History & Marketing Strategies of Boost Brand

Company Name- Boost
Founder- GlaxoSmithkline

Boost is a malt-based health drink developed in India by the research team of GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) India in 1974 and formally launched in 1975. The brand is quite popular among the consumers and currently holds third place with 11.5% market share in the health drink category.

A recent deal between GSK and Unilever Ltd. has resulted in the transfer of ownership of the Boost brand to Hindustan Unilever Ltd., which will own GSK’s consumer division after the Rs. 31,700 Crore deal. 

Boost claims to provide three times more stamina to its target segment of children between six to eighteen years age and backs this claim with research data from independent studies.

Currently, it is available in multiple flavors including ‘Chocoeclairs’ which enhances the chocolaty taste and ‘Choconut’ to bring out the nutty flavor in the drink. Boost has also launched nutritious biscuits named “Boost Bites” to bolster its product range and enter the solid nutrition category. 


How it all Started

Boost is a result of the ever-growing popularity of malt-based food drinks, a trend that started all the way back in 1950s. Also known as Malted Food Drinks, the first brand to gain prominence in this category was ‘Horlicks’.

“Operation Flood” was also instrumental in further popularizing milk-based supplements among the general public during the 1970s. The program launched by National Dairy Development Board was extremely effective and it transformed India from a milk-deficient country to a surplus-producing one. 

Children of the country had enough milk for consumption but its taste was often not to their liking, thus parents found it difficult to feed them with the wholesome food. It was during this period that GSK felt there was a market for supplemental energy drink for kids in the physical and mental development stage of their life.

Thus, the company’s researchers came up with Boost in 1974, a malty food drink that provides the required energy to kids between age group of 6 – 18 years along with their favorite chocolaty taste. The product was positioned as a nutrition and taste enhancer and is available till today in powdery form to be dissolved in milk for consumption. 

The Road to Success

Now that the product had been launched and there was fair response from the consumers, Boost turned to advertizing media for further popularizing its name. It started its association with the game of Cricket in India and has maintained the strong link through all these years.

The superstars of the game were roped in for promoting the brand with the tagline – “Boost is the secret of my energy”. The promotion became popular quickly and had the desired effect among the masses and Boost quickly became a household name in India. 

The new millennium saw the consumers shifting towards proper nutrition and they started considering the actual benefits of health food drinks apart from the taste. Boost recognized this shift and took on the market head on by publishing a scientifically-backed study which proved that Boost really tripled the stamina of kids in its target group.

So, the new tagline emerged for the brand “3x more stamina” when consuming 20 grams of the health drink twice daily for a span of 4 months. 

This brand-building exercise further enhanced the credibility of Boost in front of its consumers while conforming to the market’s need for nutrition products which is good to taste also.

Today, Boost is an established health drinks brand that is fighting for the top three spots in market share in the highly competitive Indian Hot Food Drinks (HFD) supplement market that is estimated to become the largest in the world with around 45% retail sales in terms of volume in this country alone. 


Marketing Strategies and Promotions

Boost was the first health food drink brand in India that used sports celebrities to endorse its benefits to the public. Its association with the sports of cricket is of particular interest here.

The superstars of the game like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Shewag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli have promoted the brand during their playing careers. Currently, M. S. Dhoni and Virat kohli can be seen regularly in the various media platforms endorsing the value of consuming Boost to the public. 

This tried and tested formula of using cricket stars for its brand value promotion has worked well for Boost in the past and is continuing to do even today. With focus on nutritional value of the product being offered to the kids during their growing up years, Boost claims to contain Vitamin A, B1, C, D, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Copper and Zinc along with Protein in powder form among other vital nutrients that are important for all-round physical and mental development of children.

There are different flavors available to suit the palates of its consumers while holding on to the chocolaty taste it imparts to the milk. It is even available in a ready-to-sip pocket-sized container for consumption while on the move.



Boost has proven its market credibility in the highly competitive Indian HFD market where there is a plethora of choice available for the consumers. With independent scientific data available to back up its claims of providing more stamina and adequate all-round nutrition to its target segment of kids between six to eighteen years, the health food drink is a sure choice of many satisfied parents for the last five decades of its existence. 

The future of Boost also looks bright under new HUL management, who are poised to become the major stakeholders of the lucrative health food drinks market on India with around 60% share in the overall revenues. HUL’s strong distribution network can help Boost reach out to new markets, where it has the opportunity to impress more customers with its proven credentials of taste and nutritive value.

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