caught in a maelstrom of controversy. 5-hour ENERGY, a caffeine-saturated ‘shot’ that comes in a bottle a little bigger than your thumb and one that made monk-turned-entrepreneur Manoj Bhargava vault onto the Forbes list of billionaires, has been linked to the deaths of people with heart problems due to caffeine toxicity, though nothing has been conclusively proven. Ditto for Red Bull competitor Monster Energy. Both companies have staunchly denied these allegations.
Meanwhile, the knives are already out for energy drinks in India. A recent survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India states 71 per cent of adolescents in urban centres of India consume energy drinks, often leading to seizures, diabetic hazards, cardiac abnormalities and behavioural disorders. With its brand primarily catering to a hip, young image, as depicted on its website, Tzinga needs to ensure it doesn’t find itself in the line of fire if its products are used inappropriately.
Then, there is the spectre of a brand with deep pockets capsizing a newbie. The Indian landscape for energy drinks is fast getting crowded. Six months ago, Coca-Cola had launched its energy drink Burn. Other energy brands trying to jostle for space are PepsiCo’s Sobe, Power Horse and Goldwin Healthcare’s Cloud 9. Cunningly entwining energy drinks subconsciously with sex are JMJ Group’s XXX, as well as the recently-launched KS E, from the stables of Raymond’s Kamasutra brand. However, the real monster in the cupboard is, well, Monster. The Rahul Narang group has been in negotiations to bring the US brand to India. After its 2002 launch in the US, decades after Red Bull, the brand has already grabbed 29 per cent market share. There’s no saying what could happen if it decides to take a plunge into the Indian market with serious intent.
Recently, XXX introduced porno star Sunny Leone as their brand ambassador! Another effort to lure "Indians and Bharatiyas" to drink XXX energy drink.
For now, though, Tzinga is the flavor to beat, not just for its undeniable value proposition in a Rs 25 (Half a Dollar) energy drink, but also for its daring, infectious earnestness and down-to-earth values.