September 10, 2008

Rasna to Brew Ready-to-Sip Tea

By Swati Bharadwaj-Chand

AHMEDABAD: After cooking up a foray into fast foods, Ahmedabad- based soft drink concentrate firm Rasna is now getting ready to brew India's favourite cuppa-chai for the hotting global tea market.

To be branded 'Bollywood Chai', the ready-to-sip chai has been pilot tested at the recently concluded 'Chalo Gujarat: World Gujarati Congress' held in New Jersey. The product is set to be test- marketed in Australia and Europe soon, Rasna CMD Piruz Khambatta told TOI.

"Chai is now internationally recognized as a health beverage and alternative to coffee with even Starbucks putting Indian spiced tea on its menu. We will be marketing it as an Indian herbal product," he said.

Targeted primarily at the Indian diaspora, Rasna plans to retail the chai at a price point of $2 per carton of six satchets. Five flavours - cardamom, masala, cinnamon, ginger and plain - have already been concocted.

"We already have a few orders in the US and intend to finalize distributors to kick off exports by October 2008. We will retail it through Indian grocery stores, supermarkets and online retailing networks," he said, adding the product may be launched in the domestic market at a later stage.

The Rs 350 crore Rasna, which already exports snack food under the 'Bollywood Bites' brand, is now eyeing tea as a key driver of its exports business that has already clocked sales of Rs 60 crore.

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