Coca-Cola India, the country’s largest beverage firm, will launch a range of fruit-based fizzy drinks this year. The move will add to the company’s aim of having a “complete beverages portfolio” by 2022, said, T Krishnakumar (KK), president, India and South West Asia, Coca-Cola.
Coke is betting on its tried and tested brands like Limca, Fanta and Sprite. At present, it is testing a variant of Fanta in Gujarat. The product has more than 10 per cent fruit. The company plans to add similar variants under Limca and Sprite.
According to KK, the new range will have 10.5-22 per cent fruit content by volume.
Thums Up, the second-largest brand from Coca-Cola India's stable, will also have more variants. While Coke has already added the first variant ‘Thums Up Charge’, more innovative products are in the offing, KK said. The home-grown brand — Thums Up — will find its first overseas market in Bangladesh in the next few months. Thums Up remained the largest beverages brand in India for close to three decades till mid-2013, when Sprite replaced it.
While Coke entered segments like value-added dairy and ready-to-drink ice tea in the past two years, most of its investments during the next few quarters will be to grow its sparkling, hydration and juices portfolio.
In 2018, Coke will launch its frozen fruits portfolio with Minute Maid Perfect Fruit. “Other categories like dairy and tea are also in focus. We are constantly evaluating consumer preferences,” said KK.
Sale of carbonated drinks have tumbled of late, as consumers move towards healthier options.
In the June 2017 quarter — a season that gives cola majors close to 40 per cent of their annual sales — Coke’s volume sales in the Asean and India and South West Asia regions fell 2 per cent year-on-year. “In the December quarter, we managed strong single-digit growth in volume and double-digit revenue growth,”he said.