Mumbai-based Fruzzanté is a first-of-its-kind homegrown range of 100% sparkling fruit alcoholic beverages. It is a carbonated drink, and to highlight the drink’s USP, the company termed the word Frizz and subsequently finalized the brand name as Fruzzanté. The brewery, which is a part of their family’s Hill Zill Resort in Bordi, Maharashtra, is aided by Dominic Rivard, an award-winning winemaker and cider specialist from Canada.
Fruzzanté is a brand that happened by chance. Priyanka Save, founder and director of Fruzzanté, observed that nearly 40% of all Chikoo (Sapodilla) produced at her family farm were getting wasted. She felt the need to address this issue, discussed the same with her husband, and decided to make wine from Chikoo.
Fruzzanté (bottled beverage) debuted in the market in early January 2017. In the first year, the brand extensively focused on Mumbai as its primary market. Today, Fruzzanté has marked its presence in all major retail outlets across Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Goa, and will soon be available in Bangalore too.
Ready to drink beverage – Enjoy anytime, anywhere
According to Save, Fruzzanté is a one-of-its-kind sparkling alcoholic beverage entirely made out of natural fruits. It is a gluten-free, vegan drink with no added color or flavor. The company started with Chikoo and now has mango, pineapple, starfruit, strawberry, and mead (Arka, a luxury dessert mead) variants of the beverage. “Soon, we plan to launch Fruzzanté Orange. The idea is to have something for everyone. We are focusing on creating drinks for people who wish to enjoy good experiential drinking,” she adds.
Impact of Covid-19 on Fruzzanté
Since last year, many businesses have been struggling with disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Save, it did cause a lot of disruption, but the impact on the domestic food and beverage industry was lesser due to the unique positioning of the Indian market. She explains, “For instance, the alcoholic-beverages market in India is among the world’s fastest-growing regions. The decade starting 2001 saw over 12% CAGR, and India is expected to become the third-largest consumer economy as the consumption is expected to triple to US$4 trillion by 2025.”
However, Save admits that the pandemic has impacted every person and business across industries to some extent, and Fruzzanté has also not been an exception. She adds, “We had been impacted and supplies in our key markets such as Mumbai and Pune where the unlocking process took longer, we had to bear the brunt of the pandemic. However, things have gradually improved since then, and we see good traction for our products. We have also seen sales numbers go up in the last couple of months, and we are confident of things looking up very soon.”
Shift to online portals
Due to Covid-19, many food and beverage businesses have shifted their businesses to digital portals. Save states that wine retail is a heavily regulated industry and the doorstep delivery of wines requires adherence to protocols. She adds, “Fruzzanté has been maintaining a healthy mix of delivery through retailers and major outlets across Maharashtra, and we have also tied up with alcohol delivery apps such as Spiritzone, Living Liquidz, as well as customers can directly call our customer care number to place an order.”
Product launches in Covid times
Due to social distancing norms, no physical exhibitions are taking place, people are afraid to go out to malls for shopping. All of this has been impacting businesses intending to launch new products. Save agrees that new product launches might get pushed back a little until there is a more conducive market scenario, but for Fruzzanté, the overall sales numbers are now looking up again, “Within a very short time, we anticipate sales zooming past the pre-pandemic level. We are also looking at aggressive market expansion and aiming to cover at least half of the country by the end of 2021.”
Fruzzanté started with Chikoo wine and has already added flavors like mango, strawberry, starfruit, and Arka to its range. “We will add two to three new flavors next year with orange being a certainty,” she adds. Fruzzanté remains committed to the same Farm to Bottle strategy. The company’s mission envisages helping the local farmers across Maharashtra and eventually across India by sourcing directly from them and ensuring that they get paid their dues. This is how it will sustain the demand for the fruits, and farmers will earn their livelihood through the process.
Quality and food safety
According to Save, quality has been integral to Fruzzanté even before the pandemic. “We have created our wines through an extensive process of trial and refinement. Our secret is authenticity and remaining true to the process.” Fruzzanté is a one-of-its-kind 100% fruit-based sparkling alcoholic beverage with no artificial colors or flavors added to it. The wines are claimed to be gluten-free and vegan. She says, “We pay great attention to the consistency of flavors with each batch and also focus on storing each batch of wines with great care.”
Expansion plans - the outlook is quite bright
Fruzzanté has ambitious expansion plans in place while remaining committed to the core philosophy of Farm to Bottle. Save says, “We were slowed down a little due to the pandemic impact, especially in our home state of Maharashtra, but are now set to expand to four more states by June 2021. We have already entered the Goa market with Fruzzanté in March and introducing our premium range Arka in Karnataka soon. By June, we would enter at least two states from these mentioned West Bengal, Puducherry, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Telangana. We aim to make Fruzzanté products available in at least half of India by the end of 2021!”