ITC and direct selling major Amway have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly distribute a range of products in the health and immunity-boosting space.
As part of this, ITC on Thursday introduced 'B Natural+' range of fruit juices, which would be distributed exclusively by Amway using its direct selling network for a limited period of time.
In the next few months, more such products would be jointly introduced by the companies in the market.
"Many new products, particularly based upon the requirements and expectations of the consumers and you will see them over the next couple of months," ITC Divisional Chief Executive (Foods Division) Hemant Malik said.
ITC is sensing a good potential in the health and immunity-boosting space during the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"In the month of April and May, when heat is there, people are looking for beverages and I believe that there is a likelihood of shift that would happen from carbonated soft drinks towards fruit juice beverages," said Malik adding that it is a much larger market many times. "So, even if the shift is a small shift, it's a large shift as far as the packaged beverages are concerned."
Last month, ITC partnered Domino's Pizza, Swiggy and Zomato to deliver groceries and packaged foods to the customers during the lockdown at their door steps.
While commenting on its partnership with Amway, Malik said, "We had been in conversation for this partnership for some time. With consumers increasingly looking at products that offer them nutrition and immunity-boosting value proposition, we fast-tracked the launch of 'B Natural+' range.
According to Malik, this collaboration is a reflection of synergies of the two companies and teams jointly will work closely on various programmes in the area of health and wellness.
"Other products in the health and wellness space are also in the pipeline that will be launching through this partnership in the coming months," he said
While Amway India CEO Anshu Budhraja said, "We are pleased to share that both the companies are coming together to create products in health, wellness and immunity space to address the anticipated demand in the future."
Budhraja said it is a first-ever move in the history of Amway, and the company continues to innovate and create opportunities to deliver value to consumers and this is just the beginning.
According to him, this will help in expanding Amway's business, which is already in the vitamins, minerals and supplements segment and, now, a range of beverages.
The new 'B Natural+' range of beverages, which ITC claims it to have clinically proven ingredient to support immunity, will be available in two variants – Orange and Mixed Fruit.Currently, the Indian packaged juices and fruit-based beverages are estimated to be around Rs 2,500 crore in market size.