NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) in partnership with Tata Global Beverages (TGB), formerly Tata Tea, is seeking to launch bottled water at 40 cents a gallon. Other products of this partnership include fruit-flavored instant iced tea, jelly-based tea, and T!ON.The current standard price of retail water from other companies like Coca-Cola's ( KO - Get Report) Kinley and PepsiCo's Aquafina is $1.15 per gallon. Additionally, the Himalayan brand of bottled water from TGB is priced above $1.63 per gallon putting it in the premium category. Therefore, with both PepsiCo and Tata already present in the bottled water segment, the focus of the new JV would be to tap into the price-sensitive segment of the market. The joint venture will likely target the cheap pouch-water drinking consumers across the country. The joint venture plans to launch the product in packages of 1 liter (33 ounces) bottles priced at 11 cents. As the second-most populated country on earth, India clearly presents an attractive market opportunity in the suggested price band of 40 cents a gallon. The Indian packaged water market is valued between $325 million and $435 million, growing at an attractive 20% annually. The market accounts for 15-20% of the overall packaged beverage industry. However, the joint venture with Tata could take months to finalize following the announcement of the structure in April 2010. "We will formalize the details within a couple of months. As of now, only the memorandum of understanding has been signed," said Sanjeev Chadha, Chairman of PepsiCo India. The objective of the joint venture is to explore business opportunities in the area of low-priced non-carbonated, ready-to-drink beverages focused on health and enhanced wellness. Meanwhile, TGB's Deputy CEO Percy Siganporia commented, during the company's earnings release on July 30, that the joint venture will look to establish its credentials in the domestic market before exploring opportunities around the globe. In December 2009, with an aim to provide purified water to the low- to mid-income category in India, the Tata group had launched "Swach", a compact and affordable 19-liter water purifier priced at $35-$45. This world's cheapest water purifier was developed by Tata Chemicals to provide drinking water at a cost of 65 cents per month for a family of five, with a target to sell a million such pieces across the country within a year. "Our quest is not to create the cheapest products," said Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group at the launch of Swach. He added that "the Tata Group focuses on accessing the largest number of people and that is what drove our efforts on the Nano car, on the low-cost housing project, and that is what is driving our water purifier, too." Early 2009, Tata group's subsidiary Tata Motors ( TTM) had launched the world's cheapest car, the Nano.
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