Home Interactions An exclusive interview with Mr. Ajay Shetty, the Founder and CEO of Salud

An exclusive interview with Mr. Ajay Shetty, the Founder and CEO of Salud

by Food Drinks Innovation

In an exclusive conversation with Mr. Ajay Shetty, the Founder and CEO of Salud, he discusses Salud’s products and offerings, provides insights into the current Ready-to-Drink (RTD) market, analyzes the competitive landscape, and unveils Salud’s unique selling propositions (USP). Mr. Shetty also highlights the crucial aspects of quality and hygiene within Salud’s operations while shedding light on the company’s strategic expansion plans.

Please provide a brief note on Salud and its products and offerings.

Salud Beverages is a global lifestyle brand, which is making a mark in the ready-to-drink and craft spirit’s space. Known for its offerings like ‘Salud Fiesta’ and ‘Salud Strong Cranberry,’ the brand caters to various age groups. Its latest creation, the Invigorating Agave and Cranberry Gin Refresher, are joyful blends of grenadine, herbs and botanicals.

Salud is currently available in five domestic states and exported to three foreign markets. Salud is strategically expanding into 12 new Indian markets for ready-to-drink products. Its premium gin collection, Salud Cusp London Dry Gin, has earned acclaim, reflecting the brand’s dedication to excellence.

Salud aims to meet the escalating demand for premium beverages in the Indian alco-Bev market. With six SKUs in the spirit-based ready-to-drink market, Salud plans to introduce three more this year. Specifically targeting tier 2 and 3 audiences in North India, the recently launched “Salud Viking,” a unique mead-based drink with 15 per cent ABV, underscores the brand’s commitment to quality and innovation. In addition to drinks, Salud provides a full lifestyle experience that includes merchandise, music and NFTs, demonstrating its commitment to innovation and technological advancements.

Could you tell us about the current RTD market, the competition and Salud’s USP.

Salud Beverages operates within the dynamic ready-to-drink and craft spirits market, catering to a diverse customer base. The expanding market for convenient alcoholic beverages, coupled with a heightened demand for premium options, characterises the industry’s current landscape. Craft and artisanal beverages are gaining widespread popularity, reflecting a consumer openness to exploring diverse flavours and styles. The rising interest in health and wellness is driving the popularity of low- and non-alcoholic alternatives, influencing consumer preferences.

In the competitive landscape where both established and emerging players vie for consumer attention, maintaining a robust brand image, ensuring product quality and adeptly navigating industry trends are essential. Salud distinguishes itself by its unwavering commitment to delivering imaginative and high-quality drinks, making its diversity of products a key differentiator.

Salud’s strategic focus on meeting the discerning needs of its customer base positions the brand prominently in the ever-evolving ready-to-drink and craft spirits’ market. As the industry undergoes rapid changes, Salud’s dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction sets it apart, ensuring a leading presence in this dynamic market.

Could you tell us about the recent trends in Salud’s segments and how its products are aligned.

In today’s market, Ready-to-Drink (RTD) beverages are becoming more and more popular because of their variety, ease of use and appeal for on-the-go consumption. RTDs, which provide a wide variety of flavours and alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, are becoming more and more popular among consumers due to their busy lifestyles and growing desire for hassle-free options. The convenience of having a well-mixed, ready-to-drink beverage without having to prepare it ahead of time or add extra ingredients is a major factor contributing to RTDs’ growing appeal in today’s market.

India’s alcoholic beverage market is expected to grow to USD 64 billion over the next five years, according to a report by the International Spirits & Wines Association of India (ISWAI). It would solidify India’s position as the fifth-largest contributor to global market revenues in the near- to medium-term. According to the report, the industry still represents a substantial portion of the country’s nominal GDP (INR 3.9 lakh crores, including country liquor) and is predicted to reach a market size of USD 52.4 billion in 2021.

With the advent of RTDs, the beverage industry’s traditional definition of convenience has evolved. No longer restricted to basic juices or carbonated soft drinks, consumers can now enjoy a variety of sophisticated and expertly crafted beverages without sacrificing valuable time.

Please shed light on the quality and hygiene aspects.

Throughout all phases of its production, Salud Beverages is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of quality and hygiene. The brand prioritises premium ingredients and uses strict quality control procedures throughout the entire production process. Using cutting-edge technology and running modern facilities, Salud places a high value on hygienic and clean manufacturing procedures.

The brand’s dedication is also shown in the packaging, which is hygienic and meets food safety regulations. Salud does not compromise on its adherence to national and international regulatory standards. Salud’s keeps an open and traceable supply chain to guarantee the quality of its ingredients. Its procedures incorporate sustainability, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly packaging.

Could you tell us about Salud’s expansion plans?

To effectively appeal to a wider range of consumer tastes, Salud is diversifying its product lineup by launching three stock-keeping units (SKUs) that are inspired by various spirits. The brand’s objective is to solidify its position in key Indian regions, which include Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Maharashtra, Orissa, Pondicherry, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh.

With products like Salud Cusp London Dry Gin, the premiumisation strategy fits right in with the current trend of consumers seeking out sophisticated and one-of-a-kind beverage experiences.
By putting these strategic components together, Salud Beverages sets itself up as a strong competitor in the beverage market, ready to seize new opportunities and spur further expansion.

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