In an attempt to take on local rivals and boost sales, beverage major Coca Cola has devised
a hyper-local strategy for India. The US-based company plans to launch region-specific
products and beverages in lower price brands.
"We are creating a portfolio which is very localised. In Tamil Nadu, we have launched Minute
Maid Colours a combination of fizz and juice. In the eastern part of India with Bengal being
the pivot, litchi is a very accepted flavour," T Krishnakumar, Coca Cola India and South West
Asia president, told The Times of India. The company has already launched litchi juice under
the Minute Maid brand.
Broadly, we will move to sourcing fruits locally. In fact, we have become so confident that we have launched Indian fruit juices with Indian fruit, we have launched three flavours
Coca Cola has divided the beverage market into different categories such as non-alcoholic,
sparkling, dairy, hydration beverages and juices. "For the last two years, we have been
trying to expand our portfolio and segment our portfolio too," Krishnakumar told the national
daily. The cola giant has also started using fruit pulp instead of fruit concentrates, in addition
to adding fruit juice to aerated drinks.
Global giants such as Coca Cola and Pepsi have been facing stiff competition from small
domestic companies, who are nimbler and have a better understanding of local tastes. Local
companies such as Hector Beverages and Manpasand Beverages have been gaining
market share, either through traditional Indian drinks or cheaper products. Moreover, as
consumer preference shifts towards healthier drinks, sales of aerated drinks have come
Coca Cola's two-pronged strategy to launch cheaper drinks and simultaneously introduce
localised sub-brands is expected to take care of domestic rivals. Besides new products,
Coca Cola also plans to add more variants of Sprite and Fanta and extend the fizz and juice
drink nationally. The increased use of fruit pulp is likely to help the company attract
consumers searching for healthier options.
The move towards fruit-based drinks will also benefit fruit farmers in the country as the
company has started local sourcing of fruits. "Broadly, we will move to sourcing fruits locally.
In fact, we have become so confident that we have launched Indian fruit juices with Indian
fruit, we have launched three flavours," Krishnakumar said.