Aug - 2023

Rooh Afza: The ruby coloured drink’s brand popularity, evolution and future challenges

Rooh Afza has not only secured a significant position for itself in the market with its sherbet and other product offerings, but it has also established a remarkable example of sailing through the competitive waves by leveraging nostalgia and cultural connection during the holy month of Ramadan.

In the 1940s and 1950s, when direct lines of communication were very difficult, Hamdard used to advertise Rooh Afza in remote locations by dropping pamphlets from helicopters. At present, television, print, radio and outdoor are their main mediums. Since digital media is fast becoming one of the most used mediums, their spends have now been diverted to that space.

It's 2023 and Rooh Afza, also known as the "refresher of the soul," is still going strong. This drink has seen India's partition, the birth of Pakistan and Bangladesh, and continues to provide relief and calm during hot summers or humid climates. Scrolling through Twitter, I came across several tweets expressing fondness for the 116-year-old brand, which has been tantalizing taste buds since 1907.

“It is the quality of the product,” says Hamid Ahmed, chief executive officer, Hamdard Laboratories India - food division. “Once you take a sip, you become aware of its quality,” he mentions.

Popularity during Ramadan

Rooh Afza has a deep connection with the holy month of Ramadan and holds significant cultural relevance and nostalgia for generations. During Ramadan, the brand experiences high sales and is often the preferred drink to break the fast with.