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Healthy fizz that is high on taste and is affordable is what Polka Pop promises to its customers


Sparkling water is turning out to be a big market spinner within the non-alcoholic beverages category. The trend follows lead from consumers turning towards healthy and nutritious drinks. More and more people are adopting a no-sugar and calorie-free lifestyle, which is constantly pushing the growth of this category.

Sparkling water is overtaking the market of soft drinks, and positioning itself as a healthy fizzy drink. The growing demand of the category is making the space lucrative for D2C brands, queuing to enter the space with innovative approaches and drinks that are equally healthy and tasty. However, the lack of awareness among different communities and absence of distribution is also hindering the growth of this category.

According to a report the sales for sparkling water brands were up by 23.4% year-on-year, while the total soft drinks sales grew by 15.6% in 2020 alone.

To know more about this market, we spoke to Gaurav Khemka, Founder and CEO, Polka Pop.

Polka Pop is a home-grown flavoured sparkling water brand. The brand is catering to the demands of health-conscious consumers. In late Jan 2021, the brand hit the market with four flavours and is today also focusing on building a sustainable ecosystem. 

Innovation that touches the right chord

With the changing consumer behaviour, innovations and technologies play an impactful role to cater to the demand of the customers. The sparkling water category is an evolving category and it becomes important for the brand to make the consumers aware of the product. When asked about this, Khemka told us “Innovating to fulfill the customers’ demands is a fun process. We started to understand the customers’ demand. In our case, we believe that there was a huge gap in the market as in the fizzy drinks category, all substances used are sugary or artificial sweet in nature. As there was a shift in consumer behavior, people were becoming conscious about their consumption. The pandemic has also heightened the sense of awareness among people. We spoke to consumers, got their feedback, and understood the marketplace. In the West, this category has worked very well and seeing that gap in the Indian market we started our brand.” 

Educating the customers 

When we asked about the brand’s positioning in the Indian market,  Khemka highlighted “When we reach out to the consumers, it takes us a time to understand how we should position ourselves. As this category is new in the Indian market. In the West, they have adopted it as a substitute for water. But in India, we identify it as a lifestyle product and not positioned itself as a substitute of water rather put it in a fizzy drink category. We’re targeting the age group from 25-45 by educating them and intentionally positioning ourselves as a lifestyle product, and for that we’re not adding any additional nutrients to the product.”

He also added that a couple of important decisions made the brand understand the brand positioning and added, “We intentionally position ourselves as a replacement to all the diet sodas drinks and want to become a perfect replacement for all the occasional drinks. These are the two areas where we want to position for next year.”

Fulfillment challenges

Khemka also shared with us the logistics challenges that the brand is facing and highlighted “When we talk about the delivery, the challenges were to serve the order to the customer on time and understand that no consumer wants to pay a delivery charge. For this, it becomes a major challenge for us as we have low-value products but we try to ensure that our dispatches happen on time, if somebody places an order. For that, we have tied with third party logistics and have a fulfillment center in Bombay and do entire fulfillment and logistics from our warehouse and partnered with third party aggregators for the last-mile delivery. We have integrated with technology to make the entire process seamless and also added a bit of manual intervention to make the process seamless.”