Copper, zinc and one of India biggest brands, Tata? What’s the Darwinian missing link here?
As most of our readers would know, Tata is a well-known global manufacturer of steel with footprints in the US as well as Europe. But besides Tata Steel, the Tata Group of companies has a range of businesses, one among which is Tata Global Beverages. And it is copper and zinc which is on the radar of this company, definitely not steel.
Some time ago, PepsiCo and Tata Global Beverages floated a joint venture called NourishCo Beverages. The JV soon launched a line of nutrient-heavy drinking water called Tata Water Plus and Tata Gluco Plus. Available in just two states of India so far, the plan now is to make these water brands available in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of the country soon.
Tata Water Plus, the joint venture’s debut product, claims to be India’s first nutrient water and is priced at about 25 cents (Rs 16) for a 750 ml bottle. Tata Gluco Plus was developed by PepsiCo. It is priced at about 9 cents (Rs 6) for a 200 ml cup.
And, here’s the missing link to those crucial minerals, copper and zinc. The company has claimed that the nutrient-enriched water shall contain copper and zinc, two metals that are known to strengthen the human immune system.
A report in Digital Financial Chronicle quoting Sushant Dash, global brand director of Tata Global Beverages, said many Indians were nutrition-deficient in a lot of aspects, and therefore his company had decided to launch the bottled water all over India to build more awareness. Ah, the penny drops.
Without turning this report into a health bulletin very quickly (too late?), zinc is thought by many nutritionists to be the most important mineral supplement because of its near-absence in our daily diets. Zinc is the nutrient that aids the immune system. Copper, too, plays an important role in propping up our immune systems and even a slight deficiency could prove to sometimes have disastrous results.
With a major percentage of the Indian population suffering from a deficiency in one or both of these crucial immune system boosters, and a major part of the country suffering from water shortages, Tata and Pepsico seem to have hit upon the right formula.
The two water brands under the NourishCo brand are part of PepsiCo’s overall plans to invest about US $5.5 billion in India by 2020. India’s first nutrient water, by the way, has been developed in collaboration with scientists and Indian nutrition experts.
Although Tata Global Beverages is still way below the food chain vis-à-vis bottled water, Parle Bisleri being numero uno, it plans to scale up its presence in the packaged water segment, both at the upper and lower ends of the market.
Cheers to that.