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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified that beverages with fruit juice quantity below 10% but not less than 5%, and 2.5% in case of lime or lemon, should be called carbonated beverage with fruit juice.
The 11th amendment of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) regulations, 2016 said that in such cases the requirement of TSS (total soluble solids) shall not apply and the quantity of fruit juice shall be declared on the label. TSS determines the quality of fruit juice content in beverages.
Before this, FSSAI guidelines on aerated beverages did not define carbonated fruit beverages and there was no set standard that the industry could have followed. In June, the food regulator had released a draft notification, defining ‘carbonated fruit beverages or carbonated fruit drinks’, seeking views from industry within two months.
Coca-Cola India, the local arm of American beverage maker Coca-Cola Co., already sells Fanta Green Mango, a carbonated drink that has 10.4% fruit content. Rival PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of American food and beverages company PepsiCo Inc, sells Nimbooz Masala Soda, a juice-based (5% lemon juice) aerated beverage.
Mumbai-based Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd sells Appy Fizz. In February, Bisleri International launched Bisleri Pop, an aerated fruit-based drink, to re-enter the carbonated beverages market that it exited in 1993 after its promoter Ramesh Chauhan sold five popular brands Thums Up, Limca, Gold Spot, Maaza and Citra to Coca-Cola. Chauhan had a non-compete agreement with Coca-Cola that expired in 2008.
During the past few years, cola companies have seen sales of carbonated beverages being impacted with consumers opting for juices and fruit-based drinks. In 2015, juices saw a volume growth of 20.06% and a value growth of 25.78% over the previous year. Fizzy drinks, in the same period, grew 8.42% by volume and 10.82% by value, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.